November 2013

6 Quick Cooking Tips For The Holidays

The holidays are a great opportunity to spend time with loved ones, however, balancing travel, gift-buying, and the preparation for large family get-togethers can certainly be a struggle. If you find yourself playing host this year, you have the added responsibility of preparing a holiday meal that those closest to you will enjoy and remember. Cooking for a large number of people always involves additional preparation if you want your get-together to go off without a hitch. Here are 6 quick cooking tips to help you prepare a delicious dinner with less stress:

Get a Headcount

Making a final list of who is going to be coming to dinner will ensure you don’t make too much or too little food on the big day. Call all your guests and make sure you know who they are going to bring, and plan accordingly.

Plan the Menu

Take votes from friends or family members on preferred dishes if you’re not sure what to make, and be sure to find out about any allergies or dietary restrictions your guests may have. If there are going to be a large number of guests, ask people to bring a certain dish or dessert to make the entire process a little easier.

Make a List

Once you have a menu planned, determine what food items you already have on-hand at home, and write up a shopping list for the remaining items. There are many companies that home-deliver premium meat and seafood items at discount prices, which could save you money on the items themselves, or even a trip to the grocery store entirely. If you opt to buy seafood online prior to the event, keep it frozen until the day of the dinner to ensure maximum freshness.

Use a Cooking Schedule

If you have family members who plan to help you do some of the cooking, or even if you’re tackling the whole menu by yourself, divvy up the items in advance of the dinner by when each can be prepared. Dessert items can be made throughout the week and frozen until the evening of the special occasion. Many sides can be prepared the day before and refrigerated.

The Big Day

Large items like ham, turkey, and other main courses, should be started early the morning of the dinner. Other smaller items, like homemade rolls or salad and appetizers should be prepared the day of to maximize freshness, as well. Set the table and utensils out earlier the day of the meal so you have one less thing to worry about while you’re busy cooking the final menu items.

The Aftermath

You’ve cooked a delicious meal that your friends and family truly enjoyed— now to deal with the leftovers. If you don’t have the room to refrigerate left over food, encourage guests to take some of their favorite dishes with them. Buy boxes or containers that you can give your guests to take home. As for what’s left over in your own kitchen, leftovers will certainly make meal time much simpler for the next week or so— enjoy it!

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://mrg.bz/OEkqG9

Hailey Andersen is a professional blogger who enjoys sharing cooking tips and recipes with her readers.

Top Tips For Making Great Desserts

Everyone wants to be a domestic goddess, but what are the secrets to making mouth-watering desserts? Below are some top tips to help dramatically improve your culinary prowess.

Keep Your Cupboards Well Stocked

A good dessert chef should have the basic ingredients (sugars, flours, fat, chocolate) in abundance. They should also have all the paraphernalia for baking at home and a wide range of tools. It may take time to build these up, but the investment will be worthwhile as you only buy them once.

Buy Quality Ingredients

High quality ingredients will make a huge difference to the success of your desserts. You can taste the difference of organic and non-organic ingredients. Be specific about what you are buying. Do not merely buy sugar. Buy granulated Demerara sugar, or Muscavado sugar. Do not ever assume that a recipe is being unnecessarily fussy. Chocolate is an excellent example of an ingredient that will differ drastically according to the price you pay. The percentage of cocoa can vary widely between different chocolates.

Be Playful

An important aspect of success when attempting to make any dish is to enjoy what you are doing. Be playful with your choices. Adapt recipes to modify them to your tastes. Spend time thinking about what you want to make and how you might be able to improve on recipes. The more time you invest in this, the more confident you will become at creating popular desserts.

Try a Variety of Recipes

It is great to have a few ‘old faithful’ recipes up your sleeve that you can pull out of the bag at the last minute, but don’t get apathetic in the kitchen. Challenge yourself by trying complicated recipes or by using new ingredients you are unfamiliar with. This will deepen your knowledge and bring you greater confidence. We all learn by making mistakes. It is important to have the confidence to fail.

