Category Archives for "Cooking Tips"

Zucchini Substitutes for Your Home Cooking Recipe

I am a big fan of zucchini for a long time. And of course, my family loves it every time I prepare this summer squash for them. However, you will find it very hard to buy zucchini in winter. Even in its peak season, the supermarket, the local market as well as the groceries stores may quickly run out of this wonderful vegetable. How can you deal with this situation? Do not worry a lot since you can have the zucchini substitute anytime. Although they are not the perfect replacement, they will all offer the fantastic taste for sure.


Zucchini Substitute: Some Excellent Options To Make Your Cooking Interesting

Zucchini is very popular all over the world nowadays, and various people love the zucchini noodles. My children are addicted to this dish since I am with a best zoodle maker in my hand. There are a number of things we can make with zoodles.

No one can refuse the attraction of zoodle salad, hamburgers, cold zoodle pasta and fried zoodle as well. However, we cannot have the zucchini anytime in a year. As a result, I used to struggle a lot to find out the proper substitute. And now, I can have my own successful tips.

Years ago, many of my friends used to ask me ‘How can other vegetables substitute zucchini?’. My answer was total yes. Many vegetables can have the kind of similar texture and taste to zucchini. But you may not know about them.

No problem at all, you can learn about these zucchini substitutes right now. After a number of cooking failures, I have found out the best replacement in the end which may surprise you. They can be very cheap and very familiar with all of you. Let’s go with the list below!

Other Summer Squashes

When mentioning zucchini, you need to know that it is a summer squash. This is a reason why you can find it very easily in the summertime. Hence, the other summer squashes will be the best replacement for zucchini.

Yellow Squash


In my opinion, they are very similar to zucchini regarding the taste and the texture. The canary yellow squashes are the perfect example in this case. Moreover, you can seek for the crookneck squashes. And well, I am sure that you can have the same cooking recipe as the zucchini.

Don’t be afraid of the strange taste since I have tried many times, and my substitute dishes are very successful. Your family will totally become your fan if you use these substitute in stir-fry dishes. It will provide a very brilliant taste that you cannot forget.

On the other hand, you can slice the yellow squashes with the same shape of the zucchini. Then, cook them with button and onion. Very amazing to try, and it is one of my favorites until now.

Patty Pan


Even if you cannot find these yellow squashes, you can look for scalloped patty pan. They are not the perfect ones but an acceptable substitute. In my viewpoint, they are very good on its own. As a consequence, it is more suitable to put them into the baking recipe.

You can add some layer of patty pan to the surface of your baking dishes. After that, you can put them all together in the oven for half an hour. The ideal temperature that I usually advise other people is 350 degrees.

Chayote Squash


Another replacement I want to recommend is the Chayote squash which is very popular in Latin. However, you need to remember one important thing when using this squash. It has quite a tough skin, so you need to peel the skin first before slicing and cooking.



Going to the next idea, I am going to have the eggplants for you. I like them a lot since it is my favorite flavor. Amazingly, they can be a direct substitute for zucchini as they are made of the same textures. However, when comparing the zucchini to the eggplant, I think that the eggplant will have more flavor.

Furthermore, you may not know that that there are a variety of eggplants which can be slightly different. My suggestion is the Asian eggplants because they are the most similar to the zucchini. I have used most of the eggplants and figured out that this one is the best replacement.

I have tried the European eggplants once, and it could not meet my expectation. Its skin is very tough and hard so that you need to remove it beforehand. In addition, the large bell-shaped eggplants sometimes give you a bitter taste.

Hence, you have to salt them for about 20 minutes before starting to cook. However, I think that this way will take me more time, and the busy people will not prefer this option.

One last thing to remember if you are interested in fried zucchini. I notice that the eggplants can absorb more oil than the zucchini. As a result, you need to have good papers to extract the oil after frying. By doing this, you can avoid the greasy taste and make the dish flavorful.



When I ask people about their favorite raw vegetables, the majority of them answer the cucumbers. They are very fresh, easy to find and good for your health. And a happy news again, they can be a potential substitute for zucchini.

Many of you may have a doubt now since cucumbers deliver a different taste from the zucchini. Besides, they are juicier when either eating raw or making the pickle. However, you may not know that zucchini and cucumber share the same texture and appearance.

In particular, you can cook the cucumber to make the main dishes. It is very fantastic to use the cucumber in baking as well as making casseroles. In these dishes, the flavor and texture of the cucumber can be very outstanding. Try it now and you will love it!



Last but not least, the name to end my substitute list will be pumpkin or butternut squash. This one will be the prominent substitute when you are about to make the zucchini bread. As a consequence, you do not need to think about how to keep the store-bought bread fresh anymore.

You can also make the pumpkin puree, which is very suitable for soup. I always choose the small pumpkin since they will give you the best flavor. Making the pumpkin puree is not very difficult and complicated. You can cut the top of the pumpkin and take out all of the seeds.

