Culinary Gizmodo

Cookin’ and Smiling

Mother’s Day Gift

It has come to that time of year again when we celebrate Mother’s Day. We treasure our moms so we want to give her that one Mother’s Day gift that shows we love her. We care so we are going to remind ourselves what mom likes and think of Mother’s day ideas to surprise her.

It could be a last-minute rush but it’s better to get a present than come empty-handed even if we live such hectic lives. For those who aren’t so well off, there’s always simple ideas like a mother’s day poem or gift card. As the saying goes, it’s the thought that counts.

Our moms are the ones that gave birth to us. Hours of labor and pain. Carrying us for all those months and showered us with love as only a mother can. It’s the same all over the world. So we are going to give you some great ideas for mother’s day gifts that you could give or didn’t think of.

How about flowers? The simple yet practical present that will surely bring a smile to her face simply because she’s a woman and which woman doesn’t love flowers, especially if it came from someone she loves. Other ideas would be a gift basket, fruit basket, jewelry, a dress, a gift card, spa treatment for a day or maybe taking her to the hairdressers for a style redo. All these choices also depends on the age of your mom and lifestyle she leads. We have to remember that your mom has a mother too, namely your grandmother and I’m sure you understand she celebrates this day as well because without her your mom wouldn’t be here. A present for your grandmother would be nice too.

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The best mothers day gift Here

Author: Jeffery A Van Buerle
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Fri, July 18 2014 » Random » No Comments

Making a Good Dandelion Wine

For gardeners and landscapers alike, the dandelion represents a threat unparalleled by other pests. These little yellow flowers can invade a lawn or garden in a matter of days and spell ruin for a lovingly tended piece of your landscape. However, viewing them as an obstructive menace might be a little misguided. There are many, many uses for dandelions that far outweigh there negative reputation. In addition to a use as food, dandelions have many medicinal properties, and their roots can even be used to make a drink that is much like coffee.

For generations, though, dandelions have been harvested and used in one of our favorite beverages: Wine. May families possess a particular recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation. In recent history, though, dandelion wine has gone down in popularity. This is mainly due to the increased urbanization of people. More and more of the population is concentrated in urban centers, and going out to pick a basket or bucket full of dandelions is not as convenient as it once used to be.

Dandelion wine is a product of the yellow flower petals of the plant. Unfortunately, the greens of the plant, though they have many other beneficial properties, would lend a bitter, “green” flavor to the wine that has very little appeal. The wine produce from the petals has a sweet, refreshing taste that is just as, if not more, satisfying than many of the white wines on the market today. Like white wines, it is best served chilled on a hot day, and goes well with lighter foods.

Most recipes for dandelion wine are very similar to each other. The main ingredients are always dandelion petals, water, sugar and yeast. The amount of dandelions petals that is used varies from recipe to recipe, though it is generally between six and ten cups. When plucking flower petals off the flowers, this is a lot of dandelions! What determines the amount of petals used is generally the amount of sugar used. The sugar part of the recipe is usually just ordinary, granulated sugar, though there are recipes that use honey instead (this will be discussed in a moment). Sugar is the part of the wine that is fermented and turned into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Higher amounts of sugar result in higher levels of alcohol, which can overwhelm the flavor of the little flowers. This is probably why some recipes contain a much higher proportion of flowers. Finally, the yeast is the part of any wine making recipe that does the work of turning the mix into wine. Though any kind of yeast will do the desired work of turning sugar into alcohol, winemakers have been using specific varieties of yeast to ferment wine since the craft began thousands of years ago. In modern times, these varieties of yeast can be located in any wine making supply shop. Yeasts that are best used for dandelion wine are often the same yeasts that do well in making white wines.

Traditional dandelion wine recipes produce a clear, yellow wine that has much of the same characteristics as the popular white wines on the market today. They are best served chilled, white lighter foods that will not overwhelm the flavor of the wine. Dandelion wine also tends to be lower in alcohol content than most traditional wines as well.

Dandelion wine recipes have come a long way from just the basic recipe, though. You can find recipes for dandelion wine that contain a wide variety of ingredients from other flowers, fruits and even herbs and spices. Flowers that are commonly combined with dandelions to produce magnificent wines are roses, lavender and chamomile, just to name a few. Examples of fruit wines that benefit well from a pairing with dandelions are those made with melons, strawberries or any other fruits that have a lighter flavor and will not dominate the flavor profile of the wine.

Probably the most popular of ingredients to pair with dandelions in wine making, though, is honey. When combined with honey, dandelions make a wine that is commonly called a “metheglin.” A metheglin is any mead (honey wine) that is made with one or more herbs (such as dandelions) as a main part of its flavoring component. Metheglins are incredibly versatile, and almost any herb or spice can be used to make a wine. In addition to just a drinking wine, metheglins are often made as wines that are used solely for cooking and as marinades. When used as part of a metheglin recipe, dandelions produce a wine that is both complex and flavorful and pairs well with a wide variety of foods and occasions.