Preparation, Preparation, Preparation

One caveat to the above tip is to give yourself the space and time to fail. Trying a complicated new dish the night of a dinner party for ten is a recipe for disaster. If you have an event coming up that you would like to create something interesting and unusual for, then test the recipe out a few days before. This will allow you to become familiar with the techniques and ingredients. Practice really does make perfect.

Preparation is one of the most important aspect of successful baking. Read your recipe directions through a few times before starting. Make sure you have all the necessary tools and ingredients before embarking. Start with a clean kitchen. Measure out your ingredients into individual bowls.

Ask for Feedback

Do not be afraid to open yourself up to criticism, as you will always benefits from it. Ask people eating the dessert what they think. Ask them to be as specific as possible.

If you feel at all slighted, remember that everyone’s tastes are different and you cannot please everyone all the time. Sincere feedback is incredibly valuable, so get used to lobbying for genuine and thorough feedback.

Gemma Hickes is a researcher and adviser for a mainstream national baking television program. She is also a regular food and baking blogger, and publishes to other social media platforms such as Twitter. She recommends http://www.theonechocolatecompany.co.uk/ as a trusted source for purchasing chocolate to bake with.

Cake Pops: Perfect For Any Occasion

Cake pops has become a rapidly growing sensation in the last few years. It gained interest around 2009 until it became a bakery staple by 2011. From home style bakeries to major coffee and snack bars, cake pops can be seen around the continent in hundreds of flavors, forms and styles. February 1st has been declared National Cake Pop Day giving the indication of just how popular this tasty treat has become.

Cake pops are crumbled cake that has been mixed with icing and rolled into a ball. From there the varieties are endless. The type of cake and the icing design is up to the creator. The creativity of these pops is the only limit to what can be imagined. Much like cake decorating, some of the most unique cake pops have been as much as a treat to look at as they are to eat.

Pops for Parties

Creative websites such as Pinterest have showcased some of the designs that have been made. Many of these are ideal for celebrations and parties. They are bite sized desserts that can also become your party’s centerpiece and main conversation.

For baby showers and birthday parties, cake pops are a great way to serve a dessert that leaves little mess behind. Because they come with their own built in handle, they can be served without a need for slicing. They leave adults hands fairly free to tend to the small children running around without having to put a plate down every time they need to catch or attend to a child. Also for your guests that are in weight watching mode, a small dessert is often more welcome than a large slice of something similar.

Christmas Cake Pops

Christmas is the opposite. Even for those that diet year round, Christmas is a time when all meal plans are cast aside until the New Year. It is a celebration of sweets and treats as much as it is for families and gifts, Christmas is a time when happiness and joy are the main theme of living. As there is often more food than can be fathomed at mealtimes, cake pops bring a welcomed change. Yule logs, Christmas fruit cake, apple pies and ice creams are traditional desserts that become more accustomed than welcomed. Changing the menu with cake pops brings a new festive edge to a gathering and something to leave your guests talking about. The decoration ideas for Christmas cake pops are endless. From Santa and his characters to Christmas balls and decorations, cake pops can be designed to look like just about anything you can conjure in the kitchen.

Cake Pops for the Dead (or Undead)

Halloween, another festive season also shows no shortage of chocolates and sweets but with a different tone to the event. While Christmas is about beauty and peace, Halloween is about disturbing images and the dead. Each though, brings out the appetites in us all. While you may not be able to put a cake pop in a child’s treat bag, nor would you want too. They still make fascinating centerpieces for house parties and gatherings. Are the parents getting together while the children trick or treat? Cake pops make a much more welcomed treat then yet another bowl of miniature chocolates and candies. These finger sized foods are each their own work of art, are easier to eat and have much less cleanup after the party is over. From pumpkins to ghosts, your cake pops can take on a life of their own.

