Friday, April 30, 2010

Choosing The Right Chocolate Gift Basket

Chocolate gift baskets make a great gift for just about any occasion. They’re personal or professional, depending on the basket selected.

For a close friend, of course, you want to pick something that has some of his or her favorite varieties of chocolate. Maybe they like Ghiradelli. Maybe any milk chocolate at all will do. Or maybe a gift basket filled with the most unique, decadent chocolates you can imagine will be the perfect gift.

You’ll also want to consider the occasion. For a birthday present for a sports fan, there are chocolate gift baskets with a sports theme. Similarly, there are baskets with golf themes, fishing themes, spring themes and many more. You might choose a basket of chocolate covered pretzels.

For a wedding anniversary, there are baskets with a more romantic theme. This is a great time to choose the most decadent variety you can find.

A chocolate gift basket is also great to celebrate milestones, such as graduations or special accomplishments. You can find them with appropriate themes in most cases.

For a professional gift basket, you have to consider exactly who you are giving it to. Is the gift basket for an individual, a team or the whole office?

In any of these cases, you want to keep things very professional, but if the chocolate is to be shared among many people you need to consider the number of people as well as how easily the components will break up. You will also want a good variety to suit a variety of tastes.

If you give a lot of professional gifts, you will probably quickly develop a few favorites that suit your needs best. A great way to ensure that the basket is memorable is to add something from your business to it. Have the basket sent to your office so that you have the opportunity to customize it, then deliver it yourself. If you are sending it to someone far away, this is obviously more difficult, as chocolate needs special packaging to keep it from melting, but this is perfect for your local clients. Some companies may be able to add items at your request, so ask when you order.

Yes, chocolate can get expensive quickly. But the wonderful thing about it is that just about everyone loves it, it is easily shared, and it doesn’t add to the clutter of most people’s homes. You will rarely get a worse complaint than that you’re ruining someone’s diet when you give them chocolate.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Choosing The Best Ice Cream Maker

You can make delicious ice cream at home, as good as any premium store brand, if you choose a good ice cream maker and follow a few tips. Ice cream makers can range in price from under $100 to over $500. The more expensive models contain built in freezing compressors. The less expensive models are perfectly suited for use in the home and come in two basic types. There is the type that uses rock salt and ice to cool the ice cream mixture and the type that has a canister that is placed in the freezer. Each of these is equipped with an electric crank or a manual crank. Your particular needs will determine which is right for you.

If you want to make a large quantity of ice cream, you will need to purchase a model that uses rock salt and ice. The canister models will only make up to 1.5 quarts at a time. If you would like to turn ice cream making into a family activity, you can choose the hand-crank model, which will also use rock salt and ice. The crank must be turned manually for a fairly long period of time, thus allowing each family member a turn. An electric crank is quite a bit easier than the manual crank models. You will also get more consistent results due to the bowl turning at a constant speed. Most electric crank ice cream makers will have an automatic cut off feature that will stop the motor when the ice cream reaches the desired consistency. The consistency is judged by the amount of resistance while the bowl is turning.

After you choose which type of ice cream maker is right for you, you will need to find the perfect ice cream recipe. Remember that the faster the ice cream freezes, the better it will taste and the smoother the texture will be. It will be best to pre-mix all your ingredients and let them chill for several hours before placing them in the ice cream maker. When your ice cream is done, it will resemble soft-serve ice cream. You can place the canister in the freezer for a few hours and you will be much happier with the results. If your canister is plastic, consider removing the ice cream as soon as it is done, and placing it in a metal bowl covered with foil. The metal will allow the ice cream to freeze faster and become firmer more quickly than in a plastic container.

You can purchase a mix that is quite easy to make into ice cream very quickly. While the mixes are convenient, the best homemade ice cream is made from fresh ingredients. Milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and cocoa if you desire will give you the best results. You can find numerous ice cream recipes, some which require cooking some which require no cooking. The ice cream recipes that do not require cooking are generally just as good as the cooked type, and require a lot less time. The best ice cream recipes usually contain eggs, however there are many recipes that do not use eggs if you or someone in your family is allergic to eggs.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Choosing Foods For Your Special Event

Choosing the right menu for a special event can be just as important as choosing a location. Food can communicate a theme, convey a feeling or set the mood of an entire night. If you are planning a high-class extravaganza, hot dogs and beer might not be appropriate. However, they might be the perfect choice for a birthday party at the lake. Taking great care in planning a menu shows your guests how much you appreciate them, and a great meal can help make a special day even more memorable.

If you are planning a birthday party for your child, an interactive meal can be a fun activity for your guests. Rather than slaving away in the kitchen all day or spending countless dollars ordering pizzas, you can save time and money by letting the guests make their own special creations. One fun idea is to prepare a multitude of toppings and let the children make their own bagel or English muffin pizzas. They will have a blast piling on strange combinations of toppings, and they will enjoy feeling like grown-ups in the kitchen.

For a more formal occasion like a holiday party, finger foods can be great for mingling guests, and they can be great topics of conversation. The obligatory finger sandwich can be spiced up by adding your own special pesto or cheese spread to an already tried and true recipe. Experiment with different ingredients in the weeks prior to the party, and test them out on your family. You will know when you get the reaction you are looking for, and you might end up spending much of the party writing down your recipe for your guests.

