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You’ll Never Know Wine Can Be Cooked If You Don’t Read This

You’ll Never Know Wine Can Be Cooked If You Don’t Read This

Cooking novices often overlook the importance of using wine in cooking, but every culinary school student knows that cooking with wine is the only way to bring out exquisite flavor possibilities.

Wine can make dishes like boeuf bourguignon and Italian favorites stand out as they will be packed with flavor. The alcohol and tannins in wine react with the cooking food to break down tough meats and increase the boldness of certain flavors. Wine has been used since Ancient Roman times to preserve and tenderize meat, while adding intense aroma and flavor.

Whether you opt to add a little leftover wine into your grandmother’s spaghetti recipe or buy specialty wines specifically to use in recipes, there are many great ways to include wine in your cooking. Follow these 10 tips for how to use wine in everything from salad to desserts:

1. Poached Pears are Easy and Fun

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    An exquisitely tart and sweet dessert of French origin, the poached pear offers an opportunity to explore new culinary ideas. In France, everyone’s grand-mere has her own secret recipe for making the most delicious poached pears.

    Try this recipe for a jumping off point for your own culinary wine adventure. You can easily serve the wine you poached the pears in as mulled wine. Just strain and pour into a thermal carafe for easy serving.

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    2. Make Sangria Popsicles

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      Everyone has memories of delicious fruity popsicles on a hot summer evening. But not everyone knows wine will freeze just as easily as fruit juice. Why not spice up your life by making some delicious sangria popsicles? Adding this to the end of a summer barbeque is the perfect dessert.

      3. Leftover Wine is Perfect

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        When stored properly, wine can continue to add flavor to your dishes for days. Never toss a good bottle away when it could be put to better use. Jennifer Schaffer at BuzzFeed lists 25 reasons to never throw away leftover wine again. Try some drunken spaghetti or make wine jellies and neither waste nor want.

        4. Tannic Red Wines Make Excellent Meat Sauces

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          Tannins are microscopic particles in a wine like Cabernet Sauvignon that greatly impact the flavor and texture of wine. When added to a pan sauce, the tannins are attracted to the proteins of the meat and oil left in the pan from the cooking process.

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          Reducing the sauce with heat increases the ratio of tannins and can make for an intensely flavorful, rich sauce. Add a red wine sauce to the next steak you cook and taste the amazing results.

          5. Consider Aromas

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            Wines impart their aromas to food, which can impact the overall flavor profile of a dish. Remember to take this into account when planning your next meal. Wines like Pinot Noir have an aroma evocative of mushrooms. Sauté some mushrooms in a fragrant Pinot Noir to add earthy flavors and texture to any dish you add the mushrooms to.

            6. Try to Preserve Cooking Wine

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              No matter how expensive the wine was to begin with, if left uncorked on a counter it will start turning to vinegar. While leftover wine is useful for cooking, making sure it is well-preserved means enhanced flavors later on.

              If wine is allowed to oxidize for too long, it will begin to taste bitter and sometimes can be quite foul. Use a vacuum cork to remove oxygen from the bottle and store it in a KingsBottle dual zone wine cooler for optimal preservation.

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              7. Remember Your Health

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                Wine has many health benefits, so adding it to your diet through cooking can be a safe and effective way to get the benefits without the side-effects of drinking too much wine. When wine is heated during the cooking process, the alcohol evaporates, leaving only the health-promoting nutrients behind.

                8. Know Your Acidity

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                  The delicate flavors of less acidic wines like Merlot are overpowered by the acidity of tomatoes in a Marinara Sauce, making an acidic wine like Chianti a better choice. Think about the flavor of the wine and how it will complement the other ingredients in a dish.

                  9. Wine Can Tenderize Meat Dishes

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                    Tough cuts of beef like Flank Steak are often marinated or cooked in wine because alcohol dissolves the fatty connective tissue in the meat, tenderizing it. Wine will also release the flavors of the meat, adding delicious richness and complexity.

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                    10. Use Your Tongue

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                      Sauvignon Blanc adds a tangy, citrus flavor that complements many fish and vegetable dishes. A good rule of thumb is to cook food in a wine that you would drink while eating it, so white wines are generally good choices for seafood dishes.

                      Impress your friends and family with these advanced cooking tips. Whether you’re a novice or a Four Star Chef, wine is essential to cooking delicious food. Never let a good wine go to waste, and you’ll be well on your way to culinary bliss.

                      Featured photo credit: Tenuta Torciano via torciano.com

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                      Larry Alton

                      Business Consultant

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                      Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                      Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                      Video Summary

                      Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                      There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                      This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                      Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                      In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                      One Exercise, multiple benefits

                      There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                      By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                      When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                      Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                      In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                      What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                      What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                        1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                        Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                        • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                        • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                        • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                        • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                        2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                          Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                          Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                          3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                            Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                            4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                              Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                              A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                              A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                              On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                              5. You’ll improve overall balance

                                Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                                6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                                  Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                                  7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                                    Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                    How to hold a plank position

                                    1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                    2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                    3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                    4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                    5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                    6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                    7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                    Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                    Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                      How to improve your plank time gradually

                                      1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                      2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                      3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                      Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                      Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                      You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                      • Prolapse
                                      • After prolapse surgery
                                      • Pelvic pain conditions
                                      • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                      • Previous childbirth
                                      • Overweight

                                      Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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