tinkerings of brad simpson
April 24th, 2016

Recipes Roasted Red Peppers Roasted Red Peppers Preheat Saucepan

Those who love the combination of different flavorful ingredients will also love the following recipe of roasted red peppers, which is actually a smart twist on turkey stuffing. It requires some time to be prepared, but the instructions are quite easy to follow.

Recipes: Roasted red peppers

Ingredients (Serve 4 people)

3 red bell peppers 
1 sausage
1 loaf of cubed French bread
1 white onion, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
3 sticks of celery, chopped
1 cup of dried cranberries
2 tablespoons of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon of fresh oregano
1 tablespoon of salt
1 teaspoon of white pepper
1/2 cup of chicken broth

Preparation

Preheat the oven’s broiler and set the oven rack 5-6 inches from the heat source.  Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil. Cut the red bell peppers in half from top to bottom, remove seeds, ribs and stem and then gently place them on the baking sheet. Cook them under the preheated boiler  to 400  degrees F for  13 minutes, until  the peppers are blackened.  Once that happens, quickly place them in a bowl and seal them tightly with plastic wrap. Let the peppers cool for about 18 minutes and then remove the skin and discard. Reduce the temperature t0 360 degrees F.Grease a big baking dish.

In a saucepan, fry the sausage over medium-heat for about 4 minutes until the sausage gets a beautiful brown color on both sides. Place the sausage in a dry paper towel to drain excess grease and once that happens, place it on a big plate and let it cool for at least 8 minutes.

Chop the roasted red peppers and put then in a big bowl. Add the bread cubes, the white and the green onion, the celery, the cranberries, the garlic powder, the parsley, the thyme, the rosemary and the oregano. Season with the salt and the white pepper. Pour the chicken broth overtop and stir the mixture well for 1 minute and then put it on the baking dish. Add the sausage and bake for 22-23 minutes until the stuffing gets crispy and golden brown.

by Eura | Posted in Healthy Diets | Comments Off on Recipes Roasted Red Peppers Roasted Red Peppers Preheat Saucepan |
April 24th, 2016

How to Grill Peppers

Roasted red peppers are a delight often considered too difficult to prepare from scratch. However, once you learn the simple roasting process and taste the fantastic results, you may never buy ready-prepared again.

Peppers come in various styles, colors, and flavors. Most people prefer red peppers for roasting. These naturally sweet, mild flavored peppers take on a delicious smokey essence when roasted. Yellow and orange bell peppers produce similar results and roast faster than red. However, do not roast green or purple bell peppers as their flesh is bitter.

There are several methods for roasting peppers. These include roasting over an open flame, oven roasting, and oven broiling. Many prefer oven broiling because it is so simple.

Done correctly, oven broiling creates a nicely roasted pepper without bitter or mushy flesh. This process requires only moderate preparation time and less labor than grilling over an open flame. Furthermore, the exposure to the broiler’s direct heat allows the peppers to roast quickly while keeping the flesh relatively firm.

Oven roasted peppers are exposed to high heat for a short period of time. Once roasted the peppers are steamed 15 minutes. Steaming the peppers while they cool facilitates skin removal. After steaming, the skin is removed, and the flesh is exposed.

Roasted peppers need to be used immediately or drizzled with olive oil and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Oil-packed and refrigerated, roasted peppers will keep about one week.

Roasting Red Bell Peppers

Cooking times vary according to your broiler. Peppers at room temperature will roast faster than those straight out of the refrigerator. Furthermore, if you are roasting yellow or orange peppers, decrease your cooking time 3 to 4 minutes.

4 medium to large red bell peppers

Extra virgin olive oil (for storage)

salt (to season, if desired)

Adjust your oven rack so your pepper-filled sheet will be within 3 1/2 inches of the broiler element. Preheat your broiler unit.

Slice 1/4-inch from the top and bottom of each pepper. Gently remove the stem from the top slice. Pull the core out of the body. Make a slit down one side and lay the pepper flat. Using a sharp knife, remove all the ribs and seeds.