Planning a menu for a wedding can be quite stressful, especially when you are not sure exactly how many guests will be attending. The rule of thumb is that too much is better than not enough, even if it means having a lot of food left over at the end of the night. You can choose to have a buffet-style dinner, or you can have a set menu for your guests. It is important to consider your guests with special dietary needs. You should have vegetarian and low-sodium alternatives to your main courses, and you should have a heart-healthy menu for those who must avoid foods with high fat contents.

Before attempting a large-scale meal, you should make all of the dishes several times to perfect your recipes. Your goal is to have guests asking for more even after it all runs out. Test your creations on a variety of people and make adjustments according to their suggestions. When cooking food from your own recipes, it is important to remember the details of what you did every time you make it. That way you will know what went wrong when something turns out horrible, and more importantly what went right when you receive raving reviews.

Planning portions is the most important part of catering your own party. Though most recipes tell you how many people they will feed, it is best to err on the side of caution. If a recipe feeds eight, you might want to count it as six or seven, depending on how many guests you expect. Plan that half of your guests will want to go back for seconds. If you know that one dish will be a favorite, be sure to make extra. Though the green beans may be the healthier option, you can usually bet that the cheesecake will go a lot quicker. Keep in mind that the greater the variety, the more people you will please, so even if you are a steamed vegetable lover, you should probably prepare some beefy options for your less than health conscious guests.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chocolate Party Favors

Everyone loves chocolate and Americans eat 10-12 pounds of it every year, so it makes the perfect party favors. Chocolate is considered a food that is relaxing the body, and it has a calming effect. It calms our nerves and helps us feel good. Some consider it a sinful indulgence, but it is not necessarily the case. If you choose your chocolate wisely, you can enjoy it without the guilty feelings we usually associate with it.

Party favors are small gifts the host gives each guest to show their appreciation. It is a great way to say “thank you for being here.” There are many different party favors, but the most popular of them all is chocolate.

Chocolate party favors can be further enhanced with personalization. Personalized chocolates enable you to communicate a message to your guest. For example, if you are celebrating a birthday party you can include a message such as “Happy Birthday Joe.” You can have a date, the place of the party, or any other message printed on the chocolate wrapper.

Your personalized wrapper is wrapped around usually milk chocolate, since it is the most popular kind of chocolate.

Chocolate not only tastes great, but it may be good for your health. Some research shows that chocolate may help your body use insulin more efficiently and lower your blood pressure. Chocolate includes essential minerals, such as magnesium and potassium. Vitamins B1, B2, D and E are found in chocolate. Chocolate includes antioxidants that can help protect against cancer and old age.

The history of chocolate dates back to the Maya civilization, and we still can’t live without it. According to recent surveys, chocolate is America's favorite flavor with over 50% of adults favoring chocolate to other flavors. Chocolate party favors are a great way to add to your party enjoyment, and with moderation it can even be part of a healthy diet.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Finally, the medical world has caught up with what the rest of us have known all the time, namely, chocolate is good for us. And I for one think it is about time.

According to recent medical research, chocolate has marvelous benefits for the human body. Who in their right mind did not know this? As a subscriber to the Old England Journal of Homemade Cures and Potions, I have known for a very long time that the consumption of chocolate carries with it healthy advantages. For years, this journal carried many delicious articles touting the benefits of chocolate. And I have eaten it all up not to mention several boxes of chocolate.

This introduces me to a disturbing thought. I’m grateful for the advancement of modern medicine and science but what I want to know is simply this: if the medical world was mistaken about chocolate, what else are they mistaken about? Could it be that my long-time suspicions about broccoli are right? Has the medical world, which boasted for years about the dietary benefit of broccoli, been wrong all these years?

With recent discoveries, I think this is a real possibility.

I have been saying for years that broccoli was bad for you and chocolate was good for you. It seems I have been half right and I suspect another few years will prove I am 100 percent right on both subjects.

Because I have been right about chocolate, I’m not going to take the chance I’m wrong about broccoli. I propose to eat as much chocolate as possible and avoid broccoli in any and every form.

In light of these recent discoveries concerning chocolate, I thought I would lend my expertise on the subject of how to eat chocolate. Because many people have for so long been under the delusion that chocolate was not healthy, most people do not know how to eat chocolate.

I offer myself as an expert on the art of eating chocolate and I have the empty boxes to support my boast.

Before giving my tips on eating chocolate, let me just say that the chocolate chip cookie is the basic host for chocolate for the novice chocolate eater. Each chocolate chip cookie carries the proper amount of chocolate for the person denied chocolate all these years.

So, start out with a chocolate chip cookie to make sure you’re on the safe side of this issue. To know the proper amount of cookies, take your weight divided by your height (in inches) and multiplied by your age. This formula never fails.

Because chocolate is rather a new food category for most people, let me offer a few tips as you begin the marvelous discovery of the chocolate world.

