How Is The Microwave Oven A Boon To The Kitchen?

A microwave oven is the most essential item of a modern kitchen. No one can think about living without a microwave as it has become the next big thing in every household. In this fast-paced world, when there is so much shortage of time, a microwave holds your hand to help you make your supper in just a few seconds. Microwave ovens are efficient because they channelize the heat energy directly into the tiny particles of the food inside and heats them up by radiation. High-frequency electromagnetic waves are emitted with the oven cooks the food and that helps the food to be evenly cooked from all sides. Today we are going to project the advantages of a microwave oven.

What are the benefits of using a microwave?

  • Heat up the food – Reheating the leftover food for your next meal becomes convenient with a microwave. You just have to put the container of food inside the oven and fix the timer. There is no need to stand by its side or ignite a stove. You are also able to decide upon the level of hotness of the food by setting the timer as per requirement. Microwaves do not war themselves while heating the food and you are saved from over-heating your meal.
  • Cleaning is simple – The microwave ovens are easy to be maintained and cleaned. You just need a damp sponge or cloth to wipe out the dirt from inside the oven and the external body. If your oven stinks a lot, boil a bowl of water with sufficient drops of lemon juice in it. When the water is boiled for a few minutes, the smell eradicates and your oven is ready for use again. The metal body of the microwave oven helps in easy cleaning.
  • Spill and burn-proof – When you use the old fashioned oven or stoves, there are chances of spilling and burning of food if you are not around. Contrarily with microwaves, you do not have to keep a constant watch. You can be relaxed after you have set the timer depending upon the food type. You do not have to supervise or stir regularly or wait for the whistle. Once your food is ready, it beeps and asks you to take out your food.
  • The food value is retained in the food – When you boil the vegetables in the microwave it has proved to be healthier than cooked on a gas stove. Microwave is such designed that it helps to retain the nutrients like minerals and vitamins inside the food even after the completion of cooking. In a world where everyone is striving to stay fit, the microwave lends its super hand to boost up your fitness level.

If you strictly follow the rules mentioned in the user manual and use the right cookware, then you are good to go. You would be able to prepare thousands of recipes in a jiffy that would be a real delight to your taste bud.

How to Choose Fresh Fish and Seafood

Top Tips for Good Seafood

If you want to purchase good seafood then you should be aware of how to get fresh fish. You deserve to get the best for your money and fish especially fish should be eaten fresh.

If the seafood that you have just brought is not fresh and the shopkeeper cites transportation problems then it is certainly not your fault. You deserve the best quality and rate that you deserve. If the fishmonger cannot guarantee that, then its time to find another dealer.

You can choose from a large variety of fish’s right from salmon to the shellfish and each of these has their own special distinctive features when they are fresh. If you can gauge these differences then you can guess the right type of fresh fish and you can become a good picker of fresh seafood.

Remember that the fresher the fish the better the buy. While buying from the grocery store; you thought that you had been sold shrimps they were quite fresh, but did you realize how long had it been since the fish was harvested. Was it frozen as soon as it was harvested and then sent to your local grocery store? How was it packed, in dry ice? These factors have to be taken into account when you buy fresh seafood.

The best technique to maintain the seafood fresh is to use the “Flash Frozen” method. Flash frozen is a method used to freeze sea food hardly a few hours after the harvest to guarantee the, flavor, quality and sparkle of the newly caught fish. This ensures that you are getting good fish for the right rate. Ensuring that the fish is preserved immediately with freezing also ensures that you are getting hygienic fish prepared at a quality store.

When you purchase cold seafood of any variety, check the expiry date and manufacture date. Please remember that fish appears white to opaque and any discoloration that you see on the fish could indicate that the food is not up to quality. Ensure that the seafood is frozen solid. The only smell should be a mild and fresh fishy odor. Next take a good at the wrapping of the frozen fish. The packing should be intact and vapor proof as well as moist and it should fit stiff around the seafood. Ensure that the flash frozen packing is not torn or open at any corner or even puffed in appearance. Un-wrapped edges, ice crystals and water stains should not be present. If there are water stains or ice crystals then it is an indication that the seafood thawed in between losing it freshness and causing the icicles.