Place pepper strips, tops, and bottoms on a foil lined baking sheet – skin side up. Flatten the strips with the palm of your hand. Roast until the pepper skins turn spotty brown (about 5 minutes). Rotate the pan and roast until the pepper skins char and puff up like balloons but the flesh is still firm (about 3 to 5 minutes longer). Note: The more evenly charred the skins, the easier the peppers will peel.

Remove the pan from the oven. Using tongs, place the peppers into a glass oven-proof bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to steam 15 minutes. Peel and discard the peppers’ skins. Slice and serve with pasta, in sandwiches, with grilled vegetables, or with your favorite grilled or pan-seared meat.

by Ocie | Posted in Healthy Diets | Comments Off on How to Grill Peppers |
April 23rd, 2016

Recipes Creamed Spinach Creamed Spinach

Spinach is a great food that unfortunately, not all people like. When it comes to children, that usually refuse to eat anything green, things can get even more complicated. Luckily, there is a way to improve the situation. Creamy spinach is a wonderful option.

Recipes: Creamed Spinach

Ingredients (Serves 4 people)

1 cup of whole milk

3 boxes of frozen, chopped, squeezed dry spinach (reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid)

2 tablespoons of garlic powder

2 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon of oregano

1 teaspoon of white pepper

2 teaspoons of salt

Preparation

Add the milk, the spinach liquid and the garlic powder in a big bowl and mix well for a minute. Heat slowly in a medium saucepan for about 6 minutes, until it gets hot and steamy enough.  Let the mixture  stand for 10 minutes so as to soften the garlic. In another saucepan add the butter and let it melt in high heat for about 4 minutes. Add the flour and the previous mixture and whisk well for 2 minutes until the mixture becomes smooth enough. After that, add the spinach and cook in medium heat  for 4 minutes until  the spinach becomes slightly tender  and the sauce becomes thick. Add the Parmesan cheese and season with the white pepper and the salt. Remove from the heat and add the oregano. Serve immediately while the dish is still hot enough.

Notes

Instead of oregano, you can use chopped parsley or even basil. Also, instead of Parmesan cheese you can use Cheddar cheese, but unless you don’t mind the oily flavor, you should slightly less than 1/2 cup.

This recipe for creamed spinach is a great option both for lunch and for dinner. Enjoy!

by Brent | Posted in Healthy Diets | Comments Off on Recipes Creamed Spinach Creamed Spinach |
April 22nd, 2016

Homemade Pumpkin Ginger Soup

Homemade Pumpkin Ginger Soup

There are many pumpkin recipes around, especially since the autumn/fall season is the time when pumpkins are harvested. I have tried quite a few of them because pumpkin is one of my all time favorites. Be it mashed and served as a vegetable dish, baked in a pie, or used in any other type of recipe, as long as it is real pumpkin, not that canned stuff, I will eat it. But since the autumn season brings cold weather, there is nothing like a good, hearty, pumpkin soup, to help keep you warm. There are different variations of the pumpkin soup recipe but this one is my own. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  To make this soup, you will need the following:

  One small cooking pumpkin, cannot weigh more than 4 pounds

  ¼ cup unsalted cashews

  One tablespoon grated fresh ginger; can use ground ginger if fresh is not available

  ½ cup light brown sugar

  ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

  A pinch of nutmeg

  A pinch of cloves

  A pinch of salt, optional (sea salt works best)

  A dash of pepper, optional

  One to two cups of water, only if needed

Prepare the pumpkin for cooking. To do that, wash the outside of the pumpkin thoroughly to remove any dirt from the outer surface. Next, remove the stem and cutting lengthwise, proceed to cut the pumpkin in half. Using a spoon, metal preferably, scrape out the pumpkin seeds and the stringy bits. Discard the stringy bits and seeds. Second step is to make the pumpkin puree needed for the soup. You can also use this step for making pumpkin pie as well.

Put the oven on at 350F to preheat it and brush some vegetable oil onto the cut side of each pumpkin half to coat it. Place each pumpkin half, cut side down, in a roasting pan and add a cup of water to the pan. Put the roasting pan into the oven and bake for about  90 minutes, or until the pumpkin flesh is extremely tender. Use a fork to prick each half to check if it is done.