1. When you begin eating chocolate, make sure you do it one bite at a time. This is important. Do not succumb to the temptation of taking double or triple bites as you begin. Down the road as you become more adapt at eating chocolate you might grow into this facet of chocolate eating.

2. If you have a wrapped chocolate bar, remember, it must be unwrapped and allowed to breathe like a fine wine. Many people yield to the temptation of ripping open a candy bar and immediately taking a bite. This is wrong. Chocolate is delicate and must be nurtured carefully in order to enjoy its flavor to its fullest for the longest period of time.

3. When it comes to chewing chocolate, a person must be very careful. Each bite of chocolate must be chewed no less than 12 times out of respect for the cacao seed that sacrificed itself for your toothsome treat.

Eating chocolate is a slow, reverent and loving experience. Perhaps the reason so many thought chocolate was not good for a person is that they ate it too fast.

I once tried chewing a chocolate bar only 11 times and choked. I learned my lesson the hard way and I now wholly respect the delicate nature of chocolate.

4. One final tip I feel is quite important. Chocolate should always be eaten when you are alone for a very important reason. When a person is eating chocolate, his full concentration should be on the process of eating and enjoying the rich chocolaty flavor. Any distractions, even the presence of a loved one, diverts from the whole experience.

When you stop to think about this whole chocolate business, it is almost like a religious experience.

As religious experiences go, the only genuine experience centers on knowing God, as he desires to be known. When it comes to religion, most people rush through without giving it much thought. And of course, they really never get to experience the full benefit of their religious experience.

David understood this concept when he wrote, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalms 46:10 KJV.)

In this rat race of a world, it is almost impossible to find the time or the place to get still enough to really experience the presence of God. We have time for everything but this.

Perhaps God gets a bad rap from people for the same reason chocolate for many years was given a bad rap. To really know chocolate is to love chocolate.

I honestly believe the same can be said for God. For the person who takes the time to get to know God he begins to understand God and consequently loves God.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Choosing Black Tea - Black Teas Around the World

Black, green, or china, we drink tea almost as much as we drink water. And there are plenty to choose from - with over a thousand different varieties from over thirty countries, there’s a different flavor and character to suit every palate. You could spend a lifetime exploring the tastes, colors and smells of the world’s teas.

Though both green and black teas come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, the difference between them lies in how the leaves are treated after they are picked. Green tea has a simpler drying process, whereas black tea leaves are oxidised as well as dried out. This gives a stronger taste, with a higher caffeine level, and also means the tea can be stored for years without losing flavor. By far the most popular way to drink it in the West is ‘black tea’ – your everyday cup is made from this kind.

Teas are usually named after the province or area where they are grown. The soil, climate and landscape all affect the flavor, which means different regions produce teas with distinct characteristics. Famed as the birthplace of tea, China has been cultivating and drinking tea for around five thousand years. A large proportion of the world’s tea still comes from China, although you can now buy varieties from South America, Turkey and Nepal as well as India and Africa. Here are just a few of the better-known black teas:


Lapsang Souchong is probably the best known china tea, Lapsang has an aromatic, smoky taste from the pine wood fires used to dry the leaves. Yunnan is another well known tea, from the south west of China. It has a rich, malty flavor and blends well with milk. Keemun tea produces a rich brown color with a delicate nutty flavor, and is made with great skill and discipline, the leaves dried without breakage to preserve the flavor.


The most famous Indian tea is Assam, a full bodied and strong tea with a particularly malty taste. This is often drunk in the morning as a wake up brew! Darjeeling, from the foothills of the Himalayas, is often considered the ‘champagne’ of teas – with a light and delicate flavor. Sri Lanka gives us Ceylon tea, known for a clean and bright, full bodied taste. Because of the unique climate in Sri Lanka, tea can be grown year round.


Around a third of the world’s tea now comes from Africa, from countries like Kenya, Malawi and Zimabwe. Kenyan teas are highly bright and colorful, with a pleasant flavor. Although tea has only been grown in Africa since around 1900, the climate and advances in scientific know-how mean that African teas are used in many of the more common blends available today.

Be adventurous and try some teas from around the world. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover new flavours and you may just find your new favourite tea.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Chocolate Is Great

It seems that everyone likes chocolate, it has an effect that everyone likes, and a taste the no one ever forgets. There is a chocolate lover in all of us. Everyone has their own favorite flavor of chocolate. For some, their favorite flavor is very sweet. Others desire a more dark and bitter taste. Some people crave white chocolate. It doesn’t matter what your chocolate taste are, there is a chocolate out there perfect for you. The aroma of chocolate tantalizes taste buds, and the creamy melt-in-your mouth of sweet chocolate can make a chocolate lover’s day.

Chocolate is a wonderful thing to give to someone you love, there are chocolate gifts for someone. On special days, anniversaries and Valentine’s day, you can show that special someone how special they really are with a chocolate shaped hearts or roses. Birthdays can be celebrated with an extravagant chocolate cake. Anniversaries can be celebrated with more romantic chocolate gifts. Chocolate gifts are a perfect way to tell some one how much you care.

