Category Archives: Food & Drink

Australian Wine Regions That Should Be On Your Must-See List

Australia has always had an exceptional wine scene, and many of our states are home to impressive wineries positioned in gorgeous regional pockets. At this point in time, vineyards in Australia are host to 100 different grape varieties in 65 wine regions, making the wine scene here ripe for variety if nothing else! Although many people regularly drink the wines produced by these wineries, far fewer actually take the time to actually visit them, which is a shame as learning more about the wine in the place I was produced is a very rewarding experience. In this article, we discuss a few areas that you should visit as soon as possible, particularly if you’ve not yet had the opportunity to visit any wineries. 

Checking out wine country in the eastern states

If you’ve typically only bought wine online, you’re definitely missing out on a special and unique experience by not visiting the areas in which these wines are produced. If you’re a Victoria native, then the Yarra Valley should definitely be next on your adventure list – right now, the Yarra Valley contains 300 vineyards and an impressive 160 wineries, making for a lot of potential stops if you have the time! The Yarra Valley should be of particular note to fans of sparkling wine, as the region’s coolers climate lending itself to the production of sparkling Chardonnay, in addition to other favourites such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Pinot Noir. If you call New South Wales home, then the Hunter Valley should be somewhere you check out as soon as possible. The Hunter Valley is where James Busby, considered by many to be the father of Australian wine, established the 20,000 vine cuttings he brought from Europe in the mid-19th century. The fruit produced by these vines now create remarkable and heavily awarded examples of Chardonnay, Shiraz and Semillon.

Wineries in South and Western Australia 

South Australia perhaps the best reputation as a wine producing state, and the Barossa Valley is perhaps the best example of the wine grown here. Originally settled by German immigrants in 1842, the Barossa contains some of the oldest examples of vines in the world. It is in the Barossa Valley that the 150 wineries and 80 cellar doors produce a remarkable assortment of Chardonnay, Eden Valley Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, ensuring that whatever your preferred tipple is, you’ll find a remarkable example of it here. Finally, if you’re on the Western coast of Australia, Margaret River is by far the best area for wine you can visit. It is here in the southwest nook of Western Australia where you can find 215 wine produces, and although you might think that the other states produce more overall, Margaret River still accounts for a staggering 20 percent of Australia’s premium wines. It is here you will find delicious Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

Visit the homes of your favourite drinks todayIf you’ve never properly considered the lush, scenic areas where Australia’s wines are produced, perhaps now is the time to start planning your first trip. This way, you can pick the brains of people who live and breathe wine and learn more about your preferred style than you ever thought possible.

5-Step Simple Guide to Cook Perfect Steak as a Beginner

Eating a Delicious Steak

Steak is one of the most delicious meals you can cook. It is something that has been such an influential part of our culture, that most things such as manliness are associated with steak. 

This meat is a delicious meal that will keep you full for the entire day. People save money for weeks so that they can have delicious steak dinner. However, cooking steak isn’t the easiest for beginners. Here’s how you cook it right.

Cooking the Steak Right

Cooking steak right is all about temperature control. The meat is so delicious that the flavour you get will usually be enough from the meat itself. You don’t need a lot of seasonings except salt and black pepper to bring out what steak has. Steak requires fine temperature control and an understanding of the Browning process. 

By understanding how the cooking process works, you can come out ahead when it comes to making and delicious steak. Here are five steps to make the right steak:

1. Choosing the Right Cut

It all starts with getting the right cut of meat. Not every piece of meat is good enough to be cooked into steak. Every part of the cow has its use, but for cooking steak, you need a few particular cuts. Unfortunately, these parts will usually be the most expensive, but they are worth it for a delicious steak meal. The crème de la crème of stakes is the Ribeye. 

You should be choosing anything else if you are looking for a delicious steak meal. This fact is especially true if you don’t often have steak.

2. Choosing the Right Pan

Going along with the concept of temperature control, you want your steak to have good colour as well. Temperature control and colouring all have to do with the pan you choose. When it comes to how to cook steak, it is all about choosing the right meat and putting it in the right pan. Once you have made those basic choices, you come out ahead in the journey to a delicious steak.

