Refreshing Summer Drinks (Non-alcoholic)

Scorching heat is at its maximum glory during the summer time and the heat seems to sip the life out of us. The onset of summer gives us the perfect opportunity to relax outdoors and refresh ourselves with a cool drink. It is the perfect way to replenish ourselves after we are tired and dehydrated due to the summer heat. People around the world prepare a variety of summer drinks, ranging from tangy to sweet, to beat the heat. Here are some of the best summer drinks that are sure to leave you refreshed after a day in the sun:

Honey & Apple Iced Tea

Add 500 ml of boiling water in a large jug and place 4 teabags of your choice into the water and leave for around 5 minutes to brew. After this, remove and discard the tea bags and add honey into the mixture till it is dissolved completely. After this, add 500 ml of apple juice into it and mix thoroughly. Chill the drink in the refrigerator and serve with appropriate amount of ice.

Pink Lemonade

To prepare this delicious summer drink, add 1 chopped unwaxed lime, 4 chopped unwaxed lemons and 1 cup fresh raspberries along with 2 teaspoons of grated fresh ginger and a few ice cubes in blender. Also add about 500 ml of water along with 100 grams of sugar into the blender. Blitz the mixture for a few second, then strain out the juice into a large jug. Again add the leftover fruit and ginger pulp into the blender and add another 100 grams of sugar and 500 ml water and repeat the blitzing process. Strain the juice and discard the pulp. Serve the refreshing pink lemonade with a sprig of mint and few ice cubes.

Black Forest Milkshake

Add 1 liter of milk along with a cup of maraschino cherries, 2 tablespoons of chocolate sauce and about 3 scoops of chocolate ice cream to a blender and blitz together till a smooth consistency is achieved. Pour out the milkshakes into the desired number of glasses and top with sweetened whipped cream, a sprinkle of cocoa and a delicious cherry. Make sure to serve the milkshake chilled to enjoy it to the fullest.

Alcohol-free Pina Colada

Pina Colada is undoubtedly one of the greatest drinks that both kids as well as grown-ups can enjoy during the hot summer months. To prepare it, simply mix together lime juice extracted from 2 whole limes, 200 ml of coconut milk, 400 ml of pineapple juice and the flesh from half a pineapple, along with lots of ice cubes and enjoy the heavenly taste.

Coffee Nog

Add ½ a cup of strong coffee, 2 tablespoons of sugar and ½ cup of heavy cream along with 2 cups of cold milk and the desired amount of ice cubes into a blender and blend for about 15-20 seconds or till everything is well combined. Pour the prepared coffee nog into punch glasses and top with a sprinkling of nutmeg. These amounts of ingredients are suitable for preparing 3 glasses of this delectable drink.

How to Make Breadcrumbs?

Breadcrumbs are essential ingredients for many delicacies. While a lot of people have the habit of picking breadcrumbs off the supermarket spice section, they are in fact ridiculously easy to make at home. Here is how you go about making standard (not Panko breadcrumbs – we shall talk about that later) bread crumbs in you own kitchen at home.

Homemade Breadcrumbs Recipe

All that you would need as ingredients are one loaf of white bread and half cup of butter. If you are using unsalted bread and butter, you may need a couple of pinches of salt as well.

Method of Preparation

  1. Cut the bread loaf into small cubes of say 1” or manageable size
  2. Use a blender to crumb the bread evenly – This process shouldn’t take more than 5-6 seconds, don’t blend it for too long
  3. Optional step: Use a coarse sieve to filter out the fine ground bread pieces
  4. Melt half a cup of butter in a large pan and add crumbs to it. You may add a couple of pinches of salt if you are using unsalted bread and butter
  5. Stir well so that butter is evenly absorbed and continue stirring in medium heat until the crumbs move around like sand at the bottom of the pan (with similar sound, that is)
  6. Let it cool and you can then store it in a tight container or zip locker for up to three months

Microwave Breadcrumbs Recipe
Now, what if you want to make small quantities of breadcrumbs real quick?

Here is how you go about it.

