Getting Crafty: Design Your TV Tables

Before_and_after

TV tables are a common staples in many homes.  Whether you are an admitted Before_and_aftercouch potato or you find yourself gathering with friends around a TV often a TV table is pulled out.  The question is, “Does it have to look so boring?” After all you are entertaining and shouldn’t a TV table reflect my style as any constant piece of furniture in your home.

tv table

A friend of mine by the name of Anna Stone is absolutely incredible when it comes to design.  At visit to her home, I was struck with what she did to her TV table. Here are a few quick ideas for design. This turned out to have bronze hue.

What you will need:

  • Gold Spray paint
  • Flower stickerCU_of_Table_edge
  • Black paint at the edge to cover blemishes.
  • Paper towel used to imprint the edge
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Chef Harris’ Tricks and Tips for Surviving the Holidays with Diabetes

 

holidays-diabetes

http://eugeenapatterson.com-I find that with this diabetes I can be disciplined most of the time except during the holiday season. Who in their right mind is not tempted by the scent of gooey desserts and those traditional dishes like mac & cheese and cornbread dressing? Well, I am tempted but can’t afford to give in to it with this diabetes.

Chef Harris kindly sent me some tips that I’m going to share with you and think you should share too. This is what she said:

  • Use sweetener in your coffee and tea. Keep a tiny amount of a natural sweetener like agave nectar or honey in your pocketbook at all times for when you’re away from home.
  • Don’t over indulge in starches. I know that’s easier said than done but take only a tablespoon of dressing, mac & cheese or mashed potatoes. Have a bit more of the green bean casserole instead or best of all, green beans without all of the extra stuff in the casserole.
  • Have someone else fix your plate. This always works better than you fixing it. Tell them to give you only a tiny bit of everything. If there’s something there you know you shouldn’t have, be brave and tell them to skip it and give you a little extra of something safe and healthy.

READ MORE

my-plate

10 Chinese Dishes That Real Chinese People Don’t Eat

There is Chinese food and then there is Americanized Chinese food. Both can be delicious, but it’s always good to know the difference between the two. To kick off Chinese Food Week, Girl Meets Food editor Mary Kong has graciously compiled a listicle to help you out.

Like many cuisines, authentic Chinese cooking has been bastardized over the decades. What Chinese people really eat at home—lots of vegetables, a sprinkle of meat, maybe some fruit—it’s not glamorous, but it’s simple comfort food. Everything is served family-style and everyone has a seat at the table. You won’t see desserts on most Chinese menus. In fact, if you knew what we really ate at home, you’d probably turn green. Here’s a list of popular Chinese dishes that are not really Chinese.  READ MORE

The Tradition of Roasting Pig & Cuban Roast Suckling Pig Recipe

pig roast or hog roast is an event or gathering which involves the barbecuing of whole hog (the castrated male pig or boar, bred for consumption at about 12 months old). Pig roasts in the mainland American Deep South are often referred to as a pig pickin’, although roasts are also a common occurrence in Cuba as well as the non-mainland US state of Hawaii (a luau),[3] with roasts being done in the mainland states by descendants of other areas.

new pig photo

The tradition of the pig roast goes back centuries, and possibly longer. There are many ways to roast pork, including open fire rotisserie style roasting, and “caja china” style box grilling.[4] Many families traditionally have a pig roast for Thanksgiving or Christmas. In Miami and other areas with large Cuban, Puerto Rican, or other Caribbean populations pig roasts are often held on Christmas Eve by families and friends[5][6] whereas families from Hawaii often hold a roast on memorial day.

Ingredients

  • juice of 20 limes, strained
  • juice of 8 oranges, strained
  • 4 large heads garlic
  • 1 cup minced fresh oregano leaves
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 4 cups roughly chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon parsley leaves
  • 5 tablespoons salt
  • 1 whole suckling pig (12 to 15 pounds), split and washed

Directions

Place pig, belly down, into a large deep roasting pan. Thoroughly rub pig with marinade. Place in refrigerator overnight, basting occasionally.
Preheat oven to 275 °F. Pour off excess marinade from pan.
Cover pig’s ears, snout and tail with aluminum foil.
Prop mouth open with 1½ inch ball of foil.  Place in oven and cook for about 4½ hours (20 minutes per pound) or until internal temperature reads 160 °F.
Baste with marinade every 30 minutes. If pig starts to get too dark while cooking, cover with aluminum foil.