Weddings have seen a large increase in cake pops for decorations and party favors. As these edible showpieces have increased in popularity, so has a brides need to do something unique. They are as customizable as a cake, with twice as many ways to showcase them. Brides have found countless ways to incorporate cake pops into their weddings and bridal showers. From table centerpieces to candy table showcases, guests are always delighted with a finger food that eats and taste like a cake that they love.

The demand for cake pops have exploded over these past few years. This increase in popularity comes from their customizable yet unique designs, the convenient way to serve them and the showcase ability that they have for guests. The next time you plan a social event and need dessert. Ask yourself, how you want to serve your cake? Do you want guests to eat it on a plate or walk around munching on it like a finger food? Join the new wave of serving cake, plateless and convenient, just sit back and watch the show.

This article was written by Karen Wilder, who loves cake pops and makes them or orders them every occasion she can.

Spanish Wines.

Every so often, you find that completely delectable wine that becomes your new favourite. From a great range of countries, you can find some of the best flavours that can revolutionise your palate. If you’d like to taste the best of Spain, you should look no further than one of the many Spanish wines on offer to you.

 

With particular regards to their Rioja exports, Spanish wines are some of the most crisply rich drinks you can find from any country and are finding a second home in other places all of the time with particular regards to the United Kingdom who have completely embraced it.

 

First-time sampler of these great wines? Here are a few classifications to help you understand the difference between the premium and the table fare.

 

Denominación de Origen (DOC)

Above and beyond the elite, the wines found in this classification are the best you could ever hope to drink from Spain.

 

In fact, these premier tipples are so highly thought of that only the regions of Rioja and Priorat have ever had the distinction of the label and should be interested in a bottle, it would be quite the handsome price but one that is totally deserved.

 

Vino de la Tierra

These are one of those rarities in the wine world that not only offer superb quality but also are also available at an outstanding price.

 

Were you to pick up one of these humble drinks, you’d be treated to what comes under the category of “wines of the land” which speaks for the adoration it holds with the Spanish people and those lucky enough to sample it in other countries.

 

Vino de Mesa

The slightly poorer cousins to the above classifications, wines that attain this label are not as desired but still offer that distinctive Spanish taste.

 

Typically lacking in a labelling of its region or a vintage year, these tastes are thought of as “table wine” and are usually enjoyed as a light refreshment to couple with a decent, hearty meal.

 

Now that you know a bit more about Spanish wines, you should feel a lot more knowledgeable when you go to pick out your first bottle and is doubtlessly a taste that you won’t forget in a hurry.

 

A Wine Novice’s Guide For A First Date

Some people think of first dates as nerve-wrecking. For some first dates, nothing seems to ever go right. The outfit you wear, even if it’s the best one you have, may not seem enough and you may think maybe you could’ve done better.

When it comes the actual date there are also many things that can go wrong, particularly when it comes to ordering wine. If you don’t know squat about wines, this can be a problem especially if you want to leave a good impression on the first date.

So how do you prepare for a date? How do you make sure everything goes well, specifically when it comes to ordering wine?

Here are some useful tips:

1. Pre-date Preparations

Before going out on a date, make sure you make the necessary preparations like being familiar with the different types of wines: white, red, rose, and sparkling; and knowing the basic food and wine pairings: red wine with steak and other pork and beef dishes, white wine with sushi, and dessert wine with cheese.

2. Consider your date’s preference

Your date may have a personal preference when it comes to wine. Before ordering for two, ask your date first what they like. If they pass the baton of ordering to you, then this is where your knowledge in wines will come in handy. One tip to remember: if it’s your date’s first time to try wine, it will be best to start off with an off-dry white wine.

3. Match the wine with the occasion

There are different types of wine that are perfect to use depending on the occasion. White wine for example, will work well for casual evenings. A formal dinner on the other hand will work best with red wine. This will also be good for long conversations. If you in a celebratory mood, sparkling wine would be best.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask

If the wine menu is a bit too complex for you, don’t be afraid to ask. The sommelier is the best person to ask about wines. You can tell them what food you are planning to order and they can suggest the most suitable wine that will go with it. Some restaurants also offer a wine-food pairing menu. You can also ask for this to guide you on what to order.