Once the pumpkin has reached desired tenderness, take it out of the oven, turning the oven off.  Put the pumpkin halves either on a cooling rack or cutting board and let them cool for a couple of hours. 

Using a metal spoon, scrape out the pumpkin flesh out of each half and place into a bowl. Toss away the skins. Mash the pumpkin flesh either by hand using a potato masher until it has a smooth consistency or put the pumpkin flesh in a blender and mix it that way. Any moisture from the pumpkin flesh should be drained by placing pumpkin flesh in a sieve or colander lined with either paper towels or coffee filters. Place a bowl under the sieve/colander to catch any and all liquid coming from the pumpkin puree. Cover the pumpkin puree with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge, allowing it to drain for a minimum of two hours to overnight. Once drained, the pureed pumpkin should resemble the same consistency of canned pumpkin.

Once you have made the pumpkin puree, it is time to start on the soup. To do that, start by placing the cashews in water, covering them, and let them soak for a few hours. Soaking the cashews helps them to mix better when you go to put them in a blender.

Take the pureed pumpkin out of the fridge and put it in a medium sized soup pot. Dump the soaked cashews into a blender and mix them for a few minutes, then add them to the puree. On medium-low heat, stir the pumpkin and cashews together, mixing them thoroughly. Add water slowly if it appears to be to be too thick, then slowly add the ginger, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and pepper, stirring after each item is added. Heat the soup gently, without scorching or burning it, on low heat for about ten to twelve minutes, or until everything had blended together nicely, stirring every couple of minutes.

This recipe can serve up to eight people and can be served as an appetizer for a Halloween dinner and for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners too.

by Birgit | Posted in Healthy Diets | Comments Off on Homemade Pumpkin Ginger Soup |
April 21st, 2016

Weight Watchers Veg Curry Recipe

Vegetable curry is an easy meal, which works really well for those following Weight Watchers. It’s healthy due to all the vegetables and also re-heats well, so you can make one big batch and make several meals out of it.

It takes a bit of a while to make, but it’s really easy and it’s definitely worth doing, since it tastes good, looks authentic and is cheap to make.

Servings: 4
ProPoints/PointsPlus: 8 per serving
Points: 4 points per serving

Ingredients
1 onion
1 bell pepper, any colour
2 cloves of garlic
1 courgette
50g button mushrooms
400g of potatoes
Fine green beans
Any other vegetables you like (leek, swede, and cauliflower all work really well)
2 tins of tomatoes
1 stock cube
2 tablespoons of curry powder (mild/medium/hot depending on your preference)
240g rice
Optional: 1 tablespoon of Garam Masala

1. Prep your vegetables – The aim is for your vegetables to have a mix of shapes and sizes, so start by finely chopping your onions, then chop the rest of your vegetables.

2. Sweat the onions. Cook them on a very low heat with the crushed/pressed garlic, stirring constantly, so that the onions soften without browning. Add the bell pepper and cook for another five minutes.

3. Add the rest of your vegetables (including the potatoes) and just enough water to coat everything – this helps the spices stick. Add the 2 tablespoons of curry powder, or more if necessary – make sure everything has a gold coating.  If you’re using garam masala, add it now.

4. Add the tins of tomatoes, and up to a pint of stock – make sure all your vegetables are submerged.

5. Simmer for at least 45 minutes, more if desired. The potatoes should be soft, and the sauce should be thick.  Serve with cooked rice.

Note: if you’d prefer, you can boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes before you add them, reduce the cooking time to 20-25 minutes.

This easy recipe is great for those looking for a low fat dinner – it feels indulgent without being high in fat. 

A great tip is to make this the day before a dinner party – cook for 30 minutes, then refrigerate overnight – this gives the spices more time to sink in. Cook for a further twenty minutes before your guests arrive, and you have an easy, low fat meal that looks and tastes great.

by Bunny | Posted in Healthy Diets | Comments Off on Weight Watchers Veg Curry Recipe |
April 20th, 2016

Recipes Roasted Tomatoes Roasted Tomatoes Intense Flavor

Roasted tomatoes are super easy to make and are ideal both for lunch and dinner. Children who do not usually eat vegetables will love this recipe and will keep asking for more. All you have to do is try this recipe once and you won’t regret it!