One can easily see that even in the field of wine making, dandelions have vast amounts of potential. The beneficial use of this plant has been largely overlooked, and it has come to be viewed as a pest and an enemy. Perhaps the time has come that we reconsider our views of this little herb and begin to work with, rather than against it. If you would like to see two prime examples of how dandelions can be used to make wine, please visit the site Dandelion Wine Recipes .

Thanks for reading, and Blessed Be!

Author: Joshua Traversie
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Fri, July 11 2014 » Cooking » No Comments

Handmade Great Mother’s Day Gift Basket Ideas

With Mother’s Day just approaching, it is time for us to give some thought to what to give mom this year. With times tough everywhere, she surely knows budgets are stretched. Consider a handmade Mother’s Day gift basket. Listed below are four awesome gift baskets suggestions.

First of all you will need a basket to create a handmade Mother’s Day gift. Look around for getting ideas. If mom were into wicker kind of baskets as it complements the decor of the home, this would be a fantastic choice. If she is more fashionable, a gift basket could be plastic and reusable. This also assists to reuse the basket to save Planet Earth. Just remember the basket itself is something special, regardless of what.

What designs does mom really like and colors? What should be the size of the basket for a Mother’s Day gift basket? The basket should not be too weighty if it’s a small basket. Make use of colored paper to gift wrap the Mother’s Day basket with and secure it using a ribbon or perhaps a scarf as a tie. Mother may use the tie individually as the second gift item.

One particular mother’s day gift basket idea is three ideas combined into one or simply pick one which fits your mom. Coffee, hot cocoa, or tea, which is her drink usually chosen? Buy mom her favorite coffee beans or gourmet coffee, but the flavored more better quality brand. This is a special gift together with her favorite creamer. Add more coffee stirrers, sugar, coffee scoop, as well as a coffee mug. There could also be a jar to serve the coffee into. How about cupcakes or mint candies as an additional treat? Coffee is a great idea to use wicker with, as the shades are so lovely. Surprise her with the latest movie to enjoy along with her coffee, she could kick back and unwind.

If mom doesn’t like coffee, then go for hot cocoa. Buy her a container of her favorite brand, stirrers, chocolate buttons, and give a brand new coffee mug. Add cupcakes as a treat. For an additional gift, put a gift certificate to her favorite beauty shop for a new hair-do and manicure.

The next idea would be to make use of her favorite tea. Tea is calming and relaxing. So, ensure that you present her with different flavors of her absolute favorites. Put them in baggies with every single flavor. Get her new book or calming audio CD she has been seeking for quite a while to get it. Put sugar cubes, stirrers, and also an exquisite teacup to complement it.

Using any of these three ideas, have the grand children make a mini scrapbook. They could make use of latest photographs and write down the sayings and designs especially for grandmother. Either use one book for each kid and they could have their own special page as a gift, or make small ones for every kid if there is space in the Mother’s Day gift basket.

These ideas for handmade Mother’s Day gift basket ideas are so inexpensive and affordable. Items are used, items are used again, and there are special warm touches in each and every gift basket made.

Fell free to check my site at that list Top 50 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas.

Author: Shinsawa Sugiarto
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Fri, July 11 2014 » Random » No Comments

Crock Pot Casseroles are the Quintessential One Dish Meal

I’m a fan of casseroles – meat, vegetables, and carbohydrates all in one dish. But when you really take a look, you realize as you’re cooking that casseroles are truly NOT a one dish meal. You have a pot to cook the noodles, a strainer to drain them, a pan to brown the meat, a pot to heat the cream base and combine everything in, and a baking dish to bake it in. That doesn’t seem like one dish; it seems more like five.

Then I realized there’s absolutely no reason why you couldn’t make casseroles a one dish meal by making them in your crock pot. Yet, to be fair, it’s not one dish. You do have to brown the meat before adding it to your crock pot, so you use two dishes. Still, two is better than five when it comes to dishwashing.

Following is a recipe reference – merely suggestions in how to put together a crock pot casserole. Add or delete meats, vegetables, experiment with seasonings, and create your own quintessential one dish meal.

Crock Pot Casseroles

1 pound ground meat (beef, chicken, turkey)

1 can cream based soup

1 ½ cup water

1 cup celery, chopped

2 cloves minced garlic

1 onion, chopped

16 oz frozen vegetables

8 oz cream cheese or sour cream

½ tsp black pepper

1 tsp each season salt and dry mustard

4-5 cups noodles (any strong kind such as penne, ziti, egg noodles, macaroni)

Spray crock pot with cooking spray. Brown meat and drain. If using cream cheese, melt with meat over medium heat. Transfer to slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients except noodles, mix well. Layer noodles on top. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours, until noodles are tender.

Side notes:

1)Depending on the noodle, you may need to mix throughout cooking time. If this is not possible, layer the noodles between the meat mixture.

2)If you are using sour cream, add during the last 30-45 minutes of cooking.

3)Get brave, experiment and enjoy your creation!

Natalie is a work at home mom who loves crock pot cooking and quick and easy recipes in general. To view her crock pot recipes visit, which also includes a variety of helpful hints, cooking tips, quick and easy recipes, great products, and a fun and informative newsletter.

Author: Natalie Schloesser
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Wed, July 9 2014 » Cooking » No Comments