5. Make sure it’s within budget

Some wines are expensive. Check first if the wine you want to order is within your budget. Also make sure the wine that was suggested by the sommelier is well within your means.

6. Follow wine etiquette

If you wish to pour the wine for your date, remember not to fill the glass up to the rim. For red wines it should only be filled one-third full and for white wines it should be half-full. If the sommelier uncorks the wine bottle and pours the wine for you, they will usually pour a small amount unto your glass to give you a chance to taste the wine. Don’t hesitate to reject the wine if it really is not up to your expectations and standards. And like a good beer or a succulent sake, wines should not be devoured in one gulp. Take your time drinking it.

7. Never show off

Never show off to your date what little wine knowledge you have. This may just discourage your date and your aim of seeming intellectual and knowledgeable will turn against you. It’s best not to pretend to be a wine expert when you’re clearly not. Your date may even appreciate your honesty better than your pretentiousness. Also remember that a first date is a good chance for you to get to know your date better. Take this time to talk to your date and find out things about them. Refrain from talking about wines too much.

Following these seven tips will give you the confidence to handle your date properly. Who knows this one date may go out as planned and may work out for both of you. Being prepared is the key to a good first date. Knowing your wine and knowing how to order wine during the date – this will show your date you’ve come prepared for your first meeting.

By Debra Wright

Debra Wright is a creative and innovative blogger and online marketing specialist. She uses her wordsmith skills to share her ideas, thoughts, and tips to other people about topics that fascinate her, such as food and beverages. Follow Debra on twitter @debrawrites

Your Guide To The Best Breakfasts In Byron

Byron Bay is the Cadillac of Australian beach towns: wide stretches of white sand, deep cerulean waters, lighthouses dominating the sky, surfers everywhere and stunning sunrises and sunsets that will bring new light to your world.

Despite the crowds that flock to Byron, it still manages to remain a peaceful, small town at its core. Packed with shops and lined with bustling restaurants and cafes, you could spend days in Byron checking out the scene. Here’s a guide to help start your days off right with the best breakfast spots you’ll find in one of Australia’s most idyllic towns.

1. The Top Shop

65 Carlyle Street, Byron Bay

It seems like it is par for the course for locals to join the Top Shop cult. It’s earned a reputation as the best breakfast/brunch spot in town with to-die-for baked goods, delicious burgers and smooth coffee to start the morning off right.

2. Byron Beach Cafe

Clarkes Beach/Lawson Street, Byron Bay

If it’s breakfast with a view you’re after, look no further than the Byron Beach Cafe. Good for a morning coffee followed by a big brekkie, this cafe offers unbeatable views where you can soak up the sun and revel in the waterfront views that spread out over Clarkes Beach. You couldn’t be any close to the water unless you were sitting in it.

3. One One One

111 Jonson Street, Byron Bay

Another local hotspot, One One One is a scene to engage in all day long. Head over for its fantastic breakfast spreads, but don’t feel embarrassed to keep going back for more. Go for the buttermilk pancakes with some strawberry yoghurt and you’ll be smiling wide all day.

4. Bayleaf Cafe

2 Marvell Street, Byron Bay

It’s all about the hipsters at Bayleaf Cafe. With seasonal specials, incredible dishes and house-roasted coffee, Bayleaf is the ultimate people-watching place with a good brunch to boot.

5. The Byronian Cafe

58 Jonson Street, Byron Bay

A hit amongst locals and tourists alike, you can’t go wrong with The Byronian Cafe. Nestled on a park near the centre of Byron, this cafe offers a relaxing atmosphere coupled with a perfect cup of coffee and some great menu options for the ideal breakfast fix.

6. Utopia

13 Byron Street, Bangalow

Utopia has queues lining up around the block, so be sure to get there early. It’s the perfect pick if you want a more upmarket approach to brunch and is the place to go for breakfast with style.

