Category Archives: Food & Drinks

How to Cook Perfect Pasta Every time

Pasta is a staple in most households, and for a good reason — it’s quick and easy to cook, delicious to eat, and amazingly versatile. But cooking the perfect flavor-packed pasta isn’t always as simple as throwing noodles into a pot of boiling water. Here are tips on making sure you’re eating the very best pasta every single time.

Measure your Water

Many people don’t realize that the amount of water used for pasta is just as significant as the type of pasta you’re cooking. The right amount of water used in cooking dough results in a more delicate and flavorful finished product. The boiling process should take between 5 and 8 minutes, depending on whether you’re cooking spaghetti, fettuccine, or macaroni. Don’t add salt to your pasta until just before the end of the cooking time.

Taste the Water

The best way to tell if your pasta will be perfectly cooked is by tasting your cooking water. It should taste slightly salty, but not too salty. If it tastes too salty, add more water and taste again until it’s just right.

Don’t Rinse the Pasta after You Drain it.

Rinsing pasta after you’ve drained it can remove up to 60 percent of its flavor. The flavor molecules are still in the pasta; they need a little help to stick to the surface. For better flavor retention, you should let your pasta sit in a colander for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Cook Your Pasta in the appropriate Pan

Not all types of pasta are the same, so cooking them in the right pot is crucial. Spaghetti should be cooked in a wide, shallow pan with a lid to allow it to steam and keep it moist and tender. Fettuccine should also be cooked in a wide pan with plenty of room to maneuver and turn over.

Pasta is one of the most versatile, filling, and delicious foods you can make. When cooked properly, it can be the star of your next entrée. Follow these tips, and you’ll enjoy your pasta in no time!

Love Coffee? Why You Need a Coffee Club Membership

Do you love good coffee? Do you know a reliable place where you can buy such coffee? If you do not know, then all you need is a coffee club membership. Once you have made the subscription, you will be able to get good quality coffee that has been sourced directly from the farmers.

Once you have left the house to buy coffee, it does not mean you will buy the right quality. Even the most famous coffee brands might not guarantee you the quality you are looking for since the coffee’s quality might be contaminated during processing. A coffee club membership is one of the best ways you can be guaranteed good quality coffee.

People have different preferences when it comes to how they take their coffee. The type of coffee you like might not be what another person prefers. Through a club membership, every member’s need will be taken care of. Once you have joined a club, you can try different types of coffees to figure out which is your favorite.

Another benefit of being in a coffee club is that you can often get a discount while purchasing your coffee. In some cases, you will get discounts that you could not have gotten if you were to buy the coffee from your local store. Coffee lovers tend to buy in bulk. There is nothing better than getting a discount while buying in bulk. In addition, you will be guaranteed good quality.

If you are seeking to buy high-grade coffee, you will most likely not find it in your local supermarket. The best way to access such coffee is by joining a coffee club. Choosing the right club requires you to do a lot of research to ensure you are making the right subscription. You do not want to lose your money subscribing to a club that does not exist.

Pairing Wine with Your Favorite Girl Scout Cookies, a Handy Guide

It’s Girl Scout cookie season. Whether you’re the type of person who flags down their local Girl Scout to place an order, or more the type who tries to avoid eye contact with the young entrepreneurs manning the cookie booth at the local store, chances are those cookies are going to find their way into your house — and mouth. The struggle is universal. But wait! Before you settle in with your annual offerings and a glass of milk, why not elevate your snack time into some serious me time with a glass of wine.

Thin Mints, Samoas, or Do-Si-Dos, check out the handy guide below to see which wine to pair with your favorite Girl Scout cookies. Go ahead, treat yourself. You deserve it.

Girl Scout Cookies Wine Pairing

5 Whole Body Health Benefits of Tea

People are always looking for new ways to live healthier lives. There are certainly many ways that you can go about doing this. It all depends on the type of physical condition you are already in and how much time you are willing to devote to it. The methods you choose in order to have a healthier lifestyle will also have a lot to do with your overall fitness goals. Much has been written over the past decade about how drinking tea on a daily basis can be very beneficial to the average person. You may be curious about what drinking tea can do for you if you begin to consume it as part of your daily meals. Here are some key, whole body health benefits of tea that you should know about.