When you are going to buy fish steaks or fish filets the flesh has to be firm, moist, slightly elastic and look fresh. The edges should not be dark or dry and this is a sign that you should not buy the fish. Look out for the odor too; it should be mild and fresh. The packaging should not be too tight around the fish steaks or fish filets and certainly do not buy if there is liquid in the container or wrapping.

Note that fresh fish should appear shiny and bright. The scales will be bright and hold on to the skin. Take a note of the color and marking of the fish. As the fish becomes stale it starts to fade and looks pale. The eyes should also be a way to gauge the freshness of the fish. The eyes should be clear, fresh and even protruding in some varieties of fish. See that the gills are bright red in color. As the fish turns pale the gills turn pink and later green or even brown as days pass. The fish odor should be faint. The fishy strong smell does not imply fresh. Start a conversation with the fishmonger. He is the best guide you can tell you from where the fish was harvested and even the date or time of harvest.

I am sure these suggestions will stay put in your mind when you buy seafood and fish for your next party.

Captain Steve’s Seafood Restaurant Review

Located in Fort Mill, South Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina

Captain Steve’s Family Seafood Restaurant located in Fort Mill, North Carolina is a great place for affordable seafood dishes. Located at 1975 Highway 21 Bypass the same road that Carowinds Theme Park is located on but in the opposite direction about 5-8 miles up the road. Captain Steve’s is open Tuesday through Saturday usually from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. They accept cash and credit cards. Captain Steve’s has another restaurant located at 8517 Monroe Road with the same hours as well.


Captain Steve’s is an affordable seafood restaurant located within the Charlotte Metro area that provides generous portions at affordable prices. Captain Steve’s is not a buffet seafood restaurant, but once you order you’ll have more food than you can eat. Taking home a white box is a must. They have everything from shrimp to hamburgers. Most of the food is fried and the food is greasy, So be prepared to use your napkins. Captain Steve’s serves soda, water and sweet tea. No alcohol beverages are sold. Kids can get a baby shrimp meal for free.

Captain Steve’s menu options can be viewed here

I recommend the Steve’s Fishermen platter at $13.95 comes with a filet of flounder, oysters, scallops, jumbo shrimp, baby shrimp and a deviled crab.


Captain Steve’s seafood at Fort Mill, North Carolina is very large and spacious. The restaurant can accommodate small to very large groups. Another thing is that the restaurant parking lot is very large that can accommodate cars to buses. The parking lot will be packed, but you’ll have no problem getting seated within a few minutes. Captain Steve’s is handicap accessible.


Captain Steve’s service is great from the time you enter the building by the host to sitting at your table ordering your seafood and having your drinks refilled. The staff is friendly and the bus boy’s clean the tables fairly quick.

Restaurant Cleanliness

Captain Steve’s if pretty clean considering the amount of traffic that moves through the restaurant on a daily basis. Silverware, glasses and plates have always been clean during my visits. Bathrooms are clean as well as the floors of the restaurant.

Overall, if your looking for a great seafood restaurant in Charlotte or the surrounding area you need to visit Captain Steve’s located in Fort Mill. You’ll receive a lot of seafood for your money and great service as well. The restaurant can accommodate any size party you may have and kids usually get a free baby shrimp dinner. Be prepared to take your food home because you’ll get stuffed with seafood and hushpuppies.

3 New or Unusual Foods Worth Trying

Break Free from the “same Old, Same Old”

Tired of the same food day in and day out? Looking to try something new? The traditional Western diet has a narrow scope when it comes to food variety. There are many other choices out there that make for exciting meals, sides, and snacks.


