Pizza is no longer about topping a piece of dough with tomato sauce and cheese. These days, you are just as likely to find artichokes, smoked salmon and even lobster on your pizza.

Moderation is often a good idea with food, especially when using gourmet ingredients. A few shrimps might elevate your homemade pizza recipe from standard fare to an impressive meal, but topping it with handfuls of shrimps would spoil the subtle gourmet effect.

Fresh herbs should be used sparingly, to allow their aromatic flavor to gently enhance the pizza, but using too many herbs will overpower all the other topping flavors.

Famous Gourmet Pizzas

A slice of the most extravagant pizza in the world is yours for just $125 if you visit Nino’s Bellissima restaurant in New York. This pizza is topped with fresh lobster, creme fraiche, chives and six varieties of caviar.

Domenico Crolla, the famous restaurateur, made the most expensive pizza in the world, which was sold at a charity auction for $2,150. The pizza in question was topped with champagne-soaked caviar, cognac-marinated lobster, venison medallions, edible gold and Scottish smoked salmon.

How to Make a Gourmet Pizza

Gourmet pizza is about as removed from junk food as fillet steak is from a fast food joint cheeseburger. The following recipe for gourmet pizza focuses on adding a light touch of gourmet ingredients to classic pizza ingredients, for a special and unique flavor.

This delicious gourmet pizza recipe is impressive enough to serve at a dinner party or another special event. This recipe makes two medium sized pizzas and you can grill the pizza, rather than baking it, if you like.

Mushroom Ragout Pizza with Goat’s Cheese

You will need:

  • 3 cups white flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup crumbed goat’s cheese
  • 1/2 lb sliced mushrooms (maybe portobello, cremini, shiitake and button mushrooms)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 6 dried porcini mushrooms
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 sprig thyme, for garnish

How to make it:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bake the porcini mushrooms until they are crunchy, and then let them cool down and powder them in a food processor. Set the powder to one side.

Combine the warm water and yeast and leave it for 10 minutes until it is frothy. Put the white flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl and pour in the yeast mixture. Knead it until you have a smooth dough, then cover the dough with cling wrap and leave it somewhere warm for half an hour to rise. Divide the dough into 2 balls and roll them over the whole wheat flour with a rolling pin.

Grease a pair of pizza pans with a teaspoon of the oil. (Omit this step if you are using perforated pizza pans).

Saute the onion and garlic in the rest of the olive oil, and then add the mushrooms and porcini powder. Season to taste. Sprinkle the goat’s cheese over the pizza crust. Spread the mushroom mixture on the pizza crust, and then sprinkle the mozzarella over the top.

Bake the pizza until the dough is cooked and the cheese is golden brown, then serve, garnished with the thyme.

Asparagus raclette or indoor grilling is so much fun to do with a group of your favorite people. Raclette has a long history but it has evolved to a social gathering of friends and family and providing a fun way to eat together.

This vegetable recipe for raclette grilling is just as delicious as traditional raclette, but appeals to those that like more vegetables with their meat.

What you’ll need:

– 2 lbs/1kg small new potatoes (cooked)

– 1 1/2 lbs/800g Swiss Raclette cheese (cut into slices)

– asparagus spears (parboiled or sauteed crisply)

– proscuitto or parma ham

– broccoli, carrots and beans (steamed lightly)

– Baguettes

– Gherkins, pickled onions

Prepare your raclette dinner or appetizer just as you would for traditional Swiss raclette. Include aparagus spears wrapped in a selectin of hams. You can also substitute the carrots and beans for the aspargus.

Place the wrapped vegetables in a side dish to be served later. When you are ready, place the wrapped vegetables on a small raclette dish and top with a slice of the Raclette cheese. Place the dish under the grill and cook until cheese is bubbly.

Serve the cooked vegetables with the potatoes and other condiments and baquette slices.

You should count on using about 1/4 lb of Raclette cheese per person and have more vegetables ready than you think you’ll need as this type of Raclette tends to disappear quickly! It’s a fun way to get together, have a meal or appetizer and of course, have a great time.

Welcome to the third part of my little series about Easter in Germany.

Today is all about Holy Saturday and what is happening that day.

Holy Saturday is officially called “Karsamstag” in Germany. Just like in “Karfreitag” (Good Friday), the word “Kar” indicates that it is another day of sorrow and mourning as Jesus is now dead and in his grave.

Very religious people do indeed continue to fast and are very contemplative on Holy Saturday still.

The churches across the country don’t decorate the altar or any other parts of the church with flowers, as they would normally do. No candles are being lit and the church bells and organs remain silent.

However, outside the churches and in most family homes we are looking at a completely different picture.

Holy Saturday is not an official Holiday in Germany, so all shops are open again and it is actually one of the busiest days of the year. Many people go and do their grocery and other shopping to stock up for the Easter Holidays. It has to be done sometime, I suppose.