1. Helps Limit Your Caffeine Intake

Caffeine is a stimulant that most people know is not good for them. However, that does not stop them from putting it into their body several times a day. Caffeine can cause a wide variety of problems. It can make you jittery and nervous. It can also prevent you from sleeping well if you drink your coffee too close to your bedtime. However, caffeine can also be very addictive. Therefore, it is better to have as little of it as possible. Drinking tea will reduce your daily caffeine intake by more than half of what it would be if you continue to drink coffee. One of the reasons that people can’t get their morning started without drinking a cup of coffee has nothing to with the caffeine’s ability to wake them up. They need to drink it because of their severe addiction to the caffeine. Therefore, drinking tea will prevent you from having so much of that stimulant in your system.

2. Wards Off Heart Attack and Stroke

Heart attacks and strokes result in the deaths of many people every year. Therefore, it makes sense to find every available way to prevent both of these things from happening to you. There have been many studies that have concluded that heart attacks were reduced by as much as 20 percent in people who consumed a minimum of four cups of green tea on a daily basis. However, the news was even better in terms of strokes. People who consumed the same four cups of green tea experienced a 35 percent reduction in strokes. These are very powerful findings that should not be ignored. Drinking ashitaba tea regularly can also help to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

3. May Aid in Weight Loss

There has also been a great deal of research conducted in an effort to find a connection between weight loss and drinking tea. The results have been very positive so far. Many of the studies involved separating the people in the study into two groups. Both groups would perform the same exercises and overall fitness regimen on a daily basis. However, one of the groups would be consuming tea and the other would not. The studies showed that the group drinking the tea every day lost more weight on average. Therefore, it might be a good idea for you to start drinking tea if you are thinking about beginning an exercise program in an effort to lose some weight. However, you also would be wise to consult a dietitian to organize a proper diet for you to eat during your weight loss program. This will help to increase your odds of success.

4. Helps the Digestive System

Irritable bowel syndrome has become an epidemic. More people are suffering from this digestive system disorder than ever before. It has become so bad that many people are not able to perform their daily activities. Their quality of life is suffering greatly. The good news is that chamomile and other herbal teas have helped many people experienced fast relief from the painful effects of irritable bowel syndrome. Studies are still being conducted on this subject to determine why the tea is helping with this issue. However, there are many online testimonials written by people who believe that drinking tea helped them with this painful problem.

5. Strengthens the Immune System

One of the best ways for a person to stay healthy is to have a strong immune system. Getting enough sleep is one of the key ways to help your immune system continue to keep your body free from viruses. However, tea can also play a major role in the strengthening of your immune system. You need to understand that you should not drink tea as a substitute for getting a good night’s sleep. Drinking tea in combination with getting enough sleep will give you an immune system that will help to keep your body functioning at peak efficiency.

Low Carb Cocktails You Can Still Enjoy This Summer

There are many reasons why someone might stick to a low carb diet. But that doesn’t mean those who do can’t indulge in an adult beverage every once in a while. With the right recipe and some low carb alcoholic mixers, you can whip up delicious low carb cocktails anyone can enjoy when entertaining this summer. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Low Carb Mojito

A traditional mojito typically contains two teaspoons of sugar. Sugar helps to release the flavor of the mint during muddling, but as a simple carbohydrate, it can also count against your daily carb intake. To make a low carb mojito, swap out the regular white sugar for your favorite artificial sweetener, like Truvia or Splenda.


  • 8 mint leaves
  • 1 fl oz (2 tablespoons) fresh lime juice or lime wedges from a third of a lime
  • 1 heaping tablespoon artificial sweetener
  • 1 1/2 oz white rum
  • Club soda


  1. Place the mint, lime juice, and artificial sweetener into a highball or Collins glass. Using a cocktail muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon or spatula, “muddle” the ingredients together.
  2. Fill the glass about 3/4 of the way up with ice. Add the rum and top off with club soda. Stir to combine. Garnish with a sprig of mint and lime wedge, if desired.

Gin and Tonic Soda Water

The leading brand of tonic water contains 32 grams of sugar per 12 fl oz bottle. Soda water, or carbonated water, on the other hand, contains no sugar.

Diet Rum and Coke

Diet coke mixed with one jigger of whiskey makes for a nice, cold low-carb alcoholic drink when served on the rocks.