Some businesses choose to promote themselves by giving away chocolate gifts. Today, some chocolate bars can be made that are imprinted with your business card and you can give your associates a very sweet treat. Chocolate is even molded and packaged as a CD, or other shapes that you can create for your prospective clients. That too is a very memorable chocolate gift.

Chocolate gifts are given in all shapes and sizes. The imagination is the limit and the possibilities are endless in the ways you can shape chocolate and tell someone they are special. From Valentine’s Day hearts and roses to Easter rabbits and chickens to Christmas trees and gifts, every occasion can be celebrated with chocolate. Chocolate gifts are used to celebrate weddings with molder chocolate rings. Baby showers can be celebrated with chocolate pacifiers. Pretzels are coated with chocolate. Caramels are surrounded by it. Chocolate comes in every shape and size.

The great thing about chocolate is the variety. If you're looking for gift baskets you can find chocolate gift baskets with white, milk or dark chocolate. No matter what your preference is, you will certainly spot it online. It's time to ditch the insecurities that go along with all those bogus gifts you spend loads of time picking out, but aren't even certain if the receiver will like them. You need chocolate gift baskets. These tasty, yet fun gifts work for virtually anyone. If you're not sure where to browse for fine chocolate gift baskets, pop open Google and punch in a few key words. You will be swimming through vast selections of chocolate gift baskets in no time at all. But, you have to be careful, or you will end up wanting them all for yourself.

Because of the huge diversity and choice you can decide not only what shape you want your chocolate gift to be, but also what flavor, and sometimes even color. Chocolate candies are produced world wide. Imported chocolates may be one way to please a chocolate gourmet. Also, chocolate may be flavored with nuts, fruits, or other flavorings.

Today, some even say that chocolate has some medical benefits. While this is really great news for chocolate lovers, I guess we will all keep eating chocolate with or without the health benefits involved… eat chocolate and enjoy!.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Chocolate Gift Baskets Can Be A Wonderful Idea

With the love that majority of people have for coffee, it becomes very difficult to find anyone who doesn't love coffee.

That deliciously sweet, creamy and rich treat that is great for all occasions is now the love of so many people. These days there are now an endless collection of chocolate products out there that you can choose from.

For those who desire fudge brownies, they can get what they want. For those who desire decadent cakes or even grande mocha latte, they can get what they want out of chocolate. This wonderful treat called chocolate is now a delight all over the world.

It is now one of the best gifts to give at anytime of the year. And for those that want to give gifts of such, they absolutely need chocolate gift baskets.

They are now incredibly very important if you want to give that present of chocolate. The fact that there are several chocolate gift baskets to choose from, this is a real delight.

For those who are looking for the ideal chocolate gift baskets, they should go online. There are now variety of chocolate gift baskets online to choose from. I don't know about you, but one of my favorite brands of chocolate is the Godiva. Of course you might think it is a bit pricy, but I am not in total agreement with that idea.

You see, I spent just 50 bucks on a pound at one time and enjoyed it. If you are searching for the best selection of lovely chocolates, Godiva is it. Take your time and check out their store or visit them online. They take their time with packing their chocolate.

It is as if each chocolate is specially packed with a divine flavor. What better thing to give away to someone special as a gift than chocolate from Godiva.

What I like particularly about chocolates is the variety. For the chocolate gift baskets, there are lots of varieties to choose from. If you want the solely dark chocolate, you will get it. You can also get chocolate gift baskets that have only milk or white chocolate too.

Fact is - no matter the kind of chocolate you want; you can get it, especially online. Forget about those security fears you have about sending gifts and whether the receiver will love them or not.

With chocolate gift baskets, you are assured they will. If you are still in doubt of the particular website to visit for the chocolate gift baskets of your choice, go online and search using Google. Simply enter the keyword of your choice and conduct your search.

You will be presented with an avalanche of sites and chocolate gift baskets to choose from. I hope you don't end up needing all that you find. If you do, your pocket will be the victim.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Chocolate Fondue Fountain - Buying Chocolate

Most people don't put much effort into buying chocolate for a chocolate fondue fountain. Perhaps they have a few bags of chocolate chips on hand or they'll even buy some of those brick sized chocolate bars. Sure this will work fine and the whole fountain concept will still impress your party guests. But true chocolate aficionados use gourmet chocolate in their fountains and you can definitely taste the difference.

Melting regular supermarket chocolate chips is not an option in the most popular home versions of the chocolate fondue fountain. The chocolate will be too thick and if it can actually be pumped to the top of the fountain, you won't get that cascading waterfall effect that these machines are famous for. Plain chocolate will just drip if you're lucky. If you're unlucky, it will clog your fountain, leaving you with a few pounds of chocolate that needs to be melted with hot water before you can use your fountain again. When using regular chocolate, you will need to add a significant amount of vegetable oil in order for the chocolate to be fluid enough for the fountain to work.

The best way to melt supermarket chocolate is with a double boiler. For every two pounds of chocolate, you should slowly add one cup of vegetable oil while stirring. If you can handle your double boiler and an electric mixer at once, then the mixing won't be too hard. You probably won't need the entire cup of oil so add it slowly and stop when you think the chocolate looks right. But don't forget that you can't add more oil when the chocolate is already in the fountain. So if you are in doubt, add more oil.