It is also a day that many people pick to give their home a good spring cleaning especially when, as is often the case, visitors like aunties and uncles or even the mother in law are expected to come for a visit over Easter.

One huge tradition in Germany is to paint eggs in all kinds of different colors, as artfully as possible and to decorate bushes and trees in the garden with those eggs.

First of all the egg yolks and egg whites are being “blown” out of the egg, by making a small hole into the shell on one side and a slightly bigger hole on the other. One blows into the smaller hole, so that the egg yolks and egg whites are being forced out through the bigger hole on the other side.

This is often left to Dad and the children of the house. Dad usually has enough air reserves in his lungs to do the blowing, and the children are getting a good laugh out of Dad making funny faces when fulfilling this task.

The children then do the painting and decorating.

Another tradition on Holy Saturday that is worth mentioning are the “Klapperkinder”.

“Klapperkinder” translates into English as “Rattle-children”.

Church bells are normally being rung to call people to come to church for prayers or a church service. As they can not be used on Holy Saturday, the children of the village are walking through the streets and sound specially designed wooden rattles to call people for prayer.

It is however a leftover from many years ago and only still being done in very rural, catholic areas, to keep the tradition alive. As you can surely imagine it is great fun for the kids to walk around the village and to make a lot of noise, after having to be quiet all day on Good Friday.

The biggest thing about Holy Saturday however is, that it is a day of some serious baking.

One thing that is often baked that day is the so called “Osterlamm”, or “Easter lamb” in English.

In the old days many people couldn’t afford real lamb for Easter Sunday-dinner and to have some kind of lamb for Sunday, they just baked a cake and formed it into a lamb-like figure.

While most people can nowadays afford lamb meat, the tradition has been kept alive.

Another pastry that is traditionally made on Holy Saturday is the so called “Osterzopf”.

It is a plaited loaf of sweet yeast dough and I thought I pick the “Osterzopf” recipe to share with you.

Here it goes:

Ingredients:

3 oz. sugar

3 oz. butter

1 oz. fresh yeast

1 cup milk

1 lbs. flour

1 egg

some lemon peel

dash of salt

1 egg white and egg yolk scrambled for brushing the loaf

5 oz. raisins

1 1/2 oz. flaked almonds

In a large bowl mix sugar, butter, yeast and milk.

Then add flour, the egg, salt, lemon peel and raisins and mix until you have a nice workable yeast dough.

Leave the dough in a warm place for appr. 1 hour.

Now cut the dough into 3 equal pieces.

Roll each piece into a strand of about 15 inches in length and braid the 3 strands together.

Line a baking tray with some baking paper and place the yeast braid on top.

Leave in a warm place for another 1/2 hour to 1 hour.

Pre heat your oven to 370 degrees F.

Brush your yeast braid with scrambled egg white and egg yolk, sprinkle with flaked almonds and bake for appr. 35 – 45 minutes.

Tomorrow is the big day and if you are interested in what is going on in German families on Easter Sunday, stay tuned.

We all, at one time or another, have experienced food craving. Some of us are strong enough to resist the urge while others give in to the craving. Whether you can resist the urge or not, you should know that the cravings are all in your head. The areas of our brain that control memory and pleasure are responsible for recalling our cravings. So what can we do in order to reduce these urges?

One of the most important things that you can do in order to reduce cravings is to avoid stress. Cravings have a lot to do with emotion and desire. When we are stressed or anxious are brain triggers us to find comfort in food. It has been said that foods high in fat and sugar have a particularly calming effect. So try to avoid stress as much as possible.

When you want to reduce cravings, another thing to avoid is hunger. How many times have you gone to the store hungry and once you got home you could not believe how much junk food you purchased? Well, when you let yourself become hungry you will most likely end up overeating (if you are at home), or over- shopping (if you are at a store). Being hungry often leads to quick fix foods such as candy bars and chips. So try to eat smaller quantity meals more frequently, thus avoiding sudden hunger.

And lastly, if you are fairly weak when it comes down to giving in to cravings, try to equip your kitchen with smart carbs. Some smart carbs include whole grain, beans, fruit, and vegetables. These foods will provide you with nutritional power because they contain fiber, vitamins and minerals. The transition from carbs to smart carbs is very simple. For instance, instead of purchasing regular crackers, buy whole wheat or whole grain crackers.

If you are susceptible to cravings, try to avoid the urge by applying one or more of these techniques.

Check out the video version of this guide on Howcast.com:

How To Eat To Prevent Cancer

Get more great tips on health and nutrition on Howcast.com:

Health & Nutrition

You Will Need

  • Berries
  • Spices
  • Sources of isothiocyanate
  • Watercress
  • Green tea
  • Sources of folate
  • Brazil nuts
  • Omega-3-rich fish
  • Garlic
  • Asian mushrooms
  • Apples
  • Flaxseed
  • Broccoli sprouts
  • Macadamia nuts

36_medium Step 1: Pick some blackberries

Pick up some blackberries; they contain twice the antioxidant content of blueberries. Strawberries, cranberries, and raspberries are cancer-fighters, too.