Cuba Libre

With diet cola, you can make any low-carb drink. Amazingly, sweet flavored rum has no carbs but you can still prepare a low-carb drink by mixing unflavored rum with diet coke. Serve with ice and a slice of lemon.

Low Carb Sea Breeze

This fruity drink is traditionally made with grapefruit juice. Mix a jigger of your favorite vodka with unsweetened cranberry juice and diet soda to eliminate the extra carbs before serving it on ice.


If you prefer soft liquor, there is a wide range of low carb alcoholic wine that you can enjoy including Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc each holding just 3 grams of carbs. Also on the list is Pinot Noir, a red wine containing 3.4 grams of carb or 5 ounces of carb.

Low Carb Beer

Michelob Ultra, a light beer with 2.6 grams of carbs is one of the most popular low carb alcoholic drinks.

Calling All Bartenders: Do You Have the Perfect Pour?

Back for its second year, the Perfect Pour by Warsteiner competition challenges bartenders across the United States to show off their technical skills and personal flair as they compete to present the most perfectly tapped glass of Warsteiner Premium German Pilsener for an all-expense paid trip to Germany. Entries will be accepted from May 30 through July 17.

“A perfectly poured Warsteiner is more than just a glass of beer, it is a work of art to be admired,” said Laura Sprengard, brand manager for Warsteiner USA.

Here’s how it works:

Bartenders upload a photo of themselves with their perfectly poured Warsteiner (preferably poured into Warsteiner’s signature tulip glass) to Photos can be serious or silly, but they must demonstrate mastery of Warsteiner’s four-step Perfect Pour ritual. To see how it’s done, watch the perfect pour here.

Once bartenders have submitted their perfect pour, fans can vote online for their favorite through July 17. The three bartenders who receive the most votes, among other criteria, will be invited to compete in a live Perfect Pour-Off event in Las Vegas. The champion will win an all-expense paid, week-long trip for two to Germany.

Each time a fan votes, they will be entered into the Perfect Pour Sweepstakes for a chance to win one of three all-expense paid trips for two to the Perfect Pour-Off event.

Warsteiner Brewery, founded in 1753, is one of the largest private breweries in Germany. Its flagship is the Warsteiner Premium German Pilsener brand, one of the most popular beer brands in Germany and the world’s No. 1 imported premium pilsener among German private breweries.

A Mother’s Day Breakfast to Remember with the Waring Belgian Waffle Maker + Homemade Waffle Recipe

I received the Waring Belgian Waffle Maker for the purpose of this publication. No other form of compensation or incentive was received and opinions are my own.

Mother’s Day is next week and while you will find plenty of information about what mom might be hoping for as a celebration of her day and unique gift guides from the best of the blogosphere, it is our experience that the one gift that never goes out of style is quality time spent with those you love. So why not choose a gift that can double as a memorable experience? Enter: the Waring Belgian Waffle Maker.

Waring Belgian Waffle Maker

Restaurant-style and professional quality for home use, the Waring Belgian Waffle Maker can make up to 14 waffles in 30 minutes, so not only will you be able to make gourmet breakfasts and desserts for mom, but also the whole family without being stuck in the kitchen for hours. The brushed stainless steel unit features an extra-deep well for 1-inch-thick waffles that are crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. The easy-to-handle rotary feature provides even baking on top and bottom, a browning control knob for custom baking, and blue LED lights that indicate when the unit is ready for batter and when your waffle is done and ready to enjoy. The nonstick coated grids make it easy to release your waffle when it’s done and cleaning the unit when you’re finished and ready to surprise mom with a gift she will be able to use again and again is practically effortless.

Waring Belgian Waffle Maker

While I am not always a morning person, I am definitely a breakfast person. Pancakes, french toast, eggs, bacon, sausage, oatmeal… I love it all, whether it’s for breakfast, brunch, “brinner,” or even dessert. Knowing this, you can probably imagine how long I have wanted a waffle maker, and freedom from the toaster-style waffles in the frozen food section. To say that I have gotten a lot of use out of this little kitchen appliance would probably be an understatement. That’s what makes it such a great gift for your mom, grandmother, in-law, sparent, or any other important woman in your life that you want to celebrate this Mother’s Day — it may not be something that she would have bought herself, but she will definitely enjoy using it.

