The Best Tips for Cooking and Buying Shrimp

Shrimp can make for a great meal, appetizer, or even a good side dish. Many enjoy consuming shrimp regularly and they are actually very good for you as well. There are many ways to prepare shrimp, but the one thing you want to make sure you never do is overcook the shrimp. You can grill them, sauté them, and prepare them in many other ways, but never over cook shrimp.

You now have the most important tip you can get when it comes to cooking shrimp. There are many other things you need to know about cooking and buying shrimp, however. Below you are going to find a few tips to help you purchase the right shrimp for you and you are also going to find them tips on how to cook them properly as well.

Tips for Buying Shrimp

1. The Tail Test

If you are purchasing shrimp that has been cooked and cooked on board before delivered to the stores, then you can do a tail test to see how fresh it is. You will want to straighten the shrimp out under the light and see how large the gap is between the shell and the meat. The larger this gap is the worse the shrimp actually are because of either being cooked too long or held under refrigeration too long.

2. Avoid the Slime

Anytime shrimp feel slimy or sticky you want to avoid buying them. This is what happens when shrimp starts to go back and you can put your finders on the shell and move them forward and backward. Once you have done this if you have a gritty feeling between your fingers or you feel the slime or stickiness you want to put the shampoo down and walk away from it.

3. Fresh Factor

If you are trying to buy precooked shrimp you want to see a shell with a shiny clear glossy shell. This should have long feelings still intact and it should be resting on an ice bed within some type of refrigeration unit. With raw shrimp you are looking for the same type of shell with legs still intact as well. These should be displayed much in the same way. You do not want to buy shrimp with legs that are turning black at all.

Tips for Cooking Shrimp

1. Do Not Over Cook Shrimp

This has already been mentioned, but it is worth mention about ten more times. It is the most important tip when it comes to cooking shrimp because when you over cook shrimps they will taste like bland rubber; It is actually better to undercook them a little bit and some eat them raw or nearly raw as sushi as well.

2. Thaw the Shrimp Properly

If you need to thaw your shrimp you really want to do this under refrigeration overnight, but if this is not an option you want to run cold water over the sharp to thaw them. Never set them out on your counter or table to be thawed. This is not good for the shrimp and can cause bacteria to grow within the meat. Also, once the shrimp are thawed you will never want to refreeze them. This makes them tough and can cause freezer burn as well.

3. Cook sooner rather than later

When you purchase fresh shrimp you should really cook them the same day you purchase them. This is one of the most perishable foods you can buy and if you wait too long they will go bad. Ask the store you purchase the shrimp from either they were previously frozen or not. If they have been previously frozen, you will not want to deny them. When you do not plan to cook shrimp the same day, just purchase them already frozen.

4. Always Clean Properly

Before you cook the shrimp you are going to want to clean and devein them completely. This will get rid of the parts of the shrimp that can cause a foul flavor and should not be consumed. You want to do this before you prepare your shrimp in any way you prefer. Deveining your shrimp is very important because this will get rid of the, for lack of a better word, poop trail.

5. Broiling

When you broil shrimp you will want to season or marinate them before you do so. Then, depending on the size of the shrimp, you are going to want to broil them for about four to five minutes. This will help to ensure that you do not overcook the shrimp and end up with rubbery shrimp. These shrimp can be cooked to be put on a salad or served in a different type of dish.

6. Pan Frying

For best results with pan frying use olive oil and season the shrimp ahead of time. If you like spicy foods you can use a Cajun seasoning to add nice flavor to the shrimp. To avoid overcooking the shrimp you are going to want to pull them out after about 3 to 4 minutes of cooking. You can bread the shrimp first if you want or you can just cook them without bread if you prefer.

7. Grilling Shrimp

Always use uncooked shrimp for grilling because frozen shrimp will tend to dry out on the grill. You will want to use the largest shrimp you can find because this will help to retain more of the smoky flavor from the grill itself. It is also recommended to use a charcoal grill and skewer the shrimp with vegetables. You can season them before you actually cook them as well, and then serve them over rice.

Have fun with the recipes you are using and do not feel like you have to follow them 100%. You want to put your own flavor into the recipe and tweak them to fit what you are after. Just make sure you purchase good shrimp and do not ever over cook them or you will be very disappointed with the way your dish turns out.

Plan A Holiday Party In 10 Steps

Holiday parties can be major events, requiring plenty of planning during this busy time of year. Be sure you plan far enough ahead so that everyone can work your party into their holiday schedule. Here is a helpful guide for planning your party.

Step One

Set the date. Try to plan your party several weeks before Christmas before travel plans and other holiday activities fill everyone’s calendars. Perhaps ask some friends when a good date for them would be to ensure that your favorite people can attend.

Step Two

Come up with party ideas and decide which ideas you would like to follow. Decide whether you want a large gathering with catered food, a small get together with friends, or maybe a mix of both. You can easily find holiday party ideas online or in holiday magazines to get ideas. You could try a dressy cocktail party, a black and white themed party, a caroling party, a soup party, or a tree trimming party. Determine your budget before you make any final decisions.

Step Three

Write a guest list. Invite some close friends for a sit-down dinner, or as many people as your house will hold for a jovial get-together with small snack, mini-meals, and drinks. Remember that not everyone you

invite will be able to come. Those who can attend may come and leave at different times, leaving your house more room for guests.

