Kenya Lake House Vacation

You become one of the privileged few when you stay at the kongoni Game valley ranch. The elegance of the Brithgttti ranch house and its dramatic setting make this a very special place. The Kongoni Game Valley Ranch house is on a hilltop overlooking Lake Naivasha and the surrounding volcano peaks. The romance of the place begins in 1901 with a French marquis who built this home in Africa for his new American bride. They lived there happily until the early 1940’s.they are both buried in a secluded part of the garden where the view they loved is absolutely breathtaking. The long low stone house with its ochre-tiled roof stands in a wide expanse of mowed lawns and tended gardens. It all feels very established and well-cared for there is an aura if quality. The house is built around a central country yard the communal living and dining rooms overlook the lake and open out to a wide veranda furnished with commodious wicker furniture and cushions. Guests are encouraged to relax in this restful spot and enjoy the magnificent view.

Below, shinning beyond its fringe of acacia trees is the lake framed by extinct volcanoes and the soaring sides of the rift valley. A forest of primeval euphorbia contrast with the clipped lawns and English style flower beds of the garden. Meals at Kongoni are memorable; intimate tables, garden flowers, and views from the sunroom at breakfast, cozy candlelight inside at night. The food is wonderfully can smell the bread baklkig; pizza arrives fresh from oven. The emphasis is on gourmets Italian cooking and the pasta and ice cream are homemade. Gianna jokes that the big five at Kingoni valley ranch are parmesan cheese, olive oil, capers risotto and pasta-mouth watering. Guests can take a walk at the shore or go boating. you are likely to see a wide variety of birds and perhaps a wide-open toothy yawn from a hippo. You may decide. you may decide simply to sit on the veranda in cushioned comfort and absorb the beauty and peace


Kongoni can accommodate up to 26 guests. Every guest room has been furnished by Gianna. The many personal touches remind you that you are in a private home. Each room has a rather charming and old fashioned bathroom. Many with turn of- the century European fixtures, including bidet. Most rooms open onto the central courtyard but some are in separate cottages or have private outside entrances. Some have fireplaces, and one even has an en suite sauna. Kingoni Valley ranch has recently opened another house very near to the lake with beautiful water views. Though separate this house is still on ranch property and can accommodate a private party of uo to seven guests in one single and tree double bedrooms. it is fully catered and can enjoy all the activities and facilities of the ranch

Lakeside House

Lake side house is a small home near the turnoff onto Moi south lake road the grounds and gardens are not very grand, but you can look toward the papyrus at the edge of the lake from the veranda. Guest sleep in one double room in the main farmhouse and in a nearby cottage .The cottage rooms have en suite shower bathrooms. The rooms are very small and rather crowded with furnishing. There are homey touches such as books magazines and instant coffee/tea tray.

Source by Joe Maina

How to Cater Vegan

Veganism is a popular lifestyle that comes with a long list of mental and physical benefits. If you are a practicing vegan, or must plan a catered party for an upcoming vegan-themed event, you will appreciate these vegan catering tips! Continue reading to learn how you can cater your party with a vegan meal spread.

What is Veganism?

To better understand how to cater to vegans, it is helpful to learn what veganism is about. A vegan is a person who follows a diet that is free of animal meat and by-products. This includes all dairy, such as milk, cream, cheese, and butter. It also include all animal meat and by-products, including poultry, beef, pork, lamb, eggs, and seafood. Some orthodox vegans also avoid using or wearing anything made from animals, such as leather, feathers, hides, furs, and more.

Beverages and Cocktails

There are endless choices for vegan beverages, alcoholic cocktails, and even mocktails. So long as you do not use any mixers that contain dairy, you are in the clear. Stick with lemonades, wines, beers, iced teas, hot tea, coffee, soda, juice, and liquor. Avoid milk-based products, or substitute them with coconut, cashew, or almond milk products.


Appetizers that are vegan are easy to come by. Summer is the time for fresh produce, so simply load up on all kinds of fruit and vegetables assortments, both raw and prepared. Grape and cherry tomatoes, zucchini, squash, broccoli, carrots, radishes, cauliflower, bell peppers, and more, are all fantastic options for color and taste. Try them in salads, on sticks, marinated, or dipped. Your vegan guests will love them all! You can also include vegetable and legume dips, like hummus, chickpea, falafel, eggplant, onion, and more! Just be sure they are free of sour cream and dairy products.