45_medium Step 2: Spice up your life

Curry lovers, rejoice! Turmeric, the spice that gives the popular Indian dish its yellow hue, inhibits the development of cancer. Ginger runs a close second, followed by cinnamon.

58_medium Step 3: Eat your broccoli

Eat your broccoli. It contains isothiocyanate, a compound that fights several cancers. While Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and arugula also have ITCs, broccoli is king because it has a particularly potent kind called sulforaphane.

Broccoli sprouts have the highest concentration of sulforaphane.

79_medium Step 4: Eat & drink your greens

Munch on watercress and drink green tea. Both increase the amount of cancer-fighting antioxidants in your blood, and watercress protects your DNA from changes that can trigger cancer.

90_medium Step 5: Enjoy asparagus

Enjoy a bunch of asparagus; it contains the B vitamin folate, which may reduce the risk of several cancers. Other good sources of folate are orange juice, lentils, spinach, peanuts, and broccoli.

104_medium Step 6: Go nuts

Go nuts — as long as they’re Brazil nuts. They contain selenium, which fights cancer cells. Go for the unshelled ones, which have more selenium. But limit yourself to one large or two small freshly-shelled nuts per day, as too much selenium is toxic.

Macadamia nuts contain almost as much selenium as Brazil nuts.

126_medium Step 7: Order the fish

Eat fish a few of times a week. An Italian study found that people who eat fish twice a week reduce their risk of developing several cancers by 30% to 50%. Go with Omega-3-rich fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and tuna.

143_medium Step 8: Reek of garlic

Indulge in garlicky foods. Fans of this pungent bulb have a lower risk of stomach and colon cancer because cooked garlic inhibits cancer cells from growing.

154_medium Step 9: Don’t fear fungus

Consume more Asian mushrooms — in lab tests, shitakes repressed cancer cell growth. Also try maitake, zhu ling, enoki, and red reishi mushrooms.

165_medium Step 10: Eat an apple a day

An apple a day may keep the oncologist away. Studies have found that when pulverized apple skins were placed in a petri dish with colon cancer cells, the cells’ growth was inhibited by an impressive 43%. So don’t peel before eating!

181_medium Step 11: Fill up on flax

Incorporate flaxseed into your diet. In a Canadian study, women diagnosed with breast cancer who ate a daily flaxseed muffin for 40 days showed a statistically significant reduction in the size of their tumor compared with a control group.

Did you know?

The lowest rates of cancer in the world are in the Japanese regions Uji and Shizuoka, where most of that country’s green tea is harvested. People in those areas drink more high quality green tea per capita than residents of any other area of Japan.

Christmas is nearly upon us and everyone is getting in that festive mood again, it couldn’t be a happier time for most of us. All those extra days we spend time with family, friends and those closest to us – it’s a time where sharing is encouraged and where we think nothing of spending our hard earned money on others. However, food can be particularly expensive and if you’re not efficient you will find yourself throwing the remains of that expensive Turkey away before you’ve had a chance to think what to do with it!

This Christmas fajita recipe is ideal for making the most of your left-overs whilst still tasting GREAT! This simple fajita recipe follows the same standard principle that first came about in the old Tex-Mex connection… But with a twist! The ingredients are what you might associate with Christmas and the festive season. So here is what you’ll need:

*Please note guys, because left-overs are exactly that, I cannot give quantities for this one.

Fajita Recipe Ingredients:

  • Left-over Turkey
  • Cranberry sauce/jam
  • Broccoli
  • Bacon
  • Tortilla wraps
  • Chicken/vegetable stock gravy

How To Make Your Christmas Fajita Recipe:

  1. Grill the bacon bits until very crisp, they should crumble into little chippings when pressure is applied. Leave to cool slightly and break into small pieces. Bring a pan of water to the boil at this point and throw in the broccoli.
  2. Shred the Turkey up, following the natural grain. Whilst the bacon is grilling, fry the turkey in a very small amount of oil (1 Tbsp should do) over a high heat keeping it constantly moving. Remember, we are merely warming it up again, so it’s important to keep it moving in the pan and using a high heat to not cook it through too much. Heat for a couple of minutes.
  3. Heat up the tortilla wraps in a warm oven or microwave if more convenient. 30 seconds-1 minute should do.
  4. Serve the shredded Turkey onto the wraps and sprinkle bacon bits over. Add cranberry sauce to your taste. This makes the fajita more moist, should any dryness occur from the Turkey.
  5. Take the brocolli off the boil (5 mins) and grate over the wrap contents. Add a small amount of gravy to bring out the flavors and serve.

This is a Christmas fajita recipe the whole family will enjoy and it will save you money by re-using left-over food that you would have otherwise thrown away!