7. Dip

1/21-25 Fletcher Street, Byron Bay

Another popular and local low-key breakfast spot, word is that Dip has the best BLT in all of Byron. This food haven defines busy, so if you can’t sit down and dine then be sure to take away something away and pull up a spot wherever you fancy.

8. Harvest Cafe

18 Old Pacific Highway, Newrybar Village

A bit further out of town, Harvest Cafe is in Newrybar and is most definitely worth the trip. Harvest Cafe offers tasty food at a friendly price. Enjoy breakfast or brunch on the balcony and let the day slowly unwind, as it will be a day well spent.

If you need help to find out what other local gems you should include on your Byron to-do list one of your local travel consultants such as Flight Centre may be able to help.

Author: Flight Centre Consultants know the area well, and are there to provide first hand information to help you plan your trips.

Cook Your Freshly Caught Fish Like a First-Class Chef

Salem Oregon - Halibut
Image by Edsel Little via Flickr

For a foodie, the kitchen is where the heart is—and for an outdoor cooking aficionado, the campfire is nature’s kitchen where it all goes down—some delicious walnut-fried bass fillets, the smokey allure of the fire pit, the camaraderie around a blazing campfire… Mmm. Cooking freshly caught fish under a starry sky surrounded by majestic trees is euphoria. Before you set out on your next date with Mother Nature, use the following guide to create a gourmet meal after a day of fishing.

Pre-Cooking Pointers

Cooking over an open fire is a privilege. Pay attention to the fire and wind at all times. Air quality and forest fires are serious concerns for national parks and campsites. First, make sure to check and follow campground restrictions on open fires, just as you would obtain licenses for boating and fishing. To enjoy all aspects of Mother Nature also means to respect her.

Use dry and seasoned wood to create a hot fire that burns cleanly. Try to build the base of the fire on a rock or bare mineral soil. Also, strong wind is a hazard and provokes sparks that can cause a forest fire. An ideal fire burns all the wood into coals simultaneously. As a result, the fire burns evenly without overzealous flames that can torch the fish or blacken cookware. Select a site safely away from bushes or tree branches.

Pan-Fried & Boiled Fish

Once your fire’s ablaze, you can fry or boil the fish. Frying is the most popular and requires minimal tools. You’ll need cooking oil, a cooking grate, spatula, pan, and breading (optional). After cleaning, cut your fish into fillets and bread them if you like. Heat the oil in the pan on the grate. Flip fillets often to ensure they don’t burn. Cooked fish will have a golden brown breading, be a shiny white color and flake easily.

Boiling fish is the purist cooking method. Start by boiling a pot of water over the fire and add cleaned, gutted dish to the pot. If the meat flakes when poked with a fork, it’s fully cooked. Sprinkle seasoning or melt butter over top and enjoy.

Wild Leaf Accents

An outdoor cooking connoisseur knows the fish-cooking basics, but he’ll put on a chef’s hat in the woods to create mouthwatering meals to impress his buddies. Go natural to flavor your fish fillets by wrapping fish in wild leaves. The Clymb lists the following as edible favorites:

  • Palm leaves
  • Banana leaves
  • Reed leaves
  • Corn husks
  • Grape leaves

Leaves from linden, walnut, sycamore, chestnut, oak and maple trees, as well as wild garlic, hibiscus and ramps, are also good to wrap food in. Trout wrapped in walnut leaves paired with wild garlic leaf-wrapped cheese creates a tasty meal. Use wet twine to secure the wild leaf fish fillets and toss them onto the coals. You can also fold long leaves around the fish and place the fish onto the coals folded-side down. Sinking your teeth into a coal-charred fish fillet wrapped in earthly goodness may just be the highlight of your camping experience. Don’t forget to wash it down with a cold beer.

