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Food + Food Drink Report

A Gourmet’s Guide to Bangkok

If you are planning a visit to amazing Thailand, Bangkok offers a treasure trove for the senses, with a colourful and vibrant ambience that has a surprise around every corner, and if you are a food lover, prepare yourself for a once in a lifetime experience.

Bangkok Street Food

If you’re the adventurous type and can handle spicy food, a symphony of tastes awaits you when you are in the City of Angels, with firm favourites as:

  • Moo Ping – BBQ pork slices on bamboo sticks, paired with sticky rice, this is a great way to start the day, and you will find vendors everywhere, as they would have a motorcycle-kitchen and they stop often. Moo Satay comes with a peanut butter-based sauce that once tasted, is never forgotten, and the meat is basted while cooking, plus this dish can be ordered at most restaurants.
  • Gai Yaang – BBQ chicken cooked over low coals, which is eaten with sticky rice and some amazing pepper sauces.
  • Ba Thong Go – Similar to our doughnut, the Ba Thong Go is made into an ‘H’ shape and dipped in very hot palm oil, and with coffee, is the perfect way to start the day.

Sukhumvit Road

The best place to stay would be somewhere like the Novotel in Bangkok, as you are in easy reach of all the nightspots, with Nana, Soi Cowboy and the trendy area of Thong Lor, where you can club until the early hours. Skytrain makes travelling along Sukhumvit very easy and you have an interconnecting network that takes you around this huge city and it costs next to nothing.

Seafood Restaurants

They are to be found everywhere in Bangkok, especially near the Chao Phraya River, which runs through the heart of the city and into the Bay of Thailand. The Thais have a type of restaurant called Raan Daam Saang, which means ‘food to order’ and they will cook almost any dish and if you ask for recommendations, they are more than happy to oblige. Crab, crayfish and lobster are best enjoyed at the premier restaurants, where you would enjoy 5-star service, plus some evening entertainment.

Sweet & Spicy

Thai cuisine is most definitely an assault on the taste buds, with strong spices and very sweet, rich tastes, with no bland dishes, Thai food is known for its unique flavours, and the southern dishes are by far the hottest and should be approached with some caution. Thai desserts really are something else, not only in taste, but also presentation, and with coconut, lychee and mango, fruit dishes are unique and very healthy in moderation.

Chinese Cuisine

In the Chinatown section of Bangkok, there are a few very old and famous Chinese restaurants that you simply must experience while in this gourmet’s Garden of Eden, with extensive menus and classic eastern style dining at its finest.

You can make good use of the Internet by researching and reading a few travel gourmet blogs about Bangkok dining, plus you can book a central hotel for the duration of your stay.

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So You Want to be a Chef

Culinary arts are a wonderful thing. I think everyone reading this will agree. Even if baking isn’t your cup of tea, or you aren’t quite as into sweets as you probably should be, everyone needs to eat, and there are times when food seems like the best thing on the planet. I know I can’t be the only one to get on cloud nine after having a good steak or a fresh salad. Dabbling in cooking and baking is fun for a lot of us as well, being able to create our own dish is exciting, and for some of us, a little bit scary and possibly dangerous. However, it’s still fulfilling, and a great option for those of you who’s forte is the fine art of cooking.

Believe it or not, becoming a chef and getting a job in the competitive environment can be far more challenging than you might think at first. In many cases, it requires a fair amount of schooling. Familiarizing yourself with different foods, nutritious properties, and dangerous ingredients is one of the key components of making a successful dish. There are also many different tools and techniques that take lots of practice to master, and it can be rather challenging and frustrating at times. You can only burn so many souffles before you need a break.

In all seriousness however, becoming a chef isn’t all too difficult if you’re willing to put the time and effort needed into turning yourself into a lean, mean, bread making machine. Or whatever else you might feel passionate about cooking up for yourself and others. And maybe the best part of all, you’ll be eating good for the rest of your life. Just so long as you share some of your creations, so neighbours don’t get too jealous.

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Classic American Dishes and Other Foods You Should Try

When you think of American cuisine, food like hamburgers and hot dogs are likely to come to mind. Yes, they’re widely consumed in the country, but there’s a whole host of classic American dishes that you can work your way through. You’re sure to find something to tickle your taste buds.

From the Philly cheesesteak to the humble hamburger, the whole of the US is rich in tantalizing dishes. There are too many to list every single one, but we’ve outlined some of the top eats that you definitely should not miss!

Buffalo Wings

One of the best American foods for a casual bite to eat, buffalo wings have been a popular bar snack since they were first served in New York in the 1960s. Fried chicken wings in a hot sauce, they’re great for eating alone or with friends.

Reuben Sandwich

The combination of corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss has become iconic and is a mainstay of American delis. Be sure to try it with a homemade Russian dressing too, and use rye or pumpernickel if you can, as it makes the sandwich one of the top foods in America.

Hot Dogs

Perhaps the quintessential American food, the simple frankfurter in a bun has fed Americans at parties and baseball games for generations. Nathan’s Famous’ hotdogs aren’t to be missed, as founder Nathan Handwerker started serving hotdogs over 100 years ago.