Holiday Potluck Ideas-The Healthy Way

Green Bean Casserole

The holidays are once again right around the corner.  Many of us will be either preparing our own holiday meals or perhaps joining in on a potluck at a friend’s house, the office or a house of worship.  If you are the one hosting a potluck dinner, why not try something different this year.  Add a few twists to the average holiday meal by coming up with an ethnic theme or healthy nontraditional side dishes.  Although it may seem challenging to eat healthy during the holiday season, here are some tips that will give you a different perspective on how to prepare healthy and delicious holiday meals.

First, make sure that people sign up for the dish they will be bringing—that is a great way to ensure there are no duplicates and that everyone is sticking with the theme.  Its also a good idea to have everyone bring copies of their recipe to share with others.  Finally, if you have a few friends who can’t cook to save their lives, they can always bring a drink like wine or egg nog.

Aside from the typical turkey or ham that is common fare at holiday potlucks, here are some menu ideas that will lighten up your holiday meal.  

A casserole dish is a simple and great idea because they are usually one dish meals and can feed a large number of people.  Green bean casserole is one of the more well known casseroles. This recipe from Eating Well magazine is highly recommended by Dr. Oz.  It’s half the calories with just as much taste. Click Here for Recipe

Zucchini Casserole

 A zucchini rice casserole is another option.  You can substitute white rice for brown rice and reduce the cheese by half, and substitute turkey sausage for pork sausage. Eating Well Magazine has a great recipe that is also low in fat. Click Here for Receipe

 Salads are always a great choice to bring to a potluck because it’s easy to make and is a healthy alternative. A seven layer salad is an excellent choice.  You can make layers of lettuce, peas, bell pepper, and tomatoes with a creamy, tangy dressing. The salad stays fresh underneath until it’s served and gets even better when held overnight.  Click Here for Recipe

You can also find a three-bean salad recipe on this site as well.  The three-bean salad is another option which includes green beans, lima beans and black eyed peas.  And don’t forget the salad dressing.  Homemade salad dressing is very quick and simple to make, as long as you have lemon juice, olive oil, or vinegar and white wine. 

 What’s a holiday potluck without stuffing.  A cornbread and sausage stuffing is a nice change from the traditional white bread stuffing. Try this southern favorite with Italian turkey sausage instead of pork. Click Here for Recipe

A gingered cranberry-raspberry relish is an alternative to cranberry sauce.  Unlike cranberry sauce, a relish involves no cooking.  Use plump raspberries for a juicy freshness, while crystallized ginger provides sweetness and warmth. Click Here for Recipe

And finally—dessert! Instead of the traditional sweet potato and apple pies, try this fabulous—and yes, healthy, caramelized bread pudding dessert. Filled with sweet caramelized pear, this custard, raisin-studded bread pudding, topped with the caramel syrup is sure to be a winner. Click Here for Recipe

Philadelphia, PA: Federal Donuts

The concept is as simple as a food establishment can get without being a lemonade stand: doughnuts, fried chicken, coffee. Sweet, savory, and the caffeine to stomach it all and carry on with your day. For such an abbreviated menu to work, you must nail every little detail, and Federal Donuts, which first opened in Pennsport to ravenous reviews and rolled out a second location in Center City shortly after, does just that. First: get a cup o’ coffee and a piping hot made-to-order yeast doughnut with flavored sugar such as vanilla and lavender, or opt for the pre-made cake variety in fancier flavors like strawberry ginger and cookies-and-cream. Don’t forget the chicken with a chili-garlic glaze as a post-sugar treat (cause why not eat desert first?). If dining at the Sansom St. location, don’t stick around to eat at the awkward school desk seating; instead, order it to go and eat like a king in Rittenhouse Square.

1219 S 2nd St. (267) 687-8258 | 1632 Sansom St. (215) 665-1101 http://www.federaldonuts.com

 

Read More from GQ’s special article on dining in Philly  http://www.gq.com/life/city-guides/philadelphia#ixzz2l4Tb57Ga

Christmas Wine Buying Guide

Ed Draves Manager at Prestige Wine and Spirits in Buffalo, New York

Ed Draves Manager at Prestige Wine and Spirits in Buffalo, New York

The big holiday meal.