Then, cut the whole piece in half so that you can bake them easier. The baking duration is 45 minutes at 350 degrees for the best outcome. After that, you can peel the skin and put the pumpkin puree in the blender.


In summary, I hope that all of my sharing in this article will help you increase your knowledge. I am happy when more and more people can put more interest and passion in cooking. By reading this whole article, you can know clearly about the zucchini substitute. As well, you can figure out which dishes are the best for each substitute. However, in case you still want to discuss or have more advice, please feel free to keep in touch with me anytime.

Is Mango a Citrus Fruit? – A Matter That You Need to Discover


Mangoes are definitely one of the most favorite fruits all over the world thanks to its amazing flavor. You can make a number of things such as eating raw, making juice, mixing with the homemade salsa as well as the ice cream. However, I am sure that many of you cannot answer " Is mango a citrus fruit? ". As a result, I am going to give you an accurate and simple explanation right now.

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How to Sharpen Meat Grinder Blades Fast and Easily

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No matter whether you have your own restaurant or you just cook for your family, sharpening the meat grinder blades frequently will help you a lot. By doing this, grinding the meat will be an easy job for you from now on. However, many people have come to me and complained about the process of sharpening.

They think that the steps are very complicated and difficult to follow. Thus, they always spend time looking for places of sharpening blades. That makes no sense at all! And of course, I will share all of my experience in this aspect and solve your problem immediately. After through my whole article, you can know how to sharpen meat grinder blades without any difficulties at home.

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How To Light Lump Charcoal With Easy And Simple Steps

These days, family gatherings are very favorable since it is the chance for everyone to meet and talk with each other. As a consequence, people tend to have more barbeque parties and get familiar with using either the charcoal or gas to grill the food. However, I have met a number of people struggling with the charcoal preparation process and that is why I write the article “how to light lump charcoal” With some easy steps, you can do it the best in only seconds. Now, let’s get started!

How To Light Lump Charcoal

I have to say that charcoal is an amazing item for your in-house barbecue. It comes in the big lumps that make it easy to work with. Compared with the little briquettes, the good lump charcoal itself is very pure. The reason is that it is manufactured directly from the natural hardwood.


Though both the charcoal and the briquettes have their own pros and cons, I still like the charcoal more. Well, the briquette is infused with the little bits of sawdust from the tree. Therefore, I am sure that you will get the better flavor as well as more brilliant taste when using the natural lump charcoal. In the past, I have experienced a variety of ways to light the lump charcoal.

And of course, I have figured out two good ways to start the lump charcoal for the smoker, the grill, and the pit. First of all, I recommend the chimney, which is a great way to start your charcoal. Using the chimney is a very natural and clean way, in my opinion.

On the other hand, you can use the turbo flame. This is also a good product that you will never pass when lighting the lump charcoal. Many people will prefer using the lighter fluid. However, I do not think this is a great and useful item.

After using the lighter fluid for a few times, I do not have a thought to use it again. It can make your food greasy. Furthermore, you are going to run out of the lighter fluid if you use the minor one. Thus, I am sure that you can light lump charcoal properly without the lighter fluid.

Now, let’s go through the details!


Step 1: Fill The Newspapers Under The Chimney


If you are about to use the chimney, it will be very simple. Firstly, you need to go out and grab some newspapers that you do not read anymore. The next step is to crumble up a bunch of these pages and stick them underneath the chimney.

Remember not to overfill it, which is a very important factor. Otherwise, you will not get any air into it.

Step 2: Pour The Charcoal Into The Chimney


Next, you can open up the lump charcoal bag and pour some in the chimney. It will probably take about half or a quarter of the bag based on the size of your chimney. In case you see a piece that is too large to fit into the chimney, do not throw it away.

How do you handle this situation? All you have to do is take a hammer, break it into smaller pieces, and stick them into your chimney.

Step 3: Light The Newspapers In The Bottom



Once having the charcoal on the top and the newspapers in the bottom, you can stick your little torch there. Go ahead and light the newspapers. You need to light many sides to make sure it gets going. In 15 or 20 minutes, you will have a nicely burned-down piece of charcoal that you can use to cook with.

As the flames take over the charcoal, you are going to get some sparking. At this stage, you can hear some popping. They are the air pockets that are in the charcoal. They were created during the manufacturing process. So, do not worry since it is common in all lump charcoals.

Make sure that you wait for your charcoal to burn down before putting your food on top. By this way, you will not have any of the charcoal popping on your food. I love using this method since it works out really well. The charcoal can go in a natural manner so that it will not affect our health.

Step 4: Transfer The Charcoal From The Chimney To The Pit


After 15 minutes, the charcoal will be burned down pretty well. You can see that it is nice, hot and gray around the edges. Hence, it is time to transfer the coals from the chimney down into the pit. For safety, I highly recommend that you should use a towel or a barbeque mitt to pick up the chimney.

Then, you can pour the charcoal into the bottom of the grill or the pit. Oh, make sure to spread these hot pieces out. If you are going to cook for a lot of people, you can add some more charcoal to the grill.