3. Other Methods to Cook the Steak

One thing to know is that you don’t have to cook it on the stovetop. There are several ways to cook the steak for it to taste great. One such way is to cook it in the oven. It is the same way as you would on the stovetop, but you have more control over it since it is in the oven. 

The oven method requires that you brown the steak if you want in the pot then transfer it to the oven. However, you can cook it from start to finish in the oven if the colour isn’t that important for you.

4. Having the Right Tools Available

There are a few essential tools you should have when cooking steak. The first one is an instant-read a digital thermometer. This instant-read thermometer should be explicitly made for meat, so you can have it when it’s time for you to measure the temperature of your beef. The internal temperature is what determines how well your meat is done. If the temperature inside is too high, you have overcooked and ruined your meat. Don’t ruin a $20 piece of steak.

5. Cooking Your Steak Right

Once you have done all those things, it is time for you to start cooking the steak. Turn the pot on a high and add in some oil and herbs like garlic when the oil starts bubbling up. Add the stake in at one minute apiece to each side until it colours up nicely. Once that has happened, you can then reduce temperature and start cooking the internal part of the meat. 

You can even add butter and base the beef in it. Doing this will make things even better for you, as you can control the flavour of the meat. As you are cooking the meat, you should be checking the internal temperature and have a chart of what is considered medium-rare, which is the perfect choice for meat.

Going Vegan Made Easy

If you’re thinking about going vegan, it’s a very beneficial choice, not only for you and your health, but also for the planet, as animal agriculture contributes to climate change, deforestation, and uses massive amounts of water. When you make the decision to cut out eggs, meat, dairy, and all other animal products, you’ll need to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients necessary. Going vegan overnight can be a difficult change, both mentally and physically, so taking baby steps will make it much easier to successfully go vegan and cut out all the animal products from your life. 

Set Your Own Pace

You need to make sure that you are not pushing yourself too much and are going at a steady pace. Some people decide to go completely raw vegan overnight, meaning they not only cut out all animal products, they also cut out cooked foods, so they’re only eating raw fruits and veggies. This takes a toll on your body as you’re used to a certain way of life. This doesn’t have to be the way you go vegan, as everyone’s journeys are different. You don’t have to jump into only vegetables even if the people around you are doing it, there’s many ways to ease into it! With all of the plant based burgers, sausages, chicken, etc., there’s bound to be an option you like! This is one of the easiest ways to ease into going vegan. There’s also vegan cheeses, vegan eggs, and many vegan milk options! With all of these options, you’ll forget what meat tastes like, as these will become your new norm. 

You Will Get Your Protein

One of the common misconceptions about going vegan is that plants don’t have protein, but that is not the case. Beans, nuts, and soy products all contain plenty of protein and your body is able to easily digest them, unlike meat. Even bodybuilders are able to sustain and gain muscle on a vegan diet! Vegan meal planner apps can help you make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need, including protein. 

Pay More Attention to Fruits and Vegetables

A lot of people start eating a lot of bread, noodles, pasta and fries to adjust to the absence of the more filling non-vegan foods. This is also not a healthy thing to do when you are trying to become a vegan. Instead of focusing on these baked foods, you should go for fresh fruits and vegetables. They are not only easier to consume but are delicious and full of nutrients as well. If you keep eating bread or fries all the time, it will have a bad effect on your health.

Start Eating More Cuisines

If you keep eating boiled vegetables and raw fruits all the time, you will get bored. So, to always keep your food interesting, you should explore more cuisines. Several cuisines offer delicious vegan food. For example, Asian food has a lot of vegetables and you will find a new vegan dish every time. Indian curries are also an excellent option as they have delicious recipes to cook grains. The more food you will explore the more vegan food you can add to your meal plan.

How to Smoke the perfect Smoked Salmon

Two years ago, after my husband and I sold our home, we wanted to spend a small budget on ourselves to buy something. For some time we had been eyeballing a big smoker in the backyard and decided to splurge a little and buy the smoker of our dreams. Since then, the smoker has replaced our barbecue in the backyard, and we cook year-round on our smoker, often several times a week.