Looking for a killer waffle recipe? I’ve got you covered there, too. Here is my favorite basic waffle batter recipe. It’s simple to put together and easily adaptable for any mix-ins you love, like blueberries and chocolate chips.

Belgian waffle

Homemade Waffle Batter Recipe


  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or whole wheat flour, if you prefer)
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat waffle maker. Beat eggs in large bowl with a hand beater or stand mixer until fluffy.
  2. Beat in flour, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt, and vanilla just until smooth. Pour into waffle maker wells and bake according to the specifications of your waffle maker.

So easy, right?! You can keep this batter covered in the refrigerator for up to one week. Just be sure to give it a good whisk before use.

You can purchase the Waring Belgian Waffle Maker on the Waring website. It retails for $59.95 and has a limited one year product warranty.

New Year, New (Wholesome) Eats: Chicken-n-Waffles Casserole Recipe and Van’s Foods Prize Pack Giveaway #WinVansFoods [Closed]

We know and love Van’s Foods for their wholesome breakfast, lunch, and snack time options that you can feel good about. We were first introduced to Van’s back in 2014, when we had the chance to snack on their PB&J Sandwich Bars and Multigrain Chips that were instantly a snack time hit in our house. Our enthusiasm for their simply delicious products filled with whole grain goodness, as well as their commitment to non-GMO verified ingredients, has grown right along with their expanding product line, which now includes cereals, pancakes, and even pasta. They also have a variety of gluten-free offerings certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization.

Van’s is also the leader in frozen, better-for-you waffles. Whether it’s a quick, warm, nutritious breakfast, an allergy-friendly stand-in for bread, or a delicious whole-grain dessert, Van’s 8 Whole Grain Waffles, Power Grain Waffles, and Gluten-Free Waffles are ready in just 4 minutes in the toaster, and are as convenient as they are nutritious and delicious.

Van's Chicken-n-Waffles

Van’s waffles have been adapted in all kinds of recipes that can be shared again and again; even family favorites you’ve been enjoying for years, like chicken and waffles. Here’s a healthier take on this ultimate comfort food dish with a Chicken-n-Waffles Casserole made with Van’s gluten-free waffles.

Chicken-n-Waffles Casserole

Yield: 6 servings

Chicken-n-Waffles Casserole

This Chicken-n-Waffles Casserole recipe is a healthy family favorite. You can prepare the baked crispy chicken ahead of time (and keep it handy in the freezer for later if desired). The waffles are pre-cooked and the only thing you need to make is the gravy, which comes together in just a few minutes. What could be easier than that?


    For the Chicken:
  • Olive oil, for greasing
  • 5 cups rice cereal crumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • For the Gravy:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Silvana's All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
  • 2 cups dairy-free creamer or milk
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 9-ounce package Van's Gluten-Free Totally Original Waffles, toasted and cubed


  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.
  2. In a shallow bowl, combine the cereal crumbs, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a separate shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Coat a chicken tender with the cereal mixture, dip into the eggs, then coat again with the cereal mixture; place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Bake until golden and cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and make the gravy. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until golden. Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the cream and simmer for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. Season with parsley, paprika, about 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  4. Grease an 8x8 baking dish. Toss together the chicken and waffle cubes, then pour over the gravy. Bake until bubbly and golden, about 25 minutes.


Van's Prize Pack

If you are one of the many who have made the New Year’s resolution to begin eating more mindfully, we have teamed up with Van’s Foods to get you started on the right foot with some new wholesome eats (and a few extra goodies.)

One lucky winner will receive a $100 Visa gift card, Van’s tote and water bottle, and $25 in coupons for free Van’s Foods products of your choice. This giveaway ends January 13, 2016 at 2:00PM CST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No incentive was provided for this publication. Woman Tribune is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Baking Classes and Other Adventures Take Average People Into the World of Food

Food is more than just something you eat in order to stay alive. Today, people are becoming more invested in their food and more interested in diving into the world of culinary arts. With new restaurants that focus on farm-to-table and grocery stores that are giving people the ability to cook even fresher meals, many people are becoming intensely interested in learning more about the art of cooking. If you’re a foodie who wants to get to know their food a bit better, there are plenty of ways in which you can more deeply experience food while also heightening your social experience.