The easiest way to set up your chocolate fondue fountain is to use couverture chocolate. Couverture is a French word that means to cover. Courverture chocolate is usually used for making candies or for dipping so it's perfect for a chocolate fountain. It's made with a higher percentage of cocoa butter than normal chocolate and melts to a smoother texture. Couverture chocolate will give you that elegant looking waterfall effect without any additional oil or mixing required. The only drawback is that it's very expensive when compared to supermarket chocolate.

Melting couverture chocolate is the same as regular chocolate. Either use a double boiler or a microwave. Since you won't be adding any additional oil or using the electric mixer, the microwave can work great. Set the microwave for a minute at a time and stir in between.

Whoever decided that turning a chocolate fondue fountain into a home appliance should be given a medal. Why save the chocolate fountain for weddings and other large parties when you can now set it up every weekend. If you are having a birthday party or a barbeque, why not add some pizzazz to the event with a chocolate fondue fountain. Whether you choose expensive couverture chocolate or regular supermarket chocolate chips, it's sure to taste delicious.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chocolate Fondue Fountain

Do you want a attract a crowd of people at a party? You don't have to tell the best stories or tell the funniest jokes. All you need to do is stand near the chocolate fountain. Adding a chocolate fountain will liven up even the dullest parties. Most people love chocolate and what better way to serve chocolate than have it flowing out of fountain. A chocolate fondue fountain is a great addition to any party.

Chocolate fondue is a great dessert to serve at small gathering but quite difficult to serve at larger parties. Now with chocolate fondue fountains, your guests can still experience the taste of chocolate covered strawberries, bananas, pineapple, pound cake or anything else they want to dunk into the delightful chocolate waterfall that flows out of the fountain. You may have enjoyed a chocolate fountain at the last wedding or graduation party that you've attended.

And now chocolate fountains are becoming popular home appliances. Several companies make home versions and although the quality of these machines varies greatly, chocolate fondue fountains can now be enjoyed at your backyard gatherings or anytime you like.

Most of these chocolate fondue fountains work the same way. First you melt chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Then you add vegetable oil to the chocolate so that it is fluid enough to be pumped through the fountain. The home appliance have small heating units that will keep melted chocolate flowing, but they aren't hot enough for the initial melting of the chocolate.

Chocolate chips are the easiest form of chocolate to melt and use in your fondue fountain. But using a premium chocolate will make it taste even better. And for adult parties, add a splash of Grand Marnier or a fruit flavored brandy such as blackberry brandy.

If you don't have a lot of time before your party to cut up fruits and cakes for dunking, why not buy a fruit platter. Salty foods will also be a hit in the chocolate fountain. Be sure to put out pretzels and potato chips. People may be hesitant to try them at first but once they do, they'll be hooked. Marshmallows and angel food cake are also popular. You really have a lot of options when it comes to foods to dunk in your chocolate fondue fountain. Just about anything tastes great when dunked in chocolate.

Cleanup is a breeze if your fountain is dishwasher safe but be sure to keep it running until you're ready to clean it. Letting the chocolate cool and get hard will turn cleaning your fountain into a major chore.

A chocolate fondue fountain has always been a memorable item to have at a wedding or large party but home versions are also gaining in popularity. Once you've seen the attention it draws, you may even add a chocolate fountain to your next party.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chinese White Tea And Its Uses And Types

Generally, Chinese white teas are considered to be the rare in China. They are rare in China since most of the white tea is exported. Well, for long years, the Chinese tea drinkers have been hip to white tea’s benefits, until recently it was virtually unknown outside of Asia. But, not anymore because today, everyone from chefs to medical researchers is praising the delicate flavor and purported health benefits of the Chinese white tea.

But what really is Chinese white tea?

Chinese white tea is sometimes considered as a subclass of green tea. It is slightly fermented with its body covered with fluffy white hair. It is usually harvested in the cold of earliest spring when tea bushes have just shed their protective scales on the tips of their branches to show to the world their fuzzy white down on the leaf buds.

These delicate buds are among the most carefully plucked and processed of all teas. The buds, as well as the first few unfurling leaves are not allowed to oxidize whatsoever. What happens is that immediately after picking, the buds are naturally dried in sunlight or inside under low heat in a very well-ventilated structure.

Unlike the oolong, black and pu-erh teas which undergo cellular oxidization to develop fragrance, color and flavor, most Chinese white teas are formulated with the absence of such processing step. This then results in a beverage whose taste is closest to fresh leaves from the tea bush.

Classifications of Chinese White Tea

Just like the other varieties of Chinese tea, white tea is divided into different types. To mention, there are the Silver Tip white tea and White peony tea as two of the most commonly well-known varieties. Let’s take a look at each of them:

•Silver Tip White Tea – This variety of Chinese white tea is produced at Fuding and Zhenghe areas in Fujian province. Many tea drinkers consider this as a top grade white tea. In the processing, the single buds are plucked right when they fully develop and are ready to open. The beautifully acerose buds are covered with silvery hairs, hence the tea named “silver tip white tea”. Also, this Chinese white tea is taken as “the beauty” in teas.