  1. Take three to four bread slices and cut them across and lengthwise once
  2. Place the bread pieces in a microwavable plate in one layer and microwave on ‘High’ for about 3-4 minutes or until they are crunchy. Please note that a few overheating can turn it into black
  3. Place the hardened bread pieces inside a zipped bag and crush them using your hand or a roller pin
  4. Alternatively you could use a blender to do the same but blend for no more than 3-4 seconds

For extra tasty breadcrumbs, you might have to use the conventional oven to prepare the breadcrumbs. In that case you also have the possibility of adding seasoning such as dried oregano, pepper or garlic powder.

That is it. Homemade breadcrumbs are good to go into your recipes.

Microwave Omelet Recipe

Do you want to make delicious breakfast omelets (spelled omelettes in some countries) pretty quickly and without using any oil and fry pan? Here is an easy microwave omelet recipe that you can prepare in just 3 minutes.

There are microwave omelette makers available in the market but our recipe would just work with any microwaveable plate, bowl or saucer.

The Microwave omelet recipe given below is based on my own ingredients. You could use pretty much the same method of preparation with your favorite ingredients as well

Microwave Omelet Recipe

Ingredients
Eggs – 3
Milk – 2 tablespoons
Cheese – ¼ cup, grated
Butter – 2 tablespoons
Onion (Medium) – 1, finely chopped
Tomato (Small) – 1, finely chopped
Green & Red Pepper (Capsicum) – ¼ cup, finely chopped
Mushrooms – 3, Sliced into 4-5 pieces vertically and once horizontally
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional Ingredients
If you have a Mexican or Far East tongue, you may add 1 chopped chilli (preferably seeds removed) as well.

Feel free to add your chopped sausages, ham or even steamed and sliced chicken whichever is your favorite meat or processed meat.

Method of Preparation

  • Whisk eggs, milk, cheese, salt and fresh ground black pepper in a glass bowl till the mixture tends to form. Add all chopped vegetables and mix well
  • Grease a pie dish or suitable microwave safe dish with butter or cooking spray. Pour the mixture into the dish and cover it with a microwave safe lid (or plastic wrap with a little hole pricked)
  • Microwave on high for 1 minute, stir and cook again for one minute covered (total 2 minutes of covered cooking)
  • Remove the wrap, fluff up the mixture and if needed add some melt butter while stirring. Microwave uncovered on high for another minute. There you go!

Enjoy your breakfast omelet served right from your Microwave!

Now for the bonus tip…

Scrambled eggs in Microwave

If you have to make scrambled eggs in microwave, you just need to have chopped onions, salt, pepper and milk (optionally tomatoes) blended well. Microwave on high for two minutes covered. Stir well to break the semi solid mixture into lumps and microwave again on high for another 60 to 90 seconds uncovered.

Disclaimer: A lot of people do make omelets in the microwave as the raw egg odor in the appliance will not cease easily. But I didn’t find it worse than the smell of heating some of the frozen food

3 Amazing Watermelon Recipes to Beat the Summer Heat

When the scorching heat is at its peak during the summer, all that you want to do is to replenish your dehydrated body with a lot of appropriate fluids and fruit juices. And in such conditions, there is nothing better that you can ask for than those watery Watermelons. Before sharing our exclusive easy-to-make watermelon recipes, let us discuss some health benefits of watermelon.

Watermelon Benefits

Watermelon is one of the finest anti aging fruits due to the Zinc and Selenium content in its seeds. It is also rich in vitamins and researches have shown that it can arrest even colon cancer and diabetes not to forget that its antioxidants are helpful to maintain a healthy heart.

When you make your watermelon recipes, make sure that you are not throwing away those seeds. This is true for other melon varieties as well.

Watermelon Recipes

Here are our picks of summer drinks based on watermelon. Well, what qualifies for a summer drink? Obviously something that serves you loads of H2O, glucose, vitamins, minerals and less of things that dehydrate you (e.g. caffeine, alcohol).