Apple Pie

Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, the apple pie is an iconic dessert and truly one of the best foods to try in America. It was first introduced to the US by immigrants from Europe, but now, as the saying goes, it’s as American as apple pie! 

Philadelphia Cheesesteak

The Philly cheesesteak is another iconic American sandwich to eat here, made with greasy ‘frizzled’ beef, onions and cheese all together in a long bun. Be careful not to ruin your clothes while eating it, and it’ll be a sandwich you won’t forget. 

Barbecue Ribs

No matter where you go in America, you’ll come across a barbecue sooner or later. Bringing communities and neighborhoods together, one of the best parts of a barbecue is the ribs. They can differ from area to area, but no matter where you try them you’re sure to enjoy.

Biscuits and Gravy

Without a doubt, this is one of the most popular foods of the South. It has its origins as a cheap, filling breakfast back in the Revolutionary War, and has evolved into large buttery biscuits in a meaty gravy with sausage chunks, although you can adapt the meal to suit any taste.

Hamburger

Perhaps just as popular as the hot dog, hamburgers, and cheeseburgers are a staple of American cuisine. Whether you’re going to McDonald’s or a gourmet restaurant, you’re sure to find a hamburger to suit you. Hamburgers were born in Connecticut in 1900, and in the time since have become one of the best American foods.

Other Classic American Dishes

These are just a few classic American dishes for you to try. Of course, the list doesn’t end here, and there’s plenty more great meals and snacks to check out. For more ideas on all things food, check out the rest of our posts!

The Gift

Outdoor Grilling Tips That Will Make You Look Like a Master Chef

As summer approaches, all of the families in the neighborhood start preparing their grills. Grilling is an American backyard staple, and if you don’t know how to grill, then you’re missing out. Grilling the perfect meat and veggies seems simple enough.

You place the food on the grill, cook it, and eat! Those are the bones of a grilling experience, but there’s much more to know. Grilling food correctly takes skill and knowledge of the grill. 

If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could end up ruining the food and the grill. Luckily there are some grilling tips to help keep you on track. Understanding some basic grilling tips is the best way to ensure you keep the family fed all grilling season long!

Are you ready to start grilling like a pro? Continue reading below to learn everything you need to know!

1. Gather All the Essentials

Before the grilling season begins, ensure you gather all of your grilling essentials. You’ll need a grill brush, a pair of tongs, a hinged-wire basket, a long-handled spatula, and the right grill! The type of grill you cook on will have an effect on the flavor of your foods. 

For example, electric grills might not create as much of a smokey flavor as wood-burning grills would. A good way to find the best grill for your needs is to do a bit of research. Compare different grills, such as the Rec Tec vs Traeger, and discover what grill will best suit your grilling needs. 

Depending on the type of grill you purchase, you’ll then need to buy what’s needed to fire it up. Does your grill require wood, coals, or gas?

2. Clean Your Grill

Remember to clean your grill after each use and before each use. The best time to scrub the grates clean is when they’re hot. The heat will help you in removing any stuck-on food leftover. 

Because of this, you should wait until after your grill is preheated to clean it when cleaning before grilling. 

By cleaning your grill after each use and before each use, you ensure that the grill grates are completely clean. When the grates are clean, your food won’t stick to them when you’re cooking. If you notice that some bristles are falling out of the grill brush, then it’s time to replace it. 

3. Preheat Before Using

Before each grilling session, you should preheat your grill. Do this with the lid closed for about 10-15 minutes. When the temperature reaches 500°F, the grill is preheated and ready for cooking. 

Preheating the grill will help remove any leftover food debris that you might have missed, and it’ll prevent your food from sticking to the grates as well. When you’re ready to start cooking, be sure to oil your food first. It’s better to oil the food itself rather than the grates.

Lightly brush your food with oil as it’ll keep it moist and add a bit of flavor as well. 

4. Cook With the Lid Shut

Cooking with the lid shut will ensure the grates stay hot enough to cook the food correctly. This will also help cook your food in the right amount of time without drying it out. If you continue to open the lid while you cook, the grates won’t hold their temperature, and it’ll take longer for the food to cook.

All of that smokey flavor that you love will also be trapped inside the grill if the lid is kept closed. Opening the lid will cause those smokey flavors to leave. The last reason why you should cook with the lid closed is that it prevents oxygen from entering the grill, which can cause flames to flare up. 

5. Getting the Temperature Right 

Timing is essential when grilling. Use a timer to ensure you’re not overcooking the food. You should also invest in a thermometer, which will tell you the exact temperature of your food. 

Keep in mind that different climates create different grilling environments. If you’re cooking in a windy atmosphere, then a gas grill might run cooler, but a charcoal grill will run hotter. Grilling at higher altitudes will also cause the cooking process to take longer than when grilling at lower altitudes. 

6. Indirect vs Direct Heat

knowing when to use direct and indirect heat is another important grilling skill. Indirect heat is when the fire is off to the side of the food. This type of grilling works best with larger cuts of meat that need more time to cook.

When using direct heat, the fire is directly under the meat you’re cooking. This type of grilling works best with smaller cuts of meat that require 20 minutes of cooking or less. 