Many tea lovers also describe this tea as “white like cloud, green like dream, pure like snow, aromatic like orchid”. And, as commonly noted, every bud stands in the cup upright just like bamboo shoots after a spring rain, when infusing.

•White Peony Tea – Also known as “Pai Mu Dan”, this Chinese white tea variety is made from the buds and leaves that remain after the famous silver tip white tea has been harvested. This is sweet and mild, yet very full-bodied. Also, the cup color is darker and the aroma is bolder. Its natural sweetness clearly determines the close relationship to the silver tip white tea.

•Gong Mei – This is the third grade of Chinese white tea. The production of this tea uses leaves from the Xiao Bai or Small White tea trees.

•Shou Mei – This is a fruity furry Chinese white tea that is a chaotic blend of tips and upper leaf. According to some Chinese tea drinkers, Shou Mei has a stronger flavor than other white teas, similar to oolong. Also, it is the fourth grade of white tea and is plucked later than the White Peony, hence the tea may be darker in color.

Today, these varieties have reached America and many market researches predict that consumers will soon share their enthusiasm, turning the Chinese white tea into one of the hottest new food trends.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Chinese Tea Types And Its Production Since The Early Years

Chinese has been drinking tea for approximately 4,000 years. Along with firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce, and vinegar, the Chinese considered tea as one of the seven necessities to begin a day.

Types of Tea

The Chinese tea may be classified into five types according to the different methods by which it is processed. Here are the classifications:

• Green Tea – is the variety which keeps the original color of the tea leaves without fermentation during processing.

• Black Tea – This is known as “red Chinese tea”, the type which is fermented before baking. Note also that black tea is a later variety developed on the basis of the green tea.

• Wulong Tea – Also known as Oolong Chinese tea, this category represents a variety half way between the green and the black teas. This is being made after partial fermentation.

• Compressed Tea – is the kind of Chinese tea which is compressed and hardened into a certain shape. Many people considered this as good for transport and storage and are mainly supplied to the ethnic minorities living in the border areas of the country.

• Scented Tea – This kind of Chinese tea is known as “scented” because it is made by mixing fragrant flowers in the tea leaves in the course of processing. The flowers that are commonly used for this purpose include the jasmine and magnolia, among others.

The Tea Production

Chinese has maintained that a new tea plant must grow for five years before its leaves can be picked. The trunk of the old plant must then be cut off to force new stems to grow out of the roots in the following year. This sort of rehabilitation must be repeated as this allows the tea plant to serve for about a hundred years.

The season of tea picking generally depends on the local climate and it varies from area to area. As you all know, China is the homeland of tea. It has tea shrubs as early as five to six thousand years ago, and human cultivation of these plants dates back two thousand years. Today, it was reported that tea is produced in vast areas of China from Hainan Island down in the extreme south to Shandong Province in the north, from Tibet in the southwest to Taiwan across the Straits. To sum up, the Chinese tea grows at more than 20 provinces.

On the shores of West Lake in Hangzhou, where the famous green tea Longjing comes from, it was reported that the picking starts from the end of March and lasts through October. A skilled woman picker can only gather 600 grams of these green tea leaves in a day.

After the harvest, the new leaves must be parched in tea cauldrons. Accordingly, this work has now been largely mechanized, although the top grade Longjing tea still has to be stir-parched by hand, doing only 250 grams every half hour. Then, the tea cauldrons are heated electrically to a temperature of about 25 degree centigrade or 74 degree Fahrenheit. It then takes four pounds of fresh Chinese tea leaves to produce one pound of parched Chinese tea.

For the processes of grinding, parching, rolling, shaping and drying, different kinds of machines have been developed and built. This work turned out about 100 kilograms of finished Chinese tea an hour, relieving the workers from much of their drudgery.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Chinese Tea Set: Essential For Tea Making Today

You probably all know that tea is highly considered by Chinese as one of the necessities to start a day. Well, it is a very important part of the Chinese culture. They have drunk tea since time immemorial and so they have a wide range of knowledge and experience with tea and tea making.

Speaking of tea making, it is interesting to know that there are some very important steps involved in tea making. One of those is choosing the right Chinese tea set.

Choosing the right or appropriate tea sets is said to be very crucial in the tea preparation. In particular, it holds a very vital role in brewing tea.

Now, what composes a Chinese tea set?

Basically, the Chinese tea sets are referred to as tea pots, tea saucers, tea bowls, and tea trays. Today, there are different forms and types of Chinese tea sets that have certain characteristics and designs. Because of this, the tea sets are considered a very necessary part of artistry.

Being highly valued, the Chinese tea sets are dedicated to the established tea culture in China. They are actually divided into two categories. The first refers to those that have high artistic value, while the second is those that are used in every day life. I think it is quite understandable that those with high artistic value are commonly used in special tea ceremonies like a Chinese wedding ceremony. They are usually kept in beautiful cabinets and are proudly presented during a tea ceremony. On the other hand, those that are used in every day life are just used plainly for that purpose. As you may know, tea is a very vital part of every meal in China.

