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Thumb_291489917_d0cd5853edWhat are Chinese Spring Green Teas?

Thumb_291489917_d0cd5853edWhat are Chinese Spring Green Teas?

Chinese Spring Green Teas refer to a variety of teas that are grown and hand-picked in the remote provinces west of Shanghai. With poetic names like Snow Dragon, Rain Flower and Jade in the Clouds, these precious teas are harvested just after the tea plant buds and before the rains in late March to mid-May, a short season that accounts for less than 12% of total green tea harvest. Chinese Spring Green are some of the world's most prized teas. They are carefully harvested to have specifically shaped and sized leaves and bud formations that give them a singular appearance, and make a pale green-gold brew that has a mild, sweet and lightly grassy taste.

Thumb_2849145838_dc746cc736What is stevia?

Thumb_2849145838_dc746cc736What is stevia?

Stevia is a sugar substitute. Made from South and Central American herbs and shrubs, whose leaves have up to 45 times more sweetness than table sugar, stevia has been used for centuries to sweeten yerba mate. Since the 1970s, the Japanese have been the largest consumers of stevia in the world, and it can also be found throughout Asia, South America and Israel. Because of health and safety concerns, the U.S. banned stevia in the early 1990s but It was approved as a food additive by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at the end of 2008. It is currently banned in the E.U., Singapore and Hong Kong pending more research.

Thumb_532197658_e3a9fa0f41What does it mean to mince something?

Thumb_532197658_e3a9fa0f41What does it mean to mince something?

On the scale of cutting things into little pieces, a mince is smaller than a dice, shred or chop, but not quite puréed, pulverized or squashed to a pulp. Things that are typically minced include shallots, garlic, ginger, onion, lemongrass, peppers, herbs, meats, words. Why mince? Mince when you want to make sure that a powerful flavor is spread evenly throughout a dish. Also, mince if you want to make sure that you won’t bite into a too-big chunk of something potent, like garlic, or something difficult to chew, like ginger or lemongrass. How to mince? Some cooks are born to mince with a chef’s knife, swiftly and precisely yielding the smallest bits of garlic, onion and herbs. For the clumsy and the lazy, a garlic press will mince several cloves at a time, a grater will work for ginger, and a vegetable chopper or baby Cuisinart will mince vegetables and herbs. A butcher is your best bet for mincing meat. Caution: Mincemeat does not equal “minced meat.” Aside from contributing a little suet to the cause, the butcher can’t help you make a mincemeat (or mince) pie, which contains minced fruits, nuts and spices. The butcher may, however, send you off with “minced meat,” such as ground beef or pork, for your kibbi or larb.

Thumb_1372762478_74fe60988fWhat is honey?

Thumb_1372762478_74fe60988fWhat is honey?

Golden, fragrant and naturally sweet, honey is the fruit of a long-standing arrangement between men and bees. Worker bees buzz around snatching nectar from the flowers, returning to the hive to concentrate the nectar and stash it in the viscous form of honey. Then the beekeeper snatches the honey from the bees. Honey can be drizzled in its liquid form, whipped to prevent crystallization or creamed and spread like butter. Finding crystals in your honey is actually a testament to its high quality. To smooth it out, set the honey jar in a pan of freshly boiled water, until the honey turns liquid again.   Honey has longstanding connections to love and sensuality. In the fifth century B.C., Hippocrates prescribed it for "sexual vigor." And Rosh Hashanah is celebrated with honey and honey desserts, to help ensure a sweet coming year. Recipe: Honey Cake (Cookthink) Recipe: Breakfast Quinoa With Dried Cranberries, Toasted Walnuts, And Honey (Cookthink) Recipe: Greek-Inspired Honey-Roasted Shallots (hogwash)

Thumb_2964644940_26746989dfWhat is apple cider?

Thumb_2964644940_26746989dfWhat is apple cider?

Made from the pressed fruit of autumnal apples like Baldwin and McIntosh, cider is just juice that hasn't been filtered. While apple juice tastes pure and sweet, apple cider is murkier and more mysterious, with a tart, tangy thirst-quenching quality.    Supermarket cider is flash-pasteurized or treated to prolong its shelf life, but traditional sweet apple cider is one of fall's ephemeral gifts; keep it too long and its natural yeasts will turn the sugar to alcohol -- resulting in the slightly carbonated drink known as hard cider. In colonial times, hard cider was the beverage of choice since water often carried bacteria and diseases. It was almost definitely served at the original Thanksgiving, and John Adams drank a pitcher every morning before breakfast.

