Where did peppers come from?One of the most common genuses of peppers, known as the capsicum, is thought to have been in existence millions of years ago in present-day Bolivia, according to the Chicago Botanic Garden's Information and Resources. But, the first known cultivation of peppers happened in Mexico and Central, as well as South America 10,000 years ago. The probable spread of these crops from Bolivia to these areas is attributed to birds. The capsicums existed mainly in the Americas until about 1600. Christopher Columbus' voyages were helpful in spreading capsicum peppers throughout the world.The original peppers were tiny and round, unlike most of today's peppers which are long and larger.What can I do with peppers?Most commonly, peppers have been used to spice up generally boring foods like rice or corn. Through the years though, people have come up with a whole slew of uses for peppers from making pepper jelly, to using ornamental peppers for garlands. Here's a list of the most interesting as well as some of the more common uses for peppers:Pickled PeppersPepper Jelly - Dried Apricot Jalapeno JellyRoasted PeppersAdding Peppers to pasta dishesHot SaucePepper Garlands/DecorationsUsing peppers in stirfryPepper vinegarPepper spray (animal deterrent for plants)What different types of peppers are there?There all sorts of classifications for peppers. There is the scientific classification method that uses the genus and species name: The most commonly known and cultivated genus of peppers is the capsicum, whereas the five most common species of peppers (all within the capsicum category) include: chinense, frutescens, pubescens, annum, and baccatum. All of these types of peppers are also labelled chillies.There is the usage method which categories various peppers into hot, sweet, or ornamental. And then, there is the location-classified method that is what gives some peppers its actual name.Here's a basic list of some of the varieties of the mentioned species of peppers you might see in your local grocery stores:Bell pepperAnaheim pepperFresnoPoblanoHabaneroCubanelleChipotleJalapenoSerranoMariachiAside from the different colored bell peppers used in stirfry, many of these other peppers are considered hot peppers.How can you tell how hot a pepper is?The range of spiciness for peppers is measured in scoville units. Wilbur Scoville developed a scale to help determine this very issue and measure pepper pungency in 1912. The higher the number of scoville units, the hotter the pepper. Here's a basic Scoville Scale. that shows habaneros trumping chipotles and jalapenos as the most commonly known hottest pepper.Health EffectsRegular pepper consumption is thought to have both good and bad effects on one's health. One of the most clear effects of eating peppers is what it does for congestion. Eating peppers, especially those hot ones, will help clear up your nasal passages in no times (as will most spicy foods!)According to a University study, consuming peppers regularly can help the body control its amount of insulin, which would be very beneficial for diabetics. Other studies show though that pepper digestion can increase the risks of stomach cancer, but the definite answer remains unclear. Research has also been linking peppers to helping stop the spread of prostrate cancer in some men.Pepper Recipes (see Recipe4Living.com for the following:)Pepper SauceBasic SalsaSalsa CrudaCrowd Pleasing ChiliRoast Beef and Red Pepper SandwichesImpossibly Easy Roasted Red Peppers and Feta Cheese PieTangy Lemon Pepper ShrimpStuffed PeppersPepper Herb Grilling RubSources:Chicago Botanic GardensThe Scoville ScaleTheChilliKing.com
Most people love to throw dinner parties for their friends and family. But, they may avoid serving wine because they do not know exactly what to serve. Do you serve red or white with fish? Will Merlot be okay if you are serving a Mexican dish? Do not stress over it - there are some basic wine rules you can follow. The number one rule of thumb when choosing wine is "red wine with red meat, white wine with white meat." This is not always true, but it generally works quite well when you are unsure. One exception is chicken. The meat is white, but a nice fruity red wine goes well with it. The same can be said for tuna or salmon, so you do not have to always follow the rule of not serving red wine with fish. The second rule is the rule of complements. It is okay to match sweet seafood such as lobster with a sweet white wine. The next rule is the opposites attract. While you usually want to match like flavors, sometimes a contrast, such as a White Bordeaux with bluefish can be wonderful. Outside of the basic rules, there are certain things you can look for and certain things you can avoid depending on what you are serving. Here are some hints as to what to serve with particular types of food. Salads and AppetizersYou should avoid serving wine during your salad, as vinegar and wine do not mix well. But, if you are having an appetizer, you need to consider the ingredients in the appetizer to help you choose your wine. If you are having a cheese tray, the type of cheese will help you determine the wine. For example, cheddar is best with dry reds, Merlots, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Pinot Noir goes best with Swiss. Camembert and brie are great with a Chardonnay. The cheese we tend to think of as Italian such as parmigiano, romano, and reggiano go