SMOKING MEALS AT HOME 

The basics from smoked chicken to ribs and even brisket were mastered. We stayed away from smoked seafood for a long time, regardless of where we live. Living in the landlocked midwest is difficult to get by with fresh, high-quality seafood. We have found that food delivery services are becoming increasingly common in our region, so we decided to look into food delivery.

You see, we both grew up by the ocean, and since we were kids, we both had eaten seafood. Unless you were to ask both of us what we miss out on living by the coast, I can tell you that we will both say “eating seafood!”

We were pleased to hear that we no longer sawfish as a distant memory. We could place an order for high-quality, wild-caught seafood online and it would still arrive frozen at our doorstep.

Locally, we can buy frozen seafood but it is never clear where the seafood comes from, and how fresh it is. I want to know if I’m getting coho or chinook salmon fillets from the freezer section of my grocery store and not generic pale-colored, thin frozen salmon.

Instead, we can now order beautiful and tasty fresh-caught and flash frozen seafood from Global Seafood that ships fast and get frozen still.

So, we have.

Now that we’ve worked out how to source seafood of high quality, we’ve decided to perfect our home salmon smoking techniques.

HOW TO SMOKE A SALMON FILLET: 

Grilled salmon is great in and of itself, but it can take your home-cooked salmon to the next stage to learn how to hot smoke. Hot smoked salmon is a bit sweet, a bit smoky and a lot of delicious.

Smoking needs lower grill temperatures and the use of wood, wood chips, or sawdust that burns slowly while creating plenty of aromatic smoke when cooking your meat. The smoke penetrates your meat or fish while infusing your food with a delicious smoky taste. Smoking salmon is a tasty and special way to integrate this great, balanced food into your diet.

SMOKING SALMON RECIPE: 

Since hot smoked salmon is the most common and easiest way to smoke salmon, we’ll share our recycling of hot smoked salmon with you.

The first thing you need to do is decide whether you would like to use a dry brine or a wet brine. Either one has no major benefits, but a wet brine would do better for more tender forms of meat, such as fish. Cold brining helps tougher meat cuts but some backyard smokers adhere to smoked salmon by cold brining. The decision is completely yours. We’ve tried both and think wet brining gives you a slightly better taste. A wet brine requires more room, and more time to prepare.

TO PREPARE FOR A WET BRINE, YOU WILL NEED: 

Broad Sauce Pan 1/3 cup Cosher salt 1 Cup Brown sugar (preferably dark brown sugar) 1 Quarter of water 3-5 cups of ice INGREDIENTS FOR SMOKED SALMON: 5lbs of salmon (variety of choice). Rinsed and washed.

There’s something sweet, honey or real maple syrup to baste your salmon when it’s smoky. About 1/2 cup.

DIRECTIONS: 

1 Prepare your wet brine by mixing water, salt and brown sugar together in a large saucepan over high heat, stirring frequently. Put the salt and sugar into the water just to a simmer.

2 Move the hot brine to a large bowl or glass platter and add the ice to cool the brine down.

3 Add the salmon to the brine until cooled, cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. Depending on the time frame for smoking you can get away with as little as 6-8 hours in the brine.

4 Extract the salmon after your brine period, and discard your brine.

5 Rinse off your salmon, and dry hold. Place the salmon on a cooling rack and allow for 2-4 hours of air dry in the refrigerator. You want your salmon outside to dry to the point that it has a slightly tacky, shiny look.

6 Get your smoker ready while the salmon is drying. Smoker begins at about 120 degrees.

7 Placing the salmon on a smoker’s rack. If you smoke fillets make sure they don’t hit each other.

8 Smoke the salmon for about two hours, at 120 degrees. After the first two hours test and baste your salmon with honey.

9 Raising the temperature to 140 degrees within the first two hours. Gradually heat up every hour or two before you get the smoker up to 175 degrees. Honey basting forever 1-2 hours. * Raising the temperature on your smoker slowly stops any of the white liquid protein from flowing out of the salmon. * * 

10 You’re looking at about 5-6 hours of total smoking time. Your salmon will reach an internal temperature of between 130 and 140 degrees.