1. Watermelon Lemonade – Our variant

Ingredients (To serve two): Two tablespoons of fresh squeezed lime juice, 6 Oz (175ml) of orange juice, 6 Oz of drinking water, Three tablespoons of sugar, One pinch of salt, Two cups of fresh cut watermelon cubes

Method of preparation: Blend all ingredients (except the watermelon cubes) very well in a cocktail shaker or blender. Pour it into large glasses till 2/3rd level and top it with the watermelon cubes. Serve with a straw and a spoon. You have an amazing thirst-quencher there!

2. Watermelon Iced Tea

Well, strong tea or coffee is not exactly meant for summer. However, a little bit of Iced tea could be consumed as a chiller refresher for sure! Here’s a special iced tea variant.

Ingredients (To serve two): 4 teabags, 1 pint (or 500ml) of water, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoon of sugar, 1/3rd watermelon cut into cubes, 2 cups of ice.

Method of preparation: Brew the teabags in a teapot or in a pan of hot water for 3 minutes. Remove the teabags and keep this brew in fridge.

Blend the watermelon cubes, sugar and lemon juice well in a blender for a few seconds and strain and store this in the fridge as well.

When it’s time to serve, take equal quantities of the tea brew and juice, mix well, pour into a glass and top with ice cubes. Decorate with mint leaves and serve.

(And what about making the same drink with green tea? Well, I have tried that as well. It is even better and offers more health benefits. Needless to say, if you want to make this drink taste like juice than iced tea, you might want to add more sugar.)

3. Watermelon and coke

Ingredients (To serve one): 1 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1/6 watermelon cut into cubes, 1 cups of ice and coke as needed.

Method of preparation: Blend the lemon juice, sugar, watermelon cubes and a few ice cubes in a blender and strain. Pour it into a highball glass till 3/4th level and add 3-4 ice cubes. Very slowly pour up to two ounces of coke on top so that it creates a very good texture of the pink juice and coke separated by the ice. Server with a straw and decorated with a couple of fresh mint leaves.

Have fun this summer with our watermelon recipes!

Fruit Punch Recipe

The Fruit Punch is said to have been originated in India and the English sailors introduced this in England. It slowly spread to all over Europe in the 17th Century.

The term ‘Punch’ is originated from the Hindi language word ‘Panch’ which means five. This suggests that the original fruit punch had exactly five ingredients.

In Europe, then many alcoholic and non-alcoholic fruit punch variants were derived and it became kind of a drink for parties, birthday event and get togethers.

How to make Fruit Punch?

Here is a good virgin Fruit punch recipe (Fruit Punch without alcohol or commonly known as Fruit Punch mocktail). Please note that there can be many variations but most of them will have pineapple juice and one off lemon juice or orange juice with other variables.

Ingredients (to serve two)
Orange juice – 4 oz
Pineapple juice – 4oz
Mango juice – 4 oz
Lemon juice – 3/4 oz
Grenadine syrup – 1/2 tsp (Read: Grenadine recipe)
Fresh cream – 1 oz
Crushed ice

Preparation
Shake all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker and pour into two glasses. Garnish either with pineapple pieces in the juice or with a beautifully cut fruit piece on a stirrer stick.

Fruit Punch Recipe Variations

There have been many variations with lemonade, ginger ale, tonic water etc. And the fruit pieces used as garnish would vary from strawberries, cherries, pineapple to lime or lemon slices. Sometimes they are also served with mint leaves garnish.

The Planter’s punch will additionally have soda and a little bit of cayenne pepper added to the above recipe. And it often has lime slices floating as garnish. Of course, Planter’s punch recipe with alcohol is different.

There are also melon punch variants but aren’t as citrous and punchy as the original one.

Majorities of the punch variations (e.g. Bourbon Punch) has huge difference from the original recipe and also many of them are alcoholic Fruit punches or pure cocktails. It is not in the scope of this article.

Let us know how did your Fruit punch turn out to be based on the above mentioned fruit punch recipe!

KFC Fried Chicken Recipe

Well, Colonel Sanders’ closely kept secret recipe or KFC Fried Chicken is no more a secret as there are 100s of variations of the same recipe available on the Internet.

After experimenting with several of them, I derived this one with my own improvisation and it’s rather simple to make as well.