Main Course

Whether dinner or lunch, your main course is simple to plan for a vegan guest list. Choose hearty vegetables, like eggplant and portobello mushrooms, to substitute main course meat dishes. Tofu is a great option, too. When prepared well, these vegan courses are just as filling and delicious as meat. Consider pasta dishes for evening soirees, like eggplant parmesan or risotto. Pair these courses with delicious, vegan-style salads and sides, such as vegan pasta salad, coucous, tabouli, rice, potatoes, corn on the cobb, grilled asparagus, and more.


Desserts are sometimes a challenge for vegans because most contain some form of dairy. However, there are excellent choices for vegan-friendly desserts, so long as you choose them carefully. Any type of cake, pudding, or cream pie will not likely be fit for vegans, so you may need to have them specially made using dairy substitutes, like almond milk, applesauce, and nut butters. Fruit smoothies are another terrific option so long as you use non-dairy milk, such as almond, cashew, or coconut.

Source by Sarahbeth Kluzinski

Cabbage Soup Diet – Surviving the Seven Days Program

The Cabbage Soup Diet is one of the fad diets which is designed for fast weight loss and requires no long term commitment. It is designed as seven days program where dieter will have a strict meal plans with cabbage soup as the main ingredients. The program itself is not new; it was first gained popularity at 1980s due to the claim of 10 pounds weight loss per week.

An example of the 7 days meal plans:

Day 1: Fruit; consist of cabbage soup, fruits (except banana), protein shake, fat burner drink, and water with lemon or herbal.

Day 2: Vegetable; consist of cabbage soup, vegetables, protein shake, fat burner drink, baked potato, and water with lemon or vegetable juices.

Day 3: Fruit and Vegetables; consist of cabbage soup, fruit, vegetables, protein shake, fat burner drink, and water with lemon or vegetable juices.

Day 4: Bananas; consist of cabbage soup, banana, low fat dairy, protein shake, and water with lemon or herbal.

Day 5: Fish and Tomatoes; consist of cabbage soup, fish or poultry with tomatoes, protein shake, fat burner drink, and water with lemon or herbal.

Day 6: Poultry Day; consist of cabbage soup, poultry or fish, vegetables, protein shake, fat burner drink, water with lemon or vegetable juices.

Day 7: Rice Day; consist of cabbage soup, vegetables, protein shake, fat burner drink, mushroom risotto, and water with lemon or vegetable juices.

Notes that there is no limit for the consumption of cabbage soup at any day, the dieter can eat as much as he wants. On day three, five, six, and seven, there are no limits for fruit, vegetables, fish, and poultry consumption. The recipes of the soup itself usually consist of cabbage, carrots, peppers, onions, and tomatoes with preferred seasonings. The program also forbid alcohol, bread, and carbonated beverages.

While it is named The Cabbage Soup Diet, there are no scientific studies that show cabbage properties to burn fat. The seven days meal plans indicate that this is another low calorie diet with 800-100 calories per day, the soup is just there to satisfy the dieter whenever he is hungry.


  1. Fast weight loss; the dieter can expect to lose 10 to 15 pounds at the end of the program.
  2. No expensive ingredients; in fact, it’s very cheap.
  3. Simple; no exercise or any other behavior changes are suggested, it’s only the 7 days meal plan.
  4. Encourage the dieter to eat more fruit and vegetables.


  1. The diet is very low calorie and considered unhealthy. The soup itself contains very little protein and the dieter usually will suffer lack of proper nutrition. It is not recommended to consume less than 1200 calories per day unless it is advised by a doctor.
  2. Continuously eat cabbage soup throughout the entire week can be really boring, which can encourage the dieter to eat less than the already low calories per day.
  3. The soup recipes usually contain high levels of sodium or MSG (Monosodium Glutamate).
  4. There is theory that the weight loss mainly comes from fluid or muscle mass, not fat loss, which will return once the dieter back to the normal eating behaviors.
  5. The common cabbage soup recipes usually result in bland soup and some dieters have report to feeling nauseous whenever they smell the soup after finish the 1 week program.
  6. Possibly cause frequently fart.
  7. Hard to eat out since the meals in the program are not commonly served at a restaurant.