11 You will quickly enjoy some of your salmon and let the leftovers cool off.

12 Wrap your leftovers in plastic wrap after they’ve cooled. Your salmon can hold for up to 2 weeks in the fridge and can be frozen for up to one year.

Now your Alaskan is ready to serve to family and friends!

Drinking Alcoholic Beverages Responsibly

Around 88,000 people die from alcohol associated deaths in the United States each year. Alcohol takes a strong toll on your health and can be addicting leading to so many people cutting their lives short for some alcohol. If you drink responsibility though, you can safely enjoy the great pleasures of wine or any other beverage with alcohol. Here are some things to keep in mind to help you drink responsibly.

Your Age

Alcohol is illegal in the United States for consumption under the age of 21 years. There are so many deaths each year reported from alcohol poisoning in young teens who drink. A male nurse who works in the ER said that it is hard to find scrubs for men and his scrubs get filthy from all the drunken teens who are rushed to the Emergency Room. He wishes parents and teachers would educate their teens regarding the dangers of alcohol and not to make it easily accessible for them, and then he would not have to buy so many scrubs. Old people cannot handle to much alcohol as well, especially if they are not used to drinking much.

Your Stage

Your stage of life is also a crucial factor to consider. If you have a medial history or have had any sort of physical or mental complications in the past be sure to talk to your doctor before drinking any alcohol. If you are pregnant, nursing, or trying to become pregnant consult with your doctor if you are allowed any alcohol consumption or any limited intake.

Drink in Moderation

Like most things in life, all things are good in normal, regular amounts. Anything excessive is never good. There are suggested amounts which are considered “normal” alcohol consumption amounts, but really you must know yourself. Nobody knows you better than your own self, therefore the suggested amounts are nice, but you must know your own limits and effects that your body has. Many people need to drink way less than the recommended amount. According to Mayo Clinic, moderate alcohol drinking in healthy adults generally consists of one drink a day for females and two drinks a day for males.

Safety and Law

You must remember that laws and safety precautions are for your own benefit. The government and high ups who are restricting the amount you drink, are not doing this for their own benefit. They are simply helping you save your own life. There is a law that you cannot drive if you are under the influence of alcohol. There are so many car accidents and deaths that are reported from drunken drivers on the road. The drunk or high driver do not only risk their own life, but the lives of all the other people on the road. If you know that you are going to a party and will drink, be sure to get yourself a designated driver or get a cab. Another thing to remember is not to drink on an empty stomach. Be sure to eat well before and while you are drinking. If you had coffee and energy drinks then do NOT drink any alcohol, as they do not go well together at all since alcohol is a depressant. This is just the responsible thing for you to do, to save your own life.

Quality vs. Quantity

Instead of buying a drinking a lot cheap, low quality wine, beer, or whisky. Consider investing in a more expensive, and quality bottle of wine which you can slowly savor the taste and enjoy. It is a much more self-respectable way of drinking. Most people who just drink beer bottles all day and roll around drunk are from the lower people of society. Associate yourself with the dignified way of drinking and you will earn a healthy life and self-respect.

Drink with Reliable Friends

When you drink alone, then you have no limitation. If your temptation to drink more kicks in, you can just drink without limits. This can be extremely unhealthy and unsafe. By drinking with reliable friends who you can discuss your drinking plan and they will help you stick to it, then you can avoid over drinking. Be sure they are the kind of friends who are disciplined and will not push you or influence you in any negative way to push you to drink beyond your limits. Look out for your friends as well and encourage each other by creating a positive pear pressure to drink the safe and correct amount for each one of you.

These are just some things to keep in mind and tips to implement into your lifestyle when you’re at the appropriate age to start drinking. If you are a parent or teacher and have teenagers, talk and educate your teen about all these safety and importance and staying healthy and it is not worth risking your life for some alcohol.