Kentucky Fried Chicken Recipe – Ingredients

The following would be the ingredients required to make nine pieces of KFC style fried chicken out of a 3 lbs chicken.

  1. All purpose flour (white fine flour) – 2 ½ cups
  2. Milk – ¾ cup
  3. Eggs – 3
  4. Vegetable oil as required
  5. Spices:
    Salt – one tsp
    Garlic salt – ½ tbsp
    Celery salt – ½ tbsp
    Accent (MSG or Mono Sodium Glutomate) – ½ tsp
    Black pepper powder – one tbsp
    Ground ginger – one tbsp
    Paprika – ½ tbsp
    Oregano – ½ tsp
    Thyme – ½ tsp
    Dry mustard – ½ tsp
    Basil – ½ tsp
  6. Spice substitute: What if you don’t have all those spices ready? Just use the ‘salad seasoning mix’ which contains most of those ingredients and some ginger garlic paste, MSG and black pepper powder

Note: Please note that there can be minor variations in the quantity of spices as per your taste

Preparation

  1. Beat eggs in a bowl and pour milk into it and mix thoroughly
  2. In a larger bowl, mix flour and spices in the ingredients list (5) very well. If you can’t find all the ingredients, use the substitute mix (6)
  3. Take each chicken piece, dip it well in the egg-milk mix and then roll it in the spice-flour mix. Repeat the process once again so that you get a thick layer of flour mixture stuck on to all around the chicken
  4. Fry the chicken pieces in a fryer at 170 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or in a frying pan (with 1 inch oil level) in low to medium flame for 15-25 minutes depending on how big the chicken pieces are
  5. Spread the fried chicken pieces in a paper towel to drain the oil

Other tips

– Have a good quality fryer. Pan frying will not yield the same quality results
– Chicken pieces should be properly dried without any water layer on them and avoid frozen chicken
– Fresh chicken should be cut into well defined pieces without disfiguring the same (9 defined pieces would be two legs, two thighs, two wings, two ribs and the breast for a 3 pound chicken)
– Do not fry too many pieces together but keep similar sized ones in a go. Also keep turning the chicken upside down every two-three minutes while frying
– Chicken with its skin on is always recommended as it gives a crunchy outer layer when the chicken is fried. Moreover, it holds the chicken together from breaking down while frying.

Enjoy the lip smacking KFC style chicken fry with gravy and salad!

How to Boil an Egg?

Boiling eggs to perfection is no rocket science. You simply have to follow the steps below if at all you do not know yet how to boil an egg.

Hard boil an egg

For hard boiling you have to choose eggs that are 4-5 days old. Fresh from farm eggs are not suitable for hard boiling.

  1. Wash eggs thoroughly to remove any stain or spots. If it was in the fridge, let it come to room temperature before boiling starts
  2. Pour water into a sauce pan to a couple of inches in depth and boil it in high heat
  3. Add a couple of pinches of salt into the boiling water
  4. Lower the flame and gently place eggs into the water in a single layer. You should not stack eggs while boiling. Let it boil in low flame
  5. Remove the sauce pan from the flame after 12-14 minutes based on the size of the eggs
  6. Let it cool in room temperature for 10-15 minutes before you can peel them

Your hard boiled eggs are ready! Do not overcook eggs beyond 15 minutes nor cook in high heat. The egg white can become really rubbery if you do so. Adding a pinch of salt while boiling helps to peel eggs easily and perfectly.

How to boil an egg – The Soft boil way?

A lot of people prefer soft boiled eggs due to the taste factor. For soft boiling fresh eggs are the best.

  1. Wash eggs thoroughly to remove any stain or spots
  2. Pour water into a sauce and simmer it for 2-3 minutes. The water needn’t boil
  3. Gently place cleaned eggs into the water after turning off the flame
  4. Let the eggs remain in hot water for 3-5 minutes and then take them out

Your soft boiled eggs are ready! Serve them lukewarm.

How long to boil an egg?

Hard boiling eggs take 12 to 15 minutes for medium to large eggs. If the eggs are extra large, give it 17-18 minutes of cooking time.

Soft boiling takes 3 minutes for medium sized eggs and up to 5 minutes for larger ones.

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