However, I used to make a small mistake here. When adding some more charcoal, it might keep sparking for a while. As a result, you need to wait for this condition to finish before starting to cook. And it is very convenient to cook the grilled food or even a good way to reheat the bacon for your children.


  • Step 1: Pour The Charcoal Into The Grill

Apart from the chimney, you can have another option which is the turbo flame. It is kind of either an extended lighter or a small torch to get your charcoal going. As always, the first thing to do is take the charcoal and pour it into the grill. Then, you need to make a mound out of it so as to get some air inside.

  • Step 2: Extend The Lighter Past The Turbo Flame

After that, you can get your turbo flame product together with the lighter. Extend the lighter past the nozzle of the turbo flame, and you can get it on.

As the flame gets going, it is going to spark again. However, you can see that it is a little more accelerated this time. As a result, do not forget to stand back from the flame. The great thing about the turbo flame is that you can get 10 or 15 minutes before the can runs dry.

Before ending my sharing, I still have a fantastic tip regarding the used charcoal. Since it is a natural product, you can add the ashes to the soil amendment. And then, you can put this mixture right back into your garden. It will provide great nutrients for your plants.


In summary, I hope that all of the information above will make you more interested and excited. After going through this article, you can have a general idea about how to light lump charcoal. By following these simple and straightforward steps, you can have a big and perfect party for your whole family. You can even reheat the meatloaf when necessary. However, in case you are in need of more advice and discussion, please do not hesitate to keep in touch with me anytime.

How Long Does Iced Tea Last? What Everyone Wants to Know

These days, a number of people are showing their interest in drinking brewed green tea every day. With no doubt, I am not an exception as I love enjoying the iced tea at home. However, I know that many people do not know the maximum time to store the iced tea. This will affect the taste as well as the quality of your iced tea. Thus, I am going to help you answer ‘how long does iced tea last?’ now. The answer may vary according to the storage conditions. As a result, by understanding this issue thoroughly, you can have a tasty cup of iced tea for sure.


How Long Does Iced Tea Last?

I am always addicted to drinking brewed tea since I love its taste and its smell. It is very comfortable to have either a teapot or a tea kettle when reading books on weekends. Thus, I spend much time on choosing the best tea kettle for my gas stove.


I know that a number of people are sharing the same interest as me. However, taking care of the tea properly is one of the biggest problems for them. I know that many people always have to struggle with drinking flat or stale tea.

I used to experience these situations before, which made me feel irritated for a while. And well, I want to help those who are going through the same problems as me. Iced tea offers you a diversity of health benefit so that you have to make good use.

There is a variety of maximum time for storing tea since it depends on the condition of your storage. If you store the tea in the temperature of the room, it is different from storing in the fridge. Furthermore, storing the tea in the sealed container can give you more time than in the open glass.

In my opinion, it is very important to care about the maximum time to store the brewed tea. If you store it in the room temperature, I highly recommend the maximum of eight hours. On the other hand, many people prefer putting the tea in the fridge to have the iced tea.

With this condition, you can store the iced tea for about 48 hours. However, if you go over this ideal time, the tea may absorb the flavors of the other food in the fridge. And this is not a good signal! Similar to the other products, the tea tends to decrease its quality when it ages.

Put Iced Tea In The Glass


As an iced tea lover, I spend much time learning about this drink such as the iced tea recipe. Therefore, I have figured out how to store it in the best way to retain the best quality. Storing your iced tea in either the plastic or the pitcher is not a perfect solution. The tea cannot keep its neutral flavor and then acquire the odor.

Hence, it is better to put your iced tea in the glass inside the fridge. But remember, your iced tea can only last for about 12 hours when being stored in an open glass. If you want to extend the storage time, you can put a lid on the glass. By doing this, you can keep the flavor of the tea for a double time.

Bottled Iced Tea

Well, bottled iced tea is not the best choice when talking about perfect flavor and natural taste. However, it can be the ultimate solution for busy people. You can still have a good cup of iced tea to avoid the heat of the sun.


During my busy season with my customers, I always go with this store-bought iced tea at home. Once you have already opened the bottle, you can keep the tea for about 7-10 days in the fridge. Otherwise, if you still keep it tightly sealed, you can store it until the expiry date.

However, I suggest that you should drink the bottled iced tea before the expiry date. As I mentioned before, the tea will lose its peak flavor as it ages. Also, even if the expiry date has not come, when you discover the strange smell or the odor, you should discard the bottle immediately.

The reason is that the bottled iced tea might be leaking and then absorbing the flavors of the other things in your fridge. Besides, the food poisoning inside the fridge might be a harmful element that you might not know. Due to these factors, you cannot wait until the expired date.


In general, I wish that all of the information in this article will help you gain more knowledge about your favorite drink. At this moment, you can answer ‘how long does iced tea last?’ for sure. However, in case you want to have any discussion or queries, please feel free to keep in touch with me anytime.

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