Thumb_2899582840_329b26f359Root Source: Honey

Thumb_2899582840_329b26f359Root Source: Honey

what you should know Golden, fragrant and naturally sweet, honey is the fruit of a long-standing arrangement between men and bees. Worker bees buzz around snatching nectar from the flowers, returning to the hive to concentrate the nectar and stash it in the viscous form of honey. Then the beekeeper snatches the honey from the bees.  crystal clear Finding crystals in your honey is actually a testament to its high quality. To smooth it out, set the honey jar in a pan of freshly boiled water, until the honey turns liquid again.   the buzz Colony Collapse Disorder has been killing off honey bees in the last several years. Since honey flavors so many food products, some companies are rallying to help the bees. honey bunch According to Martha Hopkins of The New The New InterCourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook, honey has longstanding connections to love and sensuality. In the fifth century B.C., Hippocrates prescribed it for "sexual vigor." more than bears Honey can be drizzled in its liquid form, whipped to prevent crystallization or creamed and spread like butter. sweet wishes Rosh Hashanah is celebrated with honey and honey desserts, to help ensure a sweet coming year.  what you need Searching for some fine literature about bees and honey? Start with Sue Hubbell's A Book of Bees or Holley Bishop's Robbing the Bees. If your table setting calls for something more elegant than a plastic bear, you might want a honey dispenser. Instead of a spoon, try using a honey wand to coax the golden liquid from the jar without spilling a drop. And while you're whipping up some of our honey recipes, Sweet Honey In The Rock makes the ideal background music.   what you do Jaden's fantastic pecan-crusted tilapia is sweetened with a honey glaze. hogwash roasts shallots with honey and feta for a Greek-inspired twist on the French classic. Before winter spoils the mood, freeze a batch of honey ice cream with ginger-spiced pecans. Easier than baklava, these flaky honey and almond triangles are a delight. Glaze your carrots with honey for a smooth, golden sweetness. Featured: Satisfy your sweet tooth with Honey, Pistachio And Chocolate Chip Biscotti -- this week's Root Source Challenge featured recipe. Congratulations to Dishing Up Delights! Find more honey recipes at Cookthink.com. And if you haven't yet signed up for a free account at Cookthink, do it now!

Thumb_2963803595_3afeb2ec0bRoot Source: Apple Cider

Thumb_2963803595_3afeb2ec0bRoot Source: Apple Cider

what you should know Made from the pressed fruit of autumnal apples like Baldwin and McIntosh, cider is just juice that hasn't been filtered. While apple juice tastes pure and sweet, apple cider is murkier and more mysterious, with a tart, tangy thirst-quenching quality.    drink up Supermarket cider is flash-pasteurized or treated to prolong its shelf life, but traditional sweet apple cider is one of fall's ephemeral gifts; keep it too long and its natural yeasts will turn the sugar to alcohol -- resulting in the slightly carbonated drink known as hard cider. mull it over Mulled cider = cider + spices + heat (and if you're lucky, a splash of rum or brandy). The chemistry of this warming beverage, one writer mused, is reminiscent of the Obama-Biden ticket. an apple a day In colonial times, hard cider was the beverage of choice since water often carried bacteria and diseases. It was almost definitely served at the original Thanksgiving, and John Adams drank a pitcher every morning before breakfast. cider house gang Other famous cider lovers include Robert Frost, Annie Proulx -- and Gwyneth Paltrow? what you need Before The Shipping News, Annie Proulx wrote a book about cider. If you're considering going into the apple business, you'll want to invest in an apple crusher and cider press. Mulling spices would make a lovely gift for your favorite cider lover. Looking for some truth about Johnny Appleseed? Michael Pollan's book The Botany of Desire has a whole section on the history the apple. what you do Dense and spicy, apple cider doughnuts are best dunked in coffee while still hot. Apple cider adds tang to this creamy, fall risotto. Roasted pork and fall fruit basted with apple cider will warm you through and through. Making ribs is a cooking rite of passage. Try these easy ribs with a lip-smacking cider-bourbon mop sauce. We can't get enough of this apple cider caramel cake. An intoxicating lamb stew made with cider lets those tasty fall root vegetables shine. Featured: This week's Root Source Challenge winner sent us a wistful recipe for pleasingly tart cider jelly. Congratulations to Culinaria Eugenius! Find more apple cider recipes at Cookthink.com. And if you haven't yet signed up for a free account at Cookthink, do it now!

Thumb_minced gingerHow to mince ginger

Thumb_minced gingerHow to mince ginger

When you want the flavor of ginger to permeate a a sauté , stir-fry, sauce or braise, mince it. For the most ginger flavor, mince it finely and add it toward the end of cooking. Cooking ginger longer mellows its flavor. We usually start with what we call a "thumb" -- a piece of ginger roughly the size and shape of your thumb. To make the thumb easier to peel, start by cutting off any small protruding parts. You can peel and mince these separately. We like to peel ginger with a spoon. Because a spoon is dull, it easily takes off the soft skin and leaves most of the aromatic flesh behind. Slice the peeled thumb lengthwise into planks, thick or thin depending on how fine you want your mince to be. After you slice away one or two planks, roll the thumb over on the flat side for more stability. Stack the planks and slice them lengthwise into matchsticks. Now just gather the matchsticks together, rotate them 90 degrees, and slice them crosswise to complete the mince. For a finer mince, just run your knife across the pile a few times, chopping as you go.