How Soft Drinks, Even Diet Ones Harm Your Teeth

How Soft Drinks, Even Diet Ones Harm Your Teeth

Soft drinks for many people have replaced water as their staple drink. Statistics show that soft drink consumption is on the rise among people of all ages, but especially children and teenagers. Serving sizes have also increased over the years, now averaging 20 ounces.

A soft drink habit can have much worse consequences than many people think. Soft drinks contain extremely high amounts of refined sugar and are also very acidic. Excessive sugar consumption causes obesity and has been linked with a number of health problems including bad oral health. Acidic drinks also erode teeth enamel, possibly leading to a number of dental problems.

Drinking Soda Equivalent to Drinking Battery Fluid?

Soft drinks are extremely corrosive for your teeth due to the dangerous combination of high amounts of sugar and phosphoric acid that they contain. Some studies even go as far as insinuating that the consumption of soft drinks is as bad for your teeth as drinking battery fluid would be (don’t test this out though).

Acid-producing bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar. The more they are fed, the more tooth decay they cause. The acidity of soft drinks can lead to even more oral health issues than their sugar contents though. Phosphoric acid erodes tooth enamel, the protective barrier on the outside of your teeth. With the enamel gone your teeth are prone to a whole range of dental health problems.

Diet Soda is Not a Good Alternative

Diet soft drinks also contain phosphoric acid, and thus can cause the same amount of enamel erosion as regular soft drinks. An extreme diet soda habit was actually shown to be as bad as a crystal meth or crack cocaine addiction with regards to oral health in a recent case study. In this case study three people’s oral health was compared. All three subjects in the study had maintained poor oral hygiene for years. The first subject had a crystal meth addiction, the second subject had been addicted to cocaine for 18 years and the third one had been drinking an excessive amount of diet soda (about two liters per day) for several years. In the comparison that was done, oral health was determined to be about equally bad among all of them.

While this case study was too limited to provide conclusive evidence on the impact of diet soda on oral health, it definitely provides food for thought.

How to Solve the Soft Drink Problem

Moderation in the consumption of any type of soft drink is advisable and when you do drink soft drinks, you should rinse your mouth with water afterwards or chew sugar-free gum. Using a straw can also help, because it limits the contact of your teeth with the drink.

Try to stop buying soft drinks in the supermarket and start considering them as a treat for when you go out or are on holidays. Once you’ve given up your soft drink habit for a few months you’ll notice that you stop craving these sugar-laden drinks.

Always make sure to keep practicing good oral hygiene and regularly see a dentist, especially if you notice any indications of enamel erosion or other dental health issues.

Zane Schwarzlose writes for Greenspoint Dental, a Houston dental office. Zane does drink diet soda and feels bad about it.

Beginner’s Guide To The Best Brazilian Cuts Of Beef

Beginner’s Guide to the Best Brazilian Cuts of Beef

As you might know, Brazilians are pretty big on their meat, maybe even more so than Americans. Meat is definitely the main ingredient at a churrascaria, which in Brazil is a place where meat is cooked in the churrasco way (the equivalent to our barbecue). At a big churrascaria there can be more than 15 different types of meat to choose from during your meal. Given the fact that churrascarias usually offer an all-you-can-eat formula, you can imagine the amounts of meat that are served there every day. Don’t worry if you also like to get your daily portion of veggies, the Brazilians do actually serve vegetables with their meat as well. Any churrascaria normally has a salad bar that offers an ample choice of cold veggies.

A Brazilian barbecue favorite is beef. Brazilians use slightly different cuts of beef than Americans do though. To prepare yourself for your next churrascaria visit, we’ve listed the best Brazilian cuts of beef below.

Picanha

A favorite among most Brazilians. Picanha is a cut from the smaller side of the top of the rump. The meat is cut in thin slices and put on a skewer to grill. Picanha is grilled with the fat still on, which contributes to the flavor and juiciness of the meat, and is then cut off when it’s ready. Good picanha is juicy, tender and overall delicious. Making your own picanha is quite difficult in the US however, because beef is cut very differently in the US than in Brazil.