How to select the right tea sets and identify their use is not difficult. Selecting Chinese tea sets for every day use largely depends on the types of the tea that people drink. It even depends on where the people live.

For example, in the eastern as well as northern regions of china, the people usually drink floral teas, which are also considered as herbal teas. Now, in drinking floral tea, the people commonly employ large tea pots to boil the tea in water. According to some resources, these tea pots are ceramic, and their size depends on the number of people to be served.

In the Kangnam area, it was reported that green tea is usually drunk. It then follows that using a ceramic tea pot with a lid is very appropriate. Then, in areas like Fujian, Taiwan and Guangdong, the people drink usually oolong teas, so they usually use a regular kettle to brew the tea.

Furthermore, when brewing Gongfu tea or Hong tea, experts suggest using a ceramic pot or a regular kettle. Then, when drinking a high quality tea such as Xihu-long-jing, Jun-shan-yin-zhen, and Ton-ting-bilei-chun, clear glass cups are appropriate to use.

However, when drinking green tea or any tea that has fine leaves, choose a Chinese tea set that has small tea cups, as they are best to use than the large ones. Well, the main reason for this is that when these teas are poured into large cup, there would be too much water. High levels of water is said to brew fine leaves too fast, resulting in discolored tea leaves, and influencing the fragrance as well as taste of the tea. Some people also use a thermos to keep the green tea warm, which affects the color and flavor of the tea. It’s no wonder then that today, most of the Chinese tea sets include thermos on it.

Along with those mentioned items included in a Chinese tea set, there are also some tea plates, tea set cover cloths, tea spoons, tea trays, and tea brewing containers to complete the set.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Chinese Oolong Tea Processes And Benefits

Chinese oolong tea is in the first place a class as well as a kind of tea. It is one of the most famous teas in the world. According to many experts, the Chinese oolong tea is half way between green tea and black tea in a sense that it is half-fermented. It is as clear and fragrant as green tea and as refreshing and strong as black tea. As often said, if you drink oolong, the natural aroma may linger into your mouth and make your throat much comfortable.

The name of “oolong” is said to be an enigma to Chinese tea history. Nobody knows if it is named after a place or any variety of the plant. And, although the pinyin for oolong is “Wu Long”, which means black dragon, nobody can tell if the name “oolong” has any relation with “dragon”, which traditionally taken as the Chinese lucky indication.

The Processing of Chinese Oolong Tea

When it comes to the procedures involved in the processing of Chinese oolong tea, experts have shown six procedures that are usually considered. These include sunshine withering, tedding fresh leaves, rocking green, stir-fry green, rolling, and drying. With these procedures, many have considered oolong as one of the most complicated teas, if not the most complicated whole food beverage produced.

Usually, after picking, the leaves undergo withering, then bruised and dried. The leaves are either rolled or twisted by hand depending on the variety of oolong. While those may seem like straightforward steps, the number of different techniques as well as the precision timing employed give this partially-oxidized Chinese tea an enormous range of flavors, other than fragrances and liquor colors.

Types and Flavors

The Chinese oolong teas generally offer a spectrum of flavors that impart distinct notes and elegant bouquets. Some Chinese oolong teas are light and sweet. Perhaps a good example of this type is the Formosa oolong. This tea boasts beautiful large leaves that are tightly rolled.

Another great example of this type is the Tieguanyin, which presents a thick and shiny dark green leaves that release a flowery, amber brew. This type of Chinese oolong tea is also balanced and a great all-purpose tea.

There is also the Wuyi Cliff Chinese oolong tea that is grown in Fujian province where the weather is mild all year and the mountains are misty and cool. This variety is said to offer rich lasting flavors. The leaves are highly fermented before they are twisted and dried. According to experts, this more fermented Chinese oolong tea can aid digestion. It even offers a great complement to the pu-erh teas for a balanced weight loss program.

Benefits of Chinese Oolong Tea

Just like any other types of Chinese tea, the Chinese oolong is said to be helpful in anti-aging, bringing blood pressure down, improving the immuno-competence, and anti-heart disease. Many studies also revealed that the oolong can help you digest food, refresh yourself and sober up. What’s more, it is said to be helpful in prolonging your lifespan. And, recent researches have noted that the Chinese oolong tea is best for a balanced weight loss. It is said that if you increase your daily oolong tea consumption to 4 to 10 cups, the body will perform at an optimum level with an increased feeling of energy and vitality.

Friday, April 16, 2010

London Caterers Provide Special Delivery To The Big Brother House!