Recipes: Roasted tomatoes

Ingredients (Serves 4 people)

10 big tomatoes, halved lengthwise, with no cores and seeds

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons of white vinegar

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon of honey

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of black pepper

2 tablespoons of thyme

1 teaspoon of oregano

Preparation

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.  In a big roasting pan, put the tomatoes, the extra virgin olive oil,  most of the white vinegar, the minced garlic cloves, the honey, the salt and the black pepper.  Roast for 17 minutes. Once the tomatoes are ready, put then in a bowl and set them aside. Put the roasting pan on the stove and cook over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes at the most. Last but not least, add the thyme and the oregano. Spray the roasted tomatoes with the remaining white vinegar. Serve immediately.

Notes

You can use cherry tomatoes if you want your meal to be lighter. For more intense flavor, you can replace white vinegar with balsamic vinegar, but in such a case, it will be best not to use black pepper, otherwise the flavor will be too intense.  If you do not like thyme and oregano, you can use  parsley and rosemary instead. Also, if you do not like honey, you can use brown sugar instead.  If for some reason you cannot serve this dish immediately, you should definitely keep it in the fridge for about an hour at the most. After that, the taste will not be half as good.

by Len | Posted in Healthy Diets | Comments Off on Recipes Roasted Tomatoes Roasted Tomatoes Intense Flavor |
April 19th, 2016

How to Roast Peppers

Want to add some pizzazz to your recipes? Try roasting your own peppers. Whether hot or sweet, roasted peppers are a great addition to your kitchen. Any pepper can be roasted, although those with thicker flesh are better, making bells and jalapeos your best choices. Added to salads, sandwiches, casseroles, soups or ethnic food, they turn up the taste with little time or effort involved.

Roasting peppers is a simple process. Apply approximately two teaspoons of cooking oil to the peppers, making sure to cover cracks and dimples. (Don’t use extra-virgin olive oil; its smoke point is too low and it will create a problem as the peppers roast.) Put peppers on a cooking sheet and place in preheated broiler section of your oven. Watch the peppers as they roast; remove from oven and turn (using tongs) when the skins begin to develop dark spots on top. When dark spots appear on the second side, remove the peppers from oven.

Place hot peppers in a bowl deep enough to accommodate their height for steaming. Tightly cover the container with plastic wrap, creating an air-tight bond. Peppers may also be steamed in zip-lock freezer bags. The steaming process is very important, and completes the cooking process.

When the peppers have cooled (abut 20 minutes), pull the stems from each. Hold a pepper on a flat surface (clean countertop or vegetable-designated cutting board) and peel the skin off. The steaming process will loosen the skin, and it should come off easily. Holding the pepper in one hand, squeeze down the length of it with the other to mash out seeds and pulp. While this may not remove all the unneeded bits, it will take care of most of it. Cut the peppers open and lay rib-side up on your work space. Remove any remaining pulp.

Roasted peppers should stay good in the refrigerator for about five days.

To freeze peppers (allowing roasted peppers all year long); place charred peppers into zip-lock freezer bags instead of steaming in a bowl. Keep the skins on them to prevent freezer burn. Make sure to label and date the peppers so you know what variety of pepper you have, and how long it’s been in the freezer.

Besides serving peppers in salads, sandwiches and soups, try some of the following suggestions.

~ Mix roasted peppers with garlic, minced black olives and onion, cream cheese and a bit of milk (to thin) for a unique dip.

~ Use roasted peppers with spinach to make vegetable lasagna.

~ Stuff roasted pepper with cooked ground beef, tomato, onion, garlic and rice mixed with one can each corn, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Top with cheese and place in oven until it melts. Add a chopped roasted bell pepper to the same stuffing and place in a halved, cored summer squash. Broil until the squash softens.

~ Put roasted peppers on homemade pizza.

~ Mix chopped roasted peppers with mushrooms and onion, cook with beef tips and add jarred gravy. Serve over rice.