From the facts, it is obvious that this diet has many drawbacks and not recommended; many experts will suggest a traditional long term healthy diet. But it is also true that fast weight loss is really tempting and many will still try it. If you do plan to try this diet program, here are a few things to consider:

  1. This diet is for adult, it is not suitable for children and adolescents.
  2. Only go on this diet a week at a time, do not try to prolong it.
  3. If any health problem occurs, consult your doctor immediately.
  4. During the diet, keep remind yourself that the program only last for seven days and it will result on significant weight loss.
  5. Drink at least 5 glass of water per day.
  6. Try different variety of spices and seasoning to minimize boredom from eating the soup continuously.
  7. Even if you don’t like it, force yourself to eat plenty of soup. This diet is already low in calories and you don’t want to starve yourself due to your dislike to cabbage soup.
  8. Try to keep stay at home, you will probably too weak from the low calorie foods and to gassy from mass quantities of cabbage. If you are away from home, carry your soup with you.
  9. Consume food supplement to complement this diet.
  10. Make a journal to keep track your weight loss from day 1.
  11. Use a reminder to make sure you eat the right food of the day.
  12. Keep steady supply of the ingredients, fruits, and vegetables in your refrigerator.
  13. Consume protein shake to avoid lack of protein.

Source by Stefan Vincent

Top Ten Kitchen Tools and Gadgets!

Hello and thank you for reading my article.

Here we go my Top ten favorite kitchen tools I feel every cook should own!

1. A Cake Tester – When I am cooking I always have a cake tester on me and I use it almost as much as my knife. You can use a cake tester to tell if a steak or piece of fish is medium rare or well done, you can also use it to tell if something is hot inside such as a meatball or crabcake. I explain exactly how you do this on my website.

2. Tongs – Cooking without a pair of tongs and a towel in my hand is to me like being on a battlefield with no gun. The obvious use of tongs is great, can’t grill without tongs! With a pair of strong tongs you can slide baking sheets closer to you so you are not sticking your arms in the oven. You can reach deep in the oven for something that may have fell, and one of my favorite things about tongs is that you can gently place a piece of chicken in the oil for frying without splattering hot oil on you.

3. Knives – My Chef’s knife is by far the knife I use the most. I always say not to go buying an entire set of knives, instead invest in a nice Chef’s knife that will last you. You can use the top edge to crack lobster or crab, you can use the flat side to smash garlic or scoop up what you have chopped.,and unless your going to be fileting fish or butchering meat a bread knife and paring knife would be all you need. There is no need to spend a lot of money on a bread knife, in fact my favorite bread knife that I solely use(dexter-russel) is a 20$ knife. It has teeth, its sharp, it has a nice grip, and its solid what more can you ask for. A paring knife will cost no more then 10$ anything more your most likely paying for a name or being ripped off.

4. Peeler – My favorite and one and only peeler I use is a Kuhn Rikon. They are made of plastic and cost 2$, I usually pick up 2 or 3 of them. They are cheaply made but are sharp and do the job well. Peelers work great not only for peeling but for shaving things very thin such as parmesan, chocolate, carrots,or cucumbers.

5. Microplane – A microplane can grate hard cheese,chocolate, nutmeg, cinnamon, and even zest citrus fruits for all kinds of uses. The microplane creates beautiful grated parmigianno regianno on top of a caesar salad, pasta, or risotto. The citrus zest is also very presentable for a nice topping to a cheesecake or angel food cake. One of the other benefits of a microplane is it grates much finer then a normal grater can grater, it can also be used to grate garlic, ginger, wasabi, or onions.

6. Fish Spatula – A fish spatula is a specially designed spatula to allow you to get under the skin of the fish and allow the excess oil to drain through the slits on the spatula. You can use this design to your advantage in a number of ways. Use it to be able to pickup a piece of cheesecake or pie and get underneath it so you are not damaging the visible part. You can also use it for something such as a chocolate cake where it may be dripping chocolate and the slits will prevent it from sliding.