Step Four

Decide on a menu. If you are hiring a Utah holiday caterer, consult with the caterer as soon as possible and plan the menu. Be sure to include healthy foods too. If you are serving alcohol, have non-alcoholic drinks also available for those that don’t drink. Be sure you have a good estimate of the guest list and you stay within your budget. Consider using the caterer for other items as well, such as the decorations, linens, and flatware.

Step Five

Send out the invitations. Invitations should go out as early in December as possible so that your guests can RSVP. Be sure to include the meal time or arrival time, possible activities, if they can bring food, and appropriate dress.

Step Six

Decorate. Depending on the party, you can use traditional decorations with centerpieces, or use themed party decorations. If you need help with the decorations, plan a mini party with the girlfriends to make some decorations, or a shopping trip to your local store, or perhaps even borrow some decorations from close friends. It’s always a good idea to have a holiday tree, snowflakes, and candles. (Be sure to thoroughly clean your house before you fully decorate.)

Step Seven

Buy all the party items. Buy the food, beverages, paper goods, and decorations you will need for the party.

Step Eight

If necessary make the food and chill the beverages, or set up a time with the caterer, set the tables or make the arrangements on the serving table.

Step Nine

Just before the guests arrive, turn on the holiday tunes and set out the food and drinks. Leave the entryway open for the guests to come in! Perhaps have hot cider or hot chocolate ready to warm your guests from the cold outside.

Step Ten

Mingle and have fun!

Home Vegetable Garden – Basics of Square Foot Gardening

Square Foot Gardening is a method of gardening invented by best-selling author Mel Bartholomew in 1976 and updated in his book All New Square Foot Gardening published in 2006. The key principle of Square Foot Gardening is the elimination of single row gardens in favor of gardening in wider, raised garden beds, the surface of which have been marked off with one foot “planting squares”. Planting instructions are based on references to the planting squares.

Square Foot Gardening offers many benefits for vegetable gardens:

  • Larger gardens can be grown in smaller spaces
  • Gardens require much less weeding as the entire surface of the garden bed is used for planting, leaving little room for weeds to take root
  • Since the surface of the garden bed is not walked upon, the soil remains healthier due to lack of compaction
  • Gardens require less fertilizer and water and are better suited for organic gardening techniques

The raised garden beds sit above the ground, generally six to twelve inches high depending on the style of garden bed you select. One of the key advantages of raised garden beds is that you do not need to worry about the quality of the soil beneath the surface of the bed. Instead, you simply turn over any existing sod so that the grass faces downward into the ground. Then you place the raised garden bed on the overturned sod and fill the bed with high quality planting soil.

Before the surge in popularity in Square Foot Gardening, gardeners had little choice but to make their own raised garden beds. Nowadays, there are very cost-effective options for purchasing raised garden bed systems, including trellises and small animal barriers.

Square Foot Gardening does require conversion of the standard planting instructions provided on the back of seed packs into instructions suitable for Square Foot Gardening. Find the “thin to” to spacing on the back of the seed pack, and convert using the following formula:

  • 1 plant per 9 squares: “thin to” specification of 24 inches or greater
  • 1 plant per 2 squares: “thin to” specification of at least 12 inches, but less than 24 inches
  • 1 plant per square: “thin to” specification of at least 6 inches, but less than 12 inches
  • 4 plants per square: “thin to” specification of at least 4 inches, but less than 6 inches
  • 9 plants per square: “thin to” specification of at least 3 inches, but less than 4 inches
  • 16 plants per square: “thin to” specification of less than 3 inches

Be careful not to overcrowd your vegetables. Vegetables are susceptible to a wide range of diseases caused by insufficient airflow from overcrowding. In addition, bees and other pollinators have a more difficult time in an overcrowded garden, resulting in loss of harvest due to lack of pollination.

5 Tips To A Better Family Budget

A budget is a plan that allows you to manage your money in order to achieve your financial goals. It also allows you to track, monitored and makes decision as to how you used your money.

Starting a budget, you will need to define fixed monthly expenses like car payments, mortgages, insurance, rentals, etc. Then you need to have an idea of ​​living expenses and the best way to do this is to record down these expenses for a month or so.

So with these information, you can then start to set up the family budget. Below are five tips to help you make your budget better.

1) Do allow for in your budget a certain amount for the unexpected cost. These are things like home repairs, car repairs or anything that may come up. Usually, most people left out the unexpected cost in their budgets but it is important to make allowance for it.

2) Having a good attitude is important. Know that once you plan your budget and understand that you need to make compromises. This involves a lot of sacrifice so as to reduce your expenses and have more money for savings. If you stick to it, soon you will begin to see the benefits and rewards.

3) Have a record book with your earnings recorded on one side and your expenses on the other side. Good record keeping is an important criterion to any good budget.

4) Learn how differentiates what are luxuries and necessities. Learning this is very important. Start by making a list of what you think are luxuries such as expensive restaurants, branded shoes, the sleek looking flat televisions, etc. Then refer back to this list whenever you are tempted to buy and spend items in the list. So it served as a reminder for you as to what items items considered luxuries.

5) Practice frugality but not to the point of being extreme. You can have fun with little or no spending at all. For example, instead of shopping, play with your kids at the park or meet a friend for a walk on the beach. The important point is that there are many things you can do that do not cost you any thing. In fact you may even enjoy more.

Budgeting should be a part and parcel of your daily life but it should not be too rigid that it dampened the effort and make you moody all day long. Instead it should be flexible but not too flexible. This means that you can review and improve on it without sacrificing the real objectives of achieving your family financial goals.