~ Place roasted peppers, black olives, garlic and tomatoes in a food processor. Process and add 3-4 Tbs. of EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil) to make a wonderful sauce for meats or poultry, or as pesto for French bread.

~ Use roasted peppers to make homemade salsa.

Roasted peppers can add a tang to a wide variety of recipes. Be adventurous see what excitement you can create in your kitchen!

by Chi | Posted in Healthy Diets | Comments Off on How to Roast Peppers |
April 19th, 2016

Oven Roasted Potatoes

Oven roasted potatoes are delicious and they make the perfect partner for a roasted joint of meat. Roasting potatoes in the oven is fairly easy but one must remember that a floury potato provides the best roast potato. When visiting the store to buy the potatoes choose one of the floury potatoes such as Maris Piper, Estima, Desiree or King Edward. When floury potatoes are boiled they have a dry, granular texture that roasts well.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place some beef dripping into a large roasting tin or place the potatoes into the hot fat around a joint of meat 25 minutes before the meat is cooked.

Take the potatoes and peel them. Remove any imperfections in the flesh and remove the eyes. Cut the peeled potatoes to size, place them into a pan of lightly salted water and place them on the hob. Bring the pan of potatoes to the boil and then turn the heat down to allow the potatoes to simmer for ten minutes. After ten minutes drain the potatoes. When the potatoes have been drained shake the pan gently allowing the partially cooked potatoes to form a `floury` surface.

Place the fat/beef dripping into the oven to heat. If the potatoes are being roasted in the fat around the joint of meat then remove the tray from the oven in readiness to place the peeled potatoes around the nearly cooked joint of meat.

When the fat in the tray is hot take a long handled spoon and begin to lay the par-boiled potatoes into the hot fat. When the tray is full place it back into the hot oven. Potatoes that are roasted around a nearly cooked joint of meat will drink in the meat juices and develop a caramelized surface that is delicious. But roasting potatoes in beef dripping will still give the finished dish a great taste.

When the potatoes have been roasting for ten minutes remove the tray from the oven and baste them. Basting potatoes means that the hot `meaty` fat is spooned over the top of the cooking potatoes ensuring that the flesh stays moist and the potato absorbs the flavor. Repeat the basting process every ten minutes.

Check that the potatoes are roasted through by sticking the tip of a knife through the flesh. By the time the potatoes are roasted through the surface should look golden brown and crispy. If the potatoes are not quite brown enough then turn the oven heat up a few degrees to finish them off. If they have been cooking around the joint of meat then remove the meat from the tray before turning the oven temperature up. When the potatoes are golden and crispy remove them from the tray and serve piping hot.

A good roast potato should be white and floury inside and crisp and golden outside. A potato that has been roasted around a joint of meat will absorb the tasty meat juices but cooking potatoes in beef dripping is a good alternative.

by Virgie | Posted in Healthy Diets | Comments Off on Oven Roasted Potatoes |
April 18th, 2016

Cooking with Apples

With a little imagination a fresh juicy apple can be incorporated into any recipe to add a touch of sweetness, tartness or crunch. Of course this wonderfully healthy fruit is great just as it is, but when tossed into a salad, baked with sweet potatoes or simmered in soup this versatile fruit adds a fabulous surprise of flavor. 

It’s no secret that apples contain many beneficial nutrients such as polyphenols and pectin that have proved to help lower cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. These plant sterols and stanols also help to keep blood sugar in check since they are metabolized slowly in the digestive system, reducing blood sugar spikes and maintaining a steady level of energy. So adding a little apple to any meal is one great way to make a dish healthier and with so many different apples to choose from (7000 varieties) there should be an apple for every recipe.

Apples such as Granny Smith and Pippins are slightly tart which makes them pair perfectly with a sweet vegetable like yams, sweet potatoes or butternut squash. Sweet apples like Red Delicious are great in salads. This recipe is very easy o make and goes well with any meat dish or light creamy pasta.

♥ Crispy apple and sweet potato bake

Ingredients for 4 servings

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

3 large sweet potatoes or yams, (preferably organic) cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces with the skin intact.

4 large tart apples cleaned but not skinned, then cut into 2 inch pieces (discard the core).