well with Italian dry red wines like Chianti and Barlol. If you are serving something a fried appetizer, consider serving a crisp, fruity white or red wine to help cut the oily flavor.Beef, Steak and LambDo you remember the "red wine with red meat" rule? That one is great to use when serving beef, steak, and lamb. Choose a dry red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or a burgundy like Pinot Noir. You can also consider serving an Italian red such as Barolo or Chianti.Fish and SeafoodTo be safe, stick with a dry, crisp white wine. Sauvignon Blanc goes well with white fish while Sancerre and Muscadet go well with oysters. If you want to be different, try a fruity red wine (without tannins). But, use caution when serving red, especially if you are serving white, delicate fish. Cabernets with tannins combined with fish can leave a metallic taste in your mouth. Poultry, Pork and VealFor the most part, you want to follow the "white meat, white wine" rule with these. White chardonnays and Pinot Blancs are great. If you want to serve red with chicken, remember to choose a wine that is fruity like a Merlot or Zinfandel.Turkey Think back to Thanksgiving. Do you remember how well your cranberry sauce went with the turkey? The same rule applies here. For turkey, since it has both white and dark meat, you want something fruity and tart such as a Beaujolais for red or a Riesling for white.Spicy FoodsIf you are planning on service something spicy like Thai or Indian food, a sparkling wine works best. Avoid wines with tannins and look for something fruity. And, make sure the wine is well chilled. Cold wine goes well with spicy foods.DessertThe best thing to serve with a delicious dessert is a dessert wine. In fact, you can skip the dessert part and just serve a dessert wine to your guests. These are sweet wines often sold in smaller bottles as you don't drink as much dessert wine as you do regular wine. Wines such as Sauternes, Beerenauslese, Bermet and Cammandaria will make a great end to any evening.The most important rule about what wine to serve is to avoid being snobby about wine. There are no right answers, only basic rules to go by and even those, as you have seen, can be changed. Do not be afraid to experiment with different tastes. Chances are if you do not act like there is anything wrong with the wine you are serving, your guests will not either.
Unrivaled in sweetness by any other of its lot, the crab is has shown its versatility as an ingredient. It ads an interesting twist to any dish served with a shred or two of this amazing seafood.As a part of salad, the Crab gives an interesting texture. It does not matter whether it be imitation or authentic crab meat, the ways on how to prepare this dish is just infinite. Below are some salad recipes that are guaranteed to bring your dishes to life.FRESH CRAB SALAD RECIPE1 lb Fresh crabmeat; flaked1/2 c Minced celery1 ts Grated onion1 tb Minced pimento1/4 ts Salt2 tb Lemon juiceMayonnaise to tasteLettuce2 tb Minced parsley1/2 Cucumber; peeled and thinly slicedCombine crab, celery, onion, and pimento in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and lemon juice; toss to mix. Add just enough mayonnaise to moisten; mix well. Spoon onto bed of lettuce; sprinkle with parsley. Garnish with thin slices of cucumber.ANTIPASTO CRAB SALAD RECIPEIngredients:8 ounces frozen Alaskan King crab1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms1 small cucumber, thinly sliced1 (6 oz.) jar marinated artichoke hearts2 tablespoons lemon juice1 tablespoon white wine vinegar1 clove garlic, crushed1/2 teaspoon oregano1/2 teaspoon salt1/8 teaspoon crushed black pepper1 tomato, cut into wedges1/4 pound Swiss cheese, sliced and cut into trianglesLettuceDirections:Thaw, drain and slice crab.Combine mushrooms and cucumber slices. Drain artichoke hearts, reserving liquid. Combine liquid with lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour over mushrooms and cucumbers and toss lightly. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.Drain vegetable mixture. Arrange crab, mushrooms, cucumber, artichoke hearts, tomato wedges and cheese triangles on 4 lettuce-lined salad plates.THAI-STYLE CRAB SALD IN AVOCADO RECIPEIngredients:1 ripe California avocado3 tablespoons lime juice6 ounces cooked lump crabmeat, or canned crabmeat1 teaspoon lemon juice1/4 cup mayonnaise2 tablespoons chopped cilantro1 scallion, thinly sliced1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to tasteSalt, if desiredDirections:Split the avocado in half, remove the seed; sprinkle the cut surfaces with 1 tablespoon of the lime juice to prevent browning.Combine the crabmeat, remaining lime juice, lemon juice, mayonnaise, cilantro, scallion, pepper and salt in a mixing bowl; mix well. Divide this mixture between each avocado half, piling it high. Garnish with extra cilantro, if desired.CRAB SALAD WITH GUAVA NECTAR RECIPEIngredients:2/3 cup Guava Nectar1/3 cup mayonnaise1/4 cup apple cider vinegar8 cups mixed salad greens2 cups cooked fresh or chopped imitation crabmeat1 can (11-oz. size) Mandarin oranges, drained4 red onion slices, (optional)Directions:Combine nectar, mayonnaise and vinegar in small bowl; whisk until smooth.Combine 1/2 cup dressing with crabmeat in small bowl. Toss remaining dressing with salad greens in large bowl. Divide salad greens among serving plates; top with crab mixture, oranges and onion. Season with ground black pepper.