For when you want a grain but have had way too much rice recently, give quinoa a try. Quinoa dates back to Incan times and is packed full of helpful nutrients. In addition to being gluten-free, quinoa contains all the essential amino acids, making it a complete plant protein. It is also high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. But the best thing about quinoa is that it’s a healthy food that tastes great! This grain is versatile and can be used in cold salads, hot meals, or eaten as a side dish. Quinoa also makes an appearance in many regional and ethnic recipes.

Vegetable nori rolls

Nori is often used in sushi, but if you hate sushi or don’t eat fish, you can still enjoy it. Nori, which are sheets of toasted seaweed, can be used to make rolls or wraps filled with rice and vegetables rather than fish. These little rolls are often served with some kind of dipping sauce and make a great appetizer or light lunch.

There are no rules as to what can be put in a vegetable nori roll, but some popular choices are chopped or pickled ginger, shredded cabbage, bits of carrot, asparagus, or sprouts along with sushi rice or another long-grain white rice.

Meatless chili

Though most Western versions are made with ground beef and beans, chili is actually quite a versatile dish. Vegetarians and vegans have been re-inventing chili with a variety of vegetables, beans, and meat substitutes for years. With a little creativity, chili can go from a greasy, heartburn-inducing nightmare to a healthy, filling dinner.

Hardcore omnivores might want to start with a recipe that uses vegetarian burger crumbles or textured vegetable protein, as these provide a “meaty” texture. Mixtures of beans are also very hearty. But if you’re feeling adventurous, you may wish to try a regional chili recipe with less traditional ingredients. Some vegetarian and vegan cookbooks even offer varieties with a little bit of sweetness from fruit, or “jerk-spiced” chili with a Jamaican flair.

Mixing up your daily or weekly food routine gives you a chance to try new flavor combinations that you may not have considered before. Making a chance from the “same old, same old” can also be healthy, as it broadens the scope of ingredients used and may introduce foods you haven’t yet tried. So the next time meatloaf is staring you in the face, why not aim for something more exciting?

The Foods Allowed on the Mediterranan Diet

There are many health reasons that can be found for following the Mediterranean Diet, a diet that concentrates on the eating and cooking styles of Mediterranean Countries. Luckily, the diet is also easy to follow.

First, let’s look at the foods and the amounts of them that you can eat on the Mediterranean Diet:

Fruits and Vegetables:

You can eat all of these you want. They are filled antioxidants and promote a healthy heart.

The goal is to each 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables a day.


Fish is filled with Omega 3 fatty acids and protein. This makes them extremely heart healthy.

The goal is to eat fish at least twice a week at a service of 3 ounces each.


You can eat all the beans and all the varieties you want. They are a great source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

The goal is to eat one half to two thirds cup of cooked beans three times a week

Herbs and Spices:

Herbs and spices are great ways to season foods. Herbs and spices like: Rosemary, Omega, Thyme, bay leaves, basil, garlic and pepper are also encouraged on the Mediterranean Diet since they are filled with antioxidants.

The goal is to use as you wish.

Nuts and Seeds:

Nuts such as almonds and walnuts are high in calories. However, they are also high in antioxidants.

The goal is to eat 1 to 1 and half ounces of nuts per day

Healthy Oils

Use monounsaturated oils such as olive, canola, sesame, walnut or peanut oil in your vegetables, pastas or on bread. Remember that one teaspoon of these oils have about 120 calories so used sparingly.

The goal is to eat 3 to 5 teaspoons a day.

Whole Grains:

Whole grains contain many vitamins, minerals and protein than their white counterparts do. For these reason experiment with different types of whole grain breads, cereals, etc.

The goal is to eat four one half cup servings daily.


On the Mediterranean Diet, wine is considered a diet staple during meals. Wine may help reduce heart disease.

The goal is to keep the wine drinking to moderation which generally means one glass a day.

If you begin eating the allowed foods on the Mediterranean Diet at their suggested goals, you may soon find yourself enjoy many of the health benefits that goes along with this diet.