7. Rubber Spatula – Although called a spatula I never use it to actually pickup or flip anything. However I use it for practically everything else on the planet. Folding egg whites perfectly so it does not deflate the egg whites, mixing mashed potatoes, working with chocolate, making eggs, cooking in a nonstick pan, risotto, scraping the bowl to make sure your getting every last bit out of the container. The best thing is they clean up in 2 seconds!

8. Japanese Mandoline – A dangerous but extremely useful tool. This is what all the professional’s use to create perfect brunoise, or small cubes every time. The blade is very sharp and can thinly shave or slice things. Makes beautiful shaved parmesan, you can shave garlic, carrots, ginger, cucumber, etc.. for a nice presentation.

9. Food Mill – A food mill is a tool designed to make purees such as mashed potatoes but can be used for other things as well. You crank the handle which forces the product(potatoes, carrots, beets, etc… into different sized holes. This is the way restaurants get super smooth mashed potatoes every time. I also love to use it to make cracked black pepper, for steak or mignonette for oysters.

10. Spice Grinder – A small spice grinder is something I can’t live without when cooking. When you toast and grind spices it really brings out the flavor and is very simple to do. Just take your spice mix whether it be cumin, cinnamon, or sesame seeds and put them in a dry saute pan on medium high heat. Toss continuously avoid burning which will create a bitter taste. The spice will be finished toasting when it is golden brown and/or the smell is more vibrant. Then put in the spice grinder and grind until fine. You can also use a spice grinder to grind spices with salt and use the spiced salts to season fried items when they are just coming out of the fryer(sesame salt, black pepper salt, cumin salt, list goes on and on).

Source by Brandon Shapiro

Healthy Diet Daily


Whole grains come in all shapes, sizes, tastes and textures. With a myriad of B vitamins, fiber, iron, plant-based protein and minerals, each tiny grain delivers a nutritional punch. A whole grain has its natural bran, which holds a good portion of its nutritional value.

The complex carbohydrates present in whole grains digest more slowly than refined versions, keeping blood sugar levels (and cravings) regulated for sustained energy. They’ve also been shown to reduce LDL (“bad” cholesterol), help to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, as well as lower heart disease and diabetes risk. With whole grains, you’ve got many options not only in variety, but versatility in the kitchen, too.

From breakfast to dinner and everything in between, there’s a grain out there for every time constraint, cooking level and craving. Here are the 4 most nutritious whole grains with tasty ways to add them to your daily diet. Its tiny, bead-like appearance makes it a whole grain alternative to refined white pasta, can be ground in your blender to make gluten-free flour for baked goods, and can be turned into a creamy grain main like this Millet, Lemon and Kale “Risotto.”


Bran rolled, steel-cut and whole grouts are all the same grain presented in different ways. They’re high in soluble fiber, helping to lower cholesterol, improve digestion, help manage a healthy weight, reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and more.

An everyday pantry staple that makes not only a fantastic warm breakfast cereal with rolled oats, but also risotto with steel-cut or pilaf with whole grouts.

They’re also star players in desserts, like this healthier recipe for Honey Oat Roasted Pears.


Not often thought of as a whole grain, corn’s bad-boy health persona should be limited to the refined versions of itself (i.e. high-fructose corn syrup).

Its standout nutritional features are lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that help eyesight. As a whole food, corn is a unique grain in that it’s eaten fresh from the cob, as well as dried in the form of cornmeal and flour.

For an elegant and healthy vegetarian entree with corn, try this Veggie Ragu on Blue Cheese Polenta.

Brown Rice

Whole grain brown rice is a low-allergen; gluten-free whole grain high in B vitamins, selenium, fiber and slow-digesting carbohydrates. Many varieties of white rice can be readily found in whole grain brown rice such as basmati, short grain and long grain.

Combined with a legume or bean, brown rice turns into a complete plant-based protein, as showcased in this recipe for Goat Cheese, Lentil and Brown Rice Rolls.