A well crafted pub table set can be just the thing you have been looking for to add a little more functionality to your family room. They are available in almost any style and finish that you can think of. If you require a more elegant and sophisticated style you can find one, or a simple design to compliment your existing dcor. Regardless of you needs and style you can rest assured that you can and will find one that is all you want and need it to be. When attempting to make the perfect selection for your home you may want to take into consideration the type of furniture and dcor you already have going on in the room in which you will be putting you pub style table. When adding anything new to a room you would want it to perfectly accent you existing furniture. A great way to do this is to take some pictures with when you go shopping. This will help you in not only choosing the one that you like but one that will look nice where you want it. In making your decision I would suggest in taking some picture of you existing style and layout of furniture. This can be the perfect device to aid you in getting an appropriate size and style to go neatly into your room. If your new elegant piece of furniture will be going into a high traffic location you may want to get something that can handle a little more abuse. This can also be true if you have small children living in the home or if they visit frequently. Something with defined corners can also pose a hazard in a smaller space. If your pub style table will be in a smaller space it may be a wise decision to get a round or oval top on your table. Another good idea might be to do some comparison shopping. This is a great way to find out how well crafted a product is by a particular manufacturer and get some customer reviews. Going online to find out this information may well be the best and fastest way of getting the most up to date and accurate information. As well as finding possibly the best price for the exact piece of furniture that will perfectly suit your households needs. After you have done your homework and have decided on the table that you will be bringing into your home you now have to decide on how you are going to purchase it. The two easiest ways to make this type of purchase would be either online or in your local store. Since you have done your research you know for the most part how much it will cost you to have an item of this size shipped to your door. Is it cheaper than the one in the furniture store? Are you in need of the pub table right away or can you wait the few days it will take to ship?
If youve never had the customary Spanish recipe of Paella, then youre surely missing out on something superb. There are actually many different variations of the recipe in Spain, and throughout the Spanish culture, but theyre all equally delicious.The dish is made traditionally with seafood, however it can be made with chicken, vegetarian style, or rabbit as well. The one common ingredient that runs throughout however is the rice.The type of rice that you must use for Paella is short-grained rice of which is the long cooking type; this is regardless of any other ingredient variation. If you are looking for a healthier version of the dish, then you can opt for a whole-grain or even a wild rice for yours, just be sure NOT to use instant rice and that when preparing the dish, the rice is able to absorb all the liquids. You want to find that happy medium of the rice not absorbing so much stock so that it becomes limp and soggy. This is when you know youve done it correctly.One thing thats great about Paella is that it can be an impressive dish, even if you are surprised by an influx of unexpected guests. This is when youll simply add more rice to the dish to spread it out over more mouths.Another great aspect of Paella is how flexible of a dish it can be. You can throw in just about anything you have in your cabinets in a dish like this. Again, you just need the correct rice, and a good hearty flavored stock. This is what gives the dish the flavor that you need to please the pallets of your guests or yourself. Using the ingredient Saffron, also known as azafran, is the key ingredient to the yellowish color that is given to the food. This is what distinguishes it as Paella.A recipe for a great Seafood Paella is as follows. Youll need:4 cups rice8 cups good quality fish stock8 king-sized prawns langoustines8 good sized mussles pound shrimp8 ounces fresh or frozen peas2 skinned and then chopped tomatoes. (Heres a quick Tip: Its best to skin the tomatoes by first dipping them in boiling water for a few seconds then running them under cold water. This will make the skin peel right off.)2 garlic cloves sliced very thinly3 strands of saffron which youll simply crumble by hand.Youll want to fry the seafood in a good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil.Youll begin by sauting the garlic in a pot or paella pan. Next, youll add the tomatoes, shrimp, peas and saffron. Cook this until the garlic is tender, but do not let it burn. Doing so will ruin the entire dish. Now put in the uncooked rice and stock. This will simmer for around 20 minutes so that the rice absorbs the stock and plumps up. You dont want the liquids to evaporate too quickly so be sure to cover the dish. Now just poach the remainer of the seafood in boiling water for only a few minutes. Youre ready to eat.