Baking Classes in San Francisco and Other Major Cities

One of the best ways for people who live in or near a major city to learn the ins and outs of what they put on a plate is through classes. By attending baking classes in San Francisco, people can learn how to bake cakes, pies, and other delectable and decadent treats. Cooking classes where attendees can learn how to put together full meals are also available and give students the chance to interact with a good chef while meeting new friends. Some of the best chefs in the world are currently offering classes like these, giving those lucky enough to attend the chance to meet their culinary heroes while simultaneously learning new skills that they can bring home with them.

Baking and cooking classes are part education and part social. Outlets like Cozymeal provide classes in hopes that attendees meet other like-minded people and expand the foodie community in their area. Those who love to try new things can meet with others who share their interests and form new friendships. Even for those who have been established in the same place for a while can meet new people and breathe life into their social scene with something new to do.

Some use the culinary experiences that come with baking classes as the perfect date night. The same old dinner dates can get old very quickly, especially for those who crave adventure. With this in mind, many couples see these baking classes as the sort of experience that can give their relationship the spice they have been looking for. Good research suggests that going through a challenge together or learning a new skill together can strengthen the bond of a relationship over time. What better skill to learn together than how to feed and nourish their bodies and souls through cooking and baking?

Private Dining Experiences and the Full Chef Experience

One of the things that makes a dining experience special is understanding who prepared the food you’re sitting down to eat and how they prepared it. Quite often, when a person goes through the dining experience they do not get to find out these intimate details. They don’t get to dig deep into the mind of the chef to find out why they chose certain ingredients, or even why they believed that a certain wine pairing was the perfect choice. That is changing. Today, people can go on a dining adventure that allows them to meet and greet with great chefs who will then cook them an amazing meal.

Rather than venturing out to find the perfect restaurant, people are opting to have an in-demand chef come into their home and prepare a private meal for them right there. Private dining experiences are adventures in their own right, whether they are for a party or just for a couple wanting to celebrate on their own. People who do this not only learn about the chef and how they like to cook, but they also learn new skills that they can apply in their own kitchens. This isn’t to say that the average person will walk away cooking like Emeril, but they will have a much better appreciation and understanding for the science of cooking than they did before.

Food adventures are a new trend that are certainly gaining steam. No longer content to just eat their food, people today want to experience what it’s like to eat the food of a real chef who can explain how the process went down, and what they can do to create similar flavors in their own kitchens. This is something that food lovers are coming to appreciate in San Francisco and other major cities across the country. Through culinary adventures, these diners get to feel like they are truly a part of the action.

Top photo: yummysf/Flickr

The Easiest Ways to Learn How to Cook

Have you ever wanted to have the ability to prepare your own gourmet meal? It can be very liberating to cook for yourself without needing to rely on someone else to do it for you. If you have made up your mind that cooking is a skill that you want to acquire, you will then need to make a choice regarding where you will learn it. Nowadays, there are many more options than there used to be. There are also good resources available for people with a limited amount of money to spend on cooking lessons. Here are some of the best places to learn how to cook.


Cooking shows have become hugely popular during the past two decades. All you need to do is flip through the channels at any time of the day or night and you will find at least one cooking show on. There is an entire channel devoted to food, so it is safe to say that cooking shows have never been more popular than they are at this moment. Because there are so many cooking shows, this will give you a lot of cuisines to choose from. No matter what type of food you are interested in, you will most likely find a show that will teach you how to prepare it. Before too long, you will be cooking as good as Tim Love.

The Internet

You can find just about any piece of information online these days. There are an endless amount of websites that are devoted to food preparation. You can also watch cooking videos on YouTube and similar sites. These videos are helpful because you can also read the user comments under them to get additional advice from people who have attempted to make the meal shown in the video. You can learn from their mistakes and save yourself some time in the process.


If you really want to learn the old school way, you can go to the library and get some cookbooks to refer to while you are in the kitchen. While you could play some cooking videos on your laptop or tablet in the kitchen, you will risk getting some food on them that could cause some serious damage. This is why using a cookbook for reference while in the kitchen is always preferable to an electronic device. You might also try going to flea markets and garage sales to look for cookbooks.