Black Rice

Inky-black with a slightly sweet, grapey taste, this dark-colored whole grain is one of the highest sources of antioxidants in any food, even more so than most fruits and vegetables.

It’s excellent as a side dish, used as a bed for curries or made into a healthy dessert like this Black Rice Pudding with Mango, Lime, Passion Fruit and Coconut.

Source by Pooja Hatte

Adventures in Israeli Couscous

Israeli Couscous is a small, round semolina pasta that should not be confused with the tiny, yellow North African couscous; it is a different animal altogether! Sometimes called pearl couscous or maftoul, it resembles barley, or very small, white peas.

After being shaped and rolled into small balls, these semolina pearls are toasted in an open-flame oven. This distinguishes the couscous from most pasta, which is dried but not toasted. Toasting lends the couscous a distinctive, nutty flavor and particularly satisfying mouth-feel, and it also seals in the starch and reinforces the exterior, allowing the pearls to absorb liquid without falling apart. This is why Israeli couscous is ideal for saucy preparations whatever the sauce or reduction, the couscous absorbs the flavor beautifully, and the sauce sticks well to every tiny pearl.

Israeli Couscous is one of my favorite ingredients, and it is a pantry staple in my house. I love it for two reasons: it is incredibly versatile and delicious, and it is fun and easy for kids to eat. Mac and cheese made with Israeli Couscous is almost as much fun as ice cream dots!

Although Israeli couscous does not cook quite as fast as the quick-cooking version of North African couscous, it is much speedier than the traditional method of steaming couscous several times.

Like other pasta, Israeli couscous is very easy to prepare; you can simply add it to boiling water and cook for 10 minutes or so. Once it is ready, sauce it as you would any pasta, or use it as a delicious, eye-catching bed for grilled or roasted fish, meat or chicken. Just add a pan sauce for a really wonderful dish! It is great the next day too. For lunch, I will often sprinkle leftover cooked couscous over some greens and chopped veggies It is an easy way to give a salad a little more substance.

But there is another way to make Israeli couscous, and it is well worth the extra time. Try it “risotto style.” Unlike risotto, you do not have to stand over the couscous adding simmering stock every few minutes. Simply sauté aromatics (like onions and garlic) in olive oil, add the couscous and stir well to coat, and then add broth or stock. Cook, allowing the couscous time to simmer and absorb the liquid, and when it has, add vegetables, herbs and seasonings as desired. This risotto-style couscous is simply sensational made with fresh basil and summer tomatoes; sprinkle some feta cheese on top and serve with grilled marinated lamb or chicken.

Israeli couscous is also wonderful for picnics and potluck dishes. Try it in your favorite pasta salad. Pasta salads are often made with larger pasta shapes that dominate the dish with their starchy texture. But pasta salad made with Israeli couscous allows every mouthwatering element to shine. Each mouthful is a perfect balance of soft, flavorful pasta and whatever delicious ingredients you have chosen for the salad.

Source by Eliza Ward

Italian Cuisine – Cooking in Italy

Italian cuisine has a huge variety of dishes and drinks: because Italy was not officially unified until 1861, and its cuisines reflect the cultural variety of its regions and its diverse history (with influences from Greek, Roman, Gaelic, Germanic, Goth, Norman, Lombard, Frank, Turkish, Hebrew, Slavic, Arabic and Chinese cuisines). Italian cuisine is savored in every corner of the world.

In a way, there is really no such thing as Italian cuisine in the way that people usually understand national cuisines. Each region has its own specialties. Italian cuisine is not only highly regionalized, it is also very seasonal. The high priority placed on the use of fresh, seasonal produce distinguishes the Italian cuisine from imitations available in most other countries.

Regional differences

Roman cuisine, for instance, uses a lot of pecorino (cheese made from sheep’s milk) and offal, while Tuscan cuisine includes white beans, meat, and bread. Pizza making also varies throughout the country, the pizza crusts in Rome are thin and crispy, while Neapolitan pizza and Sicilian pizza have a thicker crust. The influence of Northern Italian cuisine can be seen in French and German cuisines. Piedmont and Lombardy each grow their own different kinds of rice, which are used to make risotto. The North of Italy is the home of polenta. Emilia-Romagna is known for lasagna and tortellini (stuffed pasta), Naples (Napoli) is the home of pizza, mozzarella cheese and pastries. Calabria’s cuisine uses a lot of hot pepper in its renowned salami (which is common, in several varieties, throughout the country) and uses capsicum. Sicily is the home of ice cream but its cuisine also has many influences from Arab cuisine (lemon, pistachio) and also includes fish (tuna, swordfish). Sardinia is famous for lamb and pecorino.