Alcatra

This top sirloin cut is another one of Brazil’s favorites. With just the right seasoning (not too much) and a good chef this sirloin will be a feast for your taste buds.

Filet Mignon

This one is a bit better known outside of Brazil. Often considered the best cut of beef there is, it won’t disappoint when prepared by a good churrascaria chef.

Baby Beef

Baby beef is considered a delicacy in Brazil, and has a price tag to go along with this. This cut of beef comes from cows that are not fully mature yet, but not as young as veal. It’s cut from the tenderloin. The meat is more lean and softer than that of a mature cow.

Contrafilé

This cut is surrounded by fat, which adds to its amazing flavor. It shouldn’t be cooked too much because it tends to get a bit tough when overcooked. No more than medium is our recommendation.

The best part of going to a churrascaria is that you don’t really have to choose between these different cuts of beef. If you can handle it, you can actually try all of them. You might want to start looking for some bigger pants though.

If you’re not drooling all over your shirt by now, the churrascaria experience might not be for you. If you are however, you’ve probably picked up the phone already to reserve a table at your local churrascaria. Enjoy your meal!

Zane Schwarzlose writes for Estancia Churrascaria, an Austin Brazilian steakhouse. Zane got hungry just writing this article.

Grilling Food: Quick And Easy Recipes

The warmer months of the year are often the perfect time to celebrate a beautiful day or evening with family and friends. When Americans get together, what do they like to do? Eat! Grilling is a tradition that has spanned generations; many could say that some of their best memories were at parties with delicious grilled food. Why not fire up the grill the next time you have guests over. Check out these simple and delicious grilling recipes to try out!

Marinated Rosemary Lemon Chicken

For this easy grilling recipe, take ½ cup of lemon juice, 1/8 cup of olive oil, two tablespoons of dried rosemary and combine into a large, re-sealable bag with sliced lemon and four boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Marinate it the night before for around eight hours. The following day, preheat the grill to high heat and grill the chicken around 8 minutes per side. Feel free to use fresh rosemary sprigs as desired: and you are ready to serve a main meal!

Sirloin Steak with Garlic Butter

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat; inside, melt ½ cup of butter in a small saucepan, and add 2 teaspoons of garlic powder and 4 minced cloves of garlic. Set aside for now.

Take each steak and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Grill the steak between 4 to 5 minutes for each side, or until it reaches your personal tastes. After completion, take the garlic butter and brush it on the steak. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes before serving.

Grilled Sausage with Potatoes and Green Beans

Again, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Take a large sheet of foil and place ¾ pound of fresh green beans, ½ pound of red potatoes, 1 large, sliced onion and 1 pound of smoked sausage cut into 1 inch pieces. Season with salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. Top everything with 1 teaspoon of butter. Create a tight foil seal over the ingredients with a small opening; pour 1/3 cup of water into the opening. Place the package onto the grill and cook between 20 to 30 minutes.

Marinated Wild Salmon

If you tend to like seafood more than red meat, check out this recipe: take 4 salmon filets and season them with salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon of onion powder and a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. Put that aside, and in a medium mixing bowl, mix together ¼ cup of olive oil, ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice, 4 cloves of minced garlic, 3 tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons of white sugar, 2 tablespoons of chopped green onions and 2 tablespoons of cilantro.

Once this is mixed together, pour the marinade over the salmon, cover it and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Once ready, preheat the oven to 450 degrees; arrange the salmon on a sheet made for broiling, and bake it for 5 minutes. Raise temperature to 500 degrees, turn the filets and broil for another 5 minutes. Once completed, you will have an incredible seafood meal!

These recipes are simple, fairly cheap and filling: the perfect choice for entertaining guests. Whip off those grill covers, fire up the burners and prepare to feast!

Featured images:

Thomas is a grilling connoisseur and a full time chef who has worked for many restaurants throughout his career. He enjoys sharing some of his own recipes and coming up with new ones over time.