And as anyone who has ever had the in-laws over for Christmas dinner can tell you, like gift giving, this meal, with all of the innumerable side dishes also comes with lots of expectations and tension.

In that spirit, hoping to lower your stress level a few notches, the Multi Cultural Cooking Network reached out to one of our good friends, Ed Draves, Wine Manager for Prestige Wine and Spirits in Buffalo, New York, where he has worked for over 20 years.

We asked Ed for a little advice on wine pairings and that Christmas meal.  Hopefully, with the suggested pairings below, you’ll be able to do a better job of getting the right wine for whatever you are planning on serving for the big meal.

Rather than ask for a specific wine or brand, we gave him a range of food items that might be served and asked him to think generally.  That way you can look for what is locally available to fit your meal.  With that, we think we’ve got you covered.

Here’s what Ed recommends to help you out.

The famous Rockwell Turkey Dinner… Look for champagne or a nice sparkling wine.  These will pair well with what typically tends to be a rather dry main course.

Pork loin… Look for a full bodied Pinot Noir or an Alsatian wine (pictured).  Remember, you are not trying to overpower your main course, but to complement it.  Both of these will fill that role.

Alsaltian Wine

Alsaltian Wine

Prime Rib… for many this is the boldest meal of the year so you want this done right.  For this main course look for a Bordeaux or a Meritage blend.  These darker wines will stand up well next to a nice cut of beef.

Christmas Ham… if you are going this route you need to be looking for a white Riesling or aGamay(pictured) if you are looking for a red.  Ed says both of these will do a great job alongside the more salty flavored ham.

shirazBut what if you are making the newest rage, the Turducken? In that case go for a full-bodied Shiraz.  There’s a lot of variety out there so get a young one that has some nice peppery hints.

And what should you do if you are avoiding meat products and maybe have that Tofurkey ready to go?  Ed says match your sides and remember, wine is a complementing beverage for your meal.

Finally, don’t forget about dessert.  If you want to top off a great meal right, get the classic, a Port wine.  Or, if you are lucky enough to live in the Northeast, try one of the local ice wines.  Both are perfect alongside the sweetness of your dessert.

So there you have it.  A quick how to guide on buying wine for whatever you may be serving come Christmas Day.

-Written by Dave Miller, World Traveling Missionary, Former Restaurant Manager and regular contributing writer for MCCN.

 

Mexican Pastry: Conchas Recipe

From La Monarca Bakery in Los Angeles- Chocolate Conchas

Conchas (Shells) are a Mexican pastry that is famous for its shape of a shell. The pastry contains a sugar shell pattern on the top. This is one of the most famous Mexican pastries recognized in the United States.It is also referred to as “pan de huevo.”  See Recipe

Southern Style Strawberry Cake Recipe

Now my grandmother Josephine would make strawberry cake.  It wasn’t this pretty truthfully but it sure was good.  She decorated in a style that kids would like with pink frosting and candy on the top.  The last time I ever saw my grandmother she decided to make Easter dinner.  She had not done it in years but this time she was determined to do so.   My grandmother prepared all the desserts she helped influence as her grandchildren’s favorites such as German Chocolate, Red Velvet,  poundcake, sweet potato pie and of course strawberry cake on this last holiday with her.  Thus, Strawberry Cake has an affectionate place in my heart.  She would use a box cake mix and always add this or that.   I hope you enjoy this recipe.  It isn’t my Grandma Josephine’s recipe but it is American Southern Style just like grandma.   – 
Crystal Johnson, MCCN Editor. 
Southern Style Strawberry Cake  Ingredients:

  • 1 (18.5 ounce) box white cake mix (without pudding)
  • 1 (3 ounce) package strawberry Jell-O
  • 1 Tablespoon self-rising flour
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup fresh strawberries, finely diced.

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. To make the cake, combine to cake mix, Jell-O, flour and sugar in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the oil. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the water and strawberries and mix well. Divide the batter evenly into three 8-inch round baking pans that have been oiled and floured. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean and the layers pull away from the sides of the pan.