Northern and Southern Italian cooking

Traditional Italian cuisine varies from region to region and does not follow North-South tendencies. Northern and southern Italian cuisines can be differentiated, primarily, by the north using more butters and creams and the south more tomato and olive oil. Generally, however, there is a strong difference between the regional use of cooking fat and traditional style of pasta. Inland northern and northeastern regions usually prefer more butter, cream, polenta, mascarpone, grana padano, and parmigian cheeses, risotto, lasagna and fresh egg pasta. Coastal northern and central regions are more of a link between north and south and often use tortellini, ravioli and are known for great prosciutto. The southern regions are known for mozzarella, caciocavallo, and pecorino cheeses, olive oil, and dried pasta. Southern Italian cuisine also uses the ubiquitous tomato.

Types of Italian coffee

Italian coffee (caffè), also known as espresso, which is a strong coffee prepared by forcing the hot water through finely ground coffee beans at high pressure. It is usually served in relatively small amount. Caffè macchiato is covered with a bit of steamed milk or whip cream; caffè ristretto is made with less water, and is stronger. Cappuccino is mixed or topped with steamed, mostly foamy, milk. It is generally considered a morning drink. Caffelatte is usually equal parts of espresso and steamed milk, like café au lait, and is typically served in a large cup. Latte macchiato (spotted milk) is a glass of warm milk with a bit of coffee.

Italian wines

We cannot talk about Italian food without talking about Italian wine. Most Italian wines of great names are produced in the three main Italian regions: Piedmont (Barolo), Venetia (Amarone, Pinot Grigio, etc.) and Tuscany (Chianti, Brunello). Other great wine producing regions such as Puglie (Primitivo) and Sicily also produce some noteworthy wines.

Traditional Menu

A traditional Italian meal:

1. Antipasto – hot or cold appetizers

2. Primo (“first course”), usually consists of a hot dish like pasta, risotto, gnocchi, polenta or soup. There are usually many vegetarian options.

3. Secondo (“second course”), the main dish, usually fish or meat (pasta is never the main course of a meal). Traditionally veal is the most widely used meat, at least in the North, although beef has become more popular since World War II.

4. Contorno (“side dish”) may consist of a salad or vegetables. A traditional menu features salad after the main course.

5. Dolce (“dessert”)

6. Caffè (“coffee”) (espresso)

7. Digestive which consists of liquors/liqueurs (grappa, amaro, limoncello) sometimes called ammazzacaffè (“Coffee killer”)

Although it is said that today the traditional Italian menu is reserved for special events even as the common menu only includes the first and second course, the side dish (often joined to the second course) and coffee (if not in a hurry). One remarkable aspect of an Italian meal, especially if eaten in an Italian home, is that the primo, or first course, is usually the more substantial dish, containing most of the meal’s carbohydrates, and will consist of risotto or pasta. Modern Italian cuisine also includes single courses (all-at-once courses), providing carbs and proteins altogether (e.g. pasta and vegetables).

Source by David Pruitt

Great Rice Cooking Tips

When we talk about cooking with rice, there are about a thousand different things we can do with it. They key is to make the rice as tasty as what you are accompanying it with rather than just a filler. Here are some tips that will ensure you get the most out of your rice dishes:

  1. Toast the rice in butter or oil before adding water or broth as it will make the taste more palatable but be sure not to burn it. It is very important to constantly stir the rice so that the grains change position all the time and saute for the proper amount of time. You can add the liquid when you see that the rice starts to change to a transparent color.
  2. Carnaroli rice is excellent for making a great risotto. It absorbs moisture evenly and is easier to cook al dente. Using this rice will allow the dish to be creamy and still have loose grains of rice.
  3. Always use a vegetable or beef broth to cook the rice. The main reason is that tastes better. If you choose water instead of broth it will turn insipid no matter how many spices or ingredients you add to it.
  4. When cooking a dish of rice with wine, always choose white wine over red as it goes better with rice. It is very rare to find a red wine risotto. When using wine for risotto always choose a good quality wine.
  5. If you like your rice grains well separated, rinse the rice well to remove the excess starch. Wipe dry with paper towels and then saute in butter or oil before continuing with the rest of the recipe.
  6. Water absorption of rice will vary depending on the crop. If you notice that your risotto is dry, don’t hesitate to add extra liquid regardless of what your recipe calls for.
  7. Porcini mushrooms give a rice dish an aroma that is irreplaceable and you can find them fresh or dehydrated in most grocery stores. But if for some reason you can’t find them, prepare the rice with Pine mushrooms. It won’t be the same but they are a good alternative.
  8. When using the dehydrated mushrooms, first wash them because they release a dry powder. Soak them for around 60 minutes in warm or almost hot water and change it several times.
  9. Do not overdo the amount of butter used to saute the rice and onions. If you do, it will turn out excessively oily and greasy. Also remember to not exaggerate the amount of onions you use. The purpose of the onion is only to add some flavor to the dish, not to inundate it.
  10. If you do not have risotto rice, replace it with long and wide grain rice that contains a lot of starch.
  11. When cooking rice with mussels, choose good quality fresh mussels. I promise you will notice the difference.

Source by Marc D.

Risotto and the Veneto Region Italian Food

The Italian food of the Veneto region poses a perplexing question: With so many dishes to choose from, how can anyone have only one favorite? Given the great regional variations within the region, not to mention between Veneto and the rest of the country, there are a lot of unique dishes waiting for you to discover them. However, if risotto is something you crave, Veneto is definitely for you.

Other than pasta, risotto is one of the most famous of Italian foods. And if some of the greatest Italian food dishes in existence are what you’re looking for, Veneto is a place you must visit, at least via the dinner table.

Risotto is a specific way of cooking rice, and is growing in popularity to take it’s rightful place alongside pasta in the pantheon of Italian food, like many specialties of the Veneto region. To make a true risotto, the rice must first be cooked in olive oil or butter.

The rice must be coated evenly in the butter oil, and toasted just until translucent. Broth is then added just a little at a time, the idea is to slowly saturate the rice with the broth, which helps it achieve it’s distinctive risotto texture. Unless the rice is toasted, it’s not risotto. Even if it’s served at the finest of Italian food restaurants, it just isn’t the same unless toasted.

Risotto is an incredibly versatile dish; almost anything may be added to it. Because of the diversity of high quality local ingredients in the Veneto region, this makes for a fascinating variety of risottos to be tried. The local specialty (for example, seafood and fish in coastal areas) tends to put in an appearance in the risotto.

The possibilities go far beyond seafood though, all sorts of fresh local specialties show up in the Veneto region. Pumpkin, asparagus, even radicchio turn up in these local gems. Frog legs may even be found, a more commonplace part of Italian food than many would suppose.

Italian food differs from the stereotype held by many; this is doubly true in the Veneto region, which features some wonderful dishes not found elsewhere in the country. Pasta and beans, for instance is a very popular dish in Veneto and is turning up at more and more Italian restaurants all the time.

Anchovy, as well as stockfish are present in some dishes of the Veneto region. But the popularity of sausages dwarfs that of the humble anchovy, with the local dry-cured, pressed salami (sopressata) and garlic salami being special favorites.

In Veneto, the Italian food prominently features the local produce; radicchio and asparagus are things the Veneto region is well known for, as are peas with rice. This is a dish found only in Veneto, and is something of a departure from what Italian food is generally assumed to be.

The Veneto region offers many different choices for the discriminating diner. From sopressata to vegetable dishes to it’s unparalleled risotto, the Italian food of Veneto is an embarrassment of riches. If you require risotto to make it an Italian meal, the foods of Veneto are just the thing for you. With so many unique dishes, Veneto has enough different, wonderful Italian food for everybody.

Source by Isabel Da Silva