1/4 cup of canola oil

1 TBS butter

1/2 TBS cinnamon

1/2 TBS brown sugar

Pinch of salt and pepper

In a large enough bowl add the potatoes and the apples, then the remaining ingredients.

Mix all of the ingredients well until everything is coated.

Pour into a shallow baking dish and bake uncovered for the first 10 minutes, then cover for 20 minutes.

When the sweet potatoes are soft uncover again to get them a bit crispy on top, the apples will become very soft and sweet.

Toss together before serving

Talk about flavor surprises, this dish will have everyone asking for the recipe!

♥ Sweet apple, French lentil-brown and red rice simmer

Ingredients for 4 servings

4 and 1/4 cups salted water

1 and 1/4 cups short grain brown rice

1/2 cup Bhutanese red rice

2 tablespoons dry French lentils

1 sweet apple skinned and cut into very small pieces

1 and 1/2 TBS butter

Bring the water to a boil

Add the butter and stir slowly

Add the brown and red rice, then the lentils and reduce the heat to a high simmer

Stir in the apple, then cover the pot and cook for approximately 30 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Do not overcook, the rice should be fluffy when ready.

Serve warm topped with a drizzle of walnut or grape seed oil if desired.

These two apple recipes are full of flavor as well as nutrients and they satisfy the taste buds since they add a little sweetness to the meal. This can prevent people from craving a sweet dessert. Fresh sliced apples can keep their clean white color when a tablespoon of lemon is sprinkled on them, so keep them ready for snacks or toss them into a garden salad for a crunchy juicy burst of flavor. 

by King | Posted in Healthy Diets | Comments Off on Cooking with Apples |
April 17th, 2016

Roasted Red Peppers

Roasting red peppers is an easy task and makes for a delicious meal. You can roast red peppers in the oven on broil or over a grill. However both ways you must pay close attentions to your peppers in order to keep them from burning. Here I have included instructions on both the grilling and broiling methods.

If you choose to grill your red peppers place them directly on the grill top. Remember to turn your peppers over regularly. Continue to grill the peppers until the skin turns black and starts to bubble. Once the peppers have turned black take them off of the grill and place them in a zip lock bag. Seal the bag to make sure it is air tight. Keep the peppers in the bag for fifeteen minute then remove them and slide the skin off of the peppers. Cut the peppers and remove the insides.

To roast your red peppers in the oven start by placing thoroughly washed peppers in a baking dish. Broil them on medium and turn them regularly until the skin has turned black and bubbled. Remove the peppers from the oven and place them in a zip lock bag. Remember to seal the bag completely to make it air tight. Remove the peppers from the bag after about fifteen minutes and slide the skins off. Cut the peppers in half and remove the inside seeds.

Here is a wonderful Stuffed Red Pepper Recipe

For this recipe you will need:

seven large red peppers

four garlic cloves

six and a half onces of fresh spinach

one and a half tablespoons of olive oil

one tablespoon of lemon juice

one teaspoon salt

three fourths of a cup of uncooked couscous

one half of a cup of feta cheese (crumbled)

To start place the red peppers on the grill turning them frequently until the skins are black and bubbled. Then remove the peppers from the grill and place them in a plastic zip lock bag. Keep the peppers in the bag until they are cool enough to touch. When they are cool take them out of the bag and remove the skins. Then cut off the tops of the peppers and rinse out the insides. Be careful not to leave any seeds behind. Next grease a saute pan with olive oil and set it on medium heat. Saute your garlic cloves until they are slightly browned. Next add your spinach and continue to cook until the spinach wilts. Take the pan from the heat and mix in the salt and lemon juice. Next place all of the contents into a bowl. Now set the oven to 375 and add couscous to a small pot and cook it as directed on the couscous package. Add feta cheese and couscous to the bowl containing spinach and mix generously. Next cover the bottom of a baking sheet with tin foil.You can now stuff the peppers with your couscous mixture and put them on the baking sheet. Bake on the middle rack for eight to ten minutes then remove them from the oven.Your stuffed peppers are now ready to be served.

by Barton | Posted in Healthy Diets | Comments Off on Roasted Red Peppers |













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