London's Flying Chef - the City and West End events division of The Chelsea Events Company. Not a fine dining restaurant or one-man/woman private cook, but a london caterer who could deliver their service within the constraints of a live television broadcast and impress a disparate bunch of contestants who’ve spent 37 days isolated from reality. The challenge for Chelsea Events was to secretly enter the Big Brother house without alerting the contestants and maintain their complete isolation from contact with the outside world, then, within 30 minutes, set up a fine dining feast for the contestants to enjoy. The set up – within 23 minutes – and meal were a complete success! Contestant Makosi said “It’s awesome, all we need now is music and we’ll have the perfect night” The meal was also a major feature in the Sunday papers. To meet the brief of ‘a wow factor in both visual impact and taste’ the menu included: Salad of Cellophane Noodles, Lemongrass and Chervil, with Marinated Prawns and Crayfish Tails, Mizuna, Soured Cream and Caviar or (V) Caesar Salad with soft Quails Egg and Chargrilled Asparagus Main Course Fillet of Beef with Purple Basil, Virgin Olive Oil and Deep-Fried Capers or (V) Aubergine Charlotte Dessert Croquembouche with fresh strawberries (profiterole tower, with fresh cream and rich chocolate sauce) Veronica Goff, Executive Chef, Chelsea Events commented, “We’ve worked in some inaccessible locations and under severe time constraints but this was a challenge to beat them all. Not only do Endemol (series producer) set a tough agenda for the Big Brother contestants they also ensure Chelsea Events operated to the extremes of its abilities. An experience we enjoyed achieving and an interesting success to add to all our CVs.”

Chinese Herbal Teas Explained

Chinese herbal teas are technically called Tisanes. These are recognized as infusions made herbs and not tea from the Camelia Sinensis plant. The essence of the herb is extracted when the tea is steeped in hot water.

Traditionally, the Chinese herbal teas are used for their medicinal and healing properties. However, there are many varieties that are also enjoyed simply for their taste. Today, these teas can be bought in China as the country produces an entire pharmacy of herbs.

The Benefits of Chinese Herbal Tea

One of the well-known benefits of Chinese herbal tea is that it offers the tea drinker caffeine free alternatives. Many of them are considered to be very soothing and comforting. The Rosebud and Chrysanthemum herbal teas are just two of them.

The Rosebud and Chrysanthemum teas are known in China as a woman’s herb. However, it is also useful for aiding digestion. As noted, even a hardcore tea drinker will surely enjoy the flowery freshness of these miniature rosebuds. The Chrysanthemum in particular has a unique flavor. It has long been used to cool the body and reduce fever.

The Chinese herbal teas are even great beverages to have at night, especially when you might not want caffeine.

The Famous Flower Herbal Teas

There is a number of Chinese herbal tea varieties, one of those are the flower teas. These teas are caffeine free alternatives and offer various benefits. Most of them are calming and soothing, while offering a palatte of flavors.

Here are the most famous flower teas:

• Carnation Flower Tea – This is an attractive red flower tea which is said to help restore the energy of the body. It is also considered great for relaxing.

• Chrysanthemum Herbal Tea – This is but a top grade of the famous cooling tea infusion. It has a subtle sweetness and is highly refreshing.

• Gongju Herbal Tea – Another caffeine-free tea, which is smooth tasting. The whole flower is known for its soothing as well as relaxing attributes.

• Jasmine Bud Flower Tea – According to some experts, this Chinese herbal tea consists solely of the small and beautiful Jasmine flowers that have yet to open. This produces a caffeine-free and sweet brew.

• Forget Me Not Flower Tea – This is also caffeine-free and is said to aid the lungs. It brews a mild and grassy flavored tisane. And, it is known for its beautiful purple flowers.

• Yunnan Flower Bud Tea – As the name implies, this Chinese herbal tea grows in the old forests of Yunnan. This is considered a rare flower and is a local Yunnan drink that is caffeine free.

• Wild New York Ginseng – Here is another well-known Chinese herbal tea intended for those who appreciate the wild growing conditions in which the roots lived. It is said that because of the rugged wild conditions, each root has a unique appearance and personality. Some of these wild roots can be very small but also very old. There are also some larger roots that can be younger. Accordingly, these herbal roots lives for at least seven years and up.

• Kuding Pearl Tea – Many who have tasted this tea noted that this is a bitter tea. This variety is rolled into large pearls which are also called “one leaf tea” because of the size of the leaves. Others call it “one leaf” because one needs only one leaf of this tea to heal a number of things. In addition, this is an ancient leaf and is deemed by many as an interesting herbal tea.

Light Calorie Cooking: How To Cook Low Calorie Foods Which Still Taste Fantastic

Many people these days want to control their diets so they are eating low calorie foods, but low calorie foods that still taste great. The way to get low calorie foods that taste great is through light calorie cooking. There are a few tips to consider when embarking on light calorie cooking adventures where the calories are low but the taste is high. Margarine As Opposed to Butter When following recipes when preparing a meal, there are many recipes that now list a choice between using butter as an ingredient or margarine. By using margarine in the recipe instead of butter the cook cuts the caloric content significantly yet still keeps a good taste overall. It is very hard to tell the difference between margarine and butter that is used in cooked foods and since margarine is lower in calories it is a great substitute. So, the next time you are cooking and run across a choice between butter or margarine as an ingredient make the healthy and low calorie choice by using margarine. The taste will remain great and it won't affect your waistline! Splenda as Opposed to Sugar Another great way in which to save on the caloric intake is to use Splenda in one's recipes as opposed to sugar. Splenda consists of sucralose, which was approved for sale on the market in the late 1990s. Not only is this ingredient low in calories but it is great tasting as well. Splenda is also a wonderful ingredient to use in baked foods as it is heat stable and there is no real loss of the substance during