7. Avoid Lighter Fluid

Using lighter fluid on a grill is a grill professional no-no. Lighter fluid is liquid and will evaporate as you cook. This means that the meat on your grill will absorb some of these fumes. 

No one wants to consume meat with a hint of chemical in the flavor. Instead, consider using lighter cubes. This will prevent your meat from taking in some of those chemicals, and it’s much cleaner as well. 

Which Grilling Tips Will You Incorporate in Your Next Grilling Session? 

With grilling season around the corner, which of these grilling tips will you use? Use some or use all! With these tips in your back pocket, you’ll be a grilling guru in no time!

For more topics similar to this one, keep visiting us regularly!

Food

Top 4 Tips To Maximize Your Dental Insurance Coverage

Not All Dental Insurance Plans Are Created Equal

Insurance for your dentistry needs can be extremely comprehensive, or it might just cover something like 10% of your total bill. Just because your job offers benefits like “dental” doesn’t mean those benefits will totally cover associated costs. Oftentimes they won’t.

You won’t find out how little is covered till you’ve already had a filling, gotten your teeth cleaned, or something else. You’ve got to read the fine print. Know what your deductible is. Ask around.

It may be better to seek your own insurance, rather than strictly going with the options available through whichever company provides benefits. With that in mind, following we’ll cover four tips to help you get the best insurance coverage.

1. Seek Proper Consultation

First, you need to know the situation. What options to you have, and what cost range should you expect? If you’re getting insurance through your employer, then you might supplement with dental insurance at a discount, using both options to reduce your overall burden. The dentist generally won’t mind; he gets paid either way.

Ask around. What are your friends and family doing for their insurance? What troubles have they had? Figure out what those you know who are savvy in this area have done. Also, know what intellectually lazy folks have done so you understand what to avoid. A lot of people just take the path of least resistance, and that almost never produces a better option.

So ask friends, ask family, and ask professionals as well. A well-rounded inquiry of that type will help you find the best possible options. You want to look at a minimum of five different insurance packages and weigh the pros and cons. Consultation helps you hone you research for best results.

2. Carefully Research Each Available Option

Once you know what to look for, you’ll want to dive into the available information on the subject. How much does each insurance solution cost on a monthly basis? Are there discounts if you pay for a year of insurance up front? What level of coverage does your employer provide? Figure out where the insurance package covers your needs, and where it doesn’t.

There are often fine-print provisos and limitations which are intentionally obscured. With a little online research, you can find where specific dental operations are commonly not covered by an insurance provider. Sometimes an insurance provider will only cover that specific provision, and not other things. It depends on how the insurance company weighs the numbers.

Insurance groups commonly invest the money their clients render on a monthly or a yearly basic, getting paid in Return On Investment (ROI), and associated interest. Some make investment the primary thing, and hardly cover those who pay for their services at all. There are true scams out there, and you really need to study your options to avoid being taken in.
https://pixabay.com/photos/brushing-teeth-tooth-health-dentist-787630/

3. Strategic Dental Shopping

In the research and consultation process, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by finding resources which consolidate available coverage plans, and provide you information pertaining to the pros and cons of those plans. So use existing resources to help you shop varying plans including dental insurance which fits your specific needs.

To properly cover your needs, you need to know what they are. Are you seeking coverage for just yourself, or do you need a family dental insurance package? Some plans will only cover one individual, some are designed to fit the needs of a family. Sometimes you can get more discounts if you simply get regular teeth cleaning.

If you’ve got a mouth that has a lot of issues, that may be something you need to take into account as you seek coverage. There are charitable options that exist which can help those who have had poor dental health through the majority of their lives get the necessary treatment. When you shop around, don’t only look at insurance packages.

Additionally, consider secondary programs which provide options for the under-privileged. You can even ask a local dentist if you like. Provided they get paid, they don’t really care where the money is coming from; so long as it’s legally derived.

4. Mail-Order Prescriptions, Discounts, Benefit Maximization
When it comes to mail-order prescriptions, there will be few that are available owing to dentist operations. You’ll likely find more for orthodontic needs; but there can be medication for sensitive enough dentistry. Look into mail-order options to reduce expenses; especially if something happens requiring long-term medication.

Subscription options to your insurer can sidestep dispensing costs. If you’ve got a long-term need, you may be able to get a larger measure of medicine at a reduced cost; though this will certainly represent a minority of possibilities.

Next, know available discounts, know specific programs, and know all available benefits. There are sometimes programs you can follow through on that will net you a discount. This is more likely to be the case with health insurance than it is with dentistry, but do your homework and see what’s out there; you may be surprised.

Sometimes simply downloading a mobile app can get you a discount—check the website of your insurance company, and of your employer’s insurance option to see if any promotions of this kind are available.

Keeping Your Teeth Affordably Healthy
Dental hygiene is essential for overall health. Heart disease has been linked to a lack of flossing. Other issues can develop if you’ve got a mouth which isn’t as clean as it should be.

Consider what’s available, research, get consultation, shop strategically, and take full advantage of all available discounts, benefits, or promotions. Such tactics will help you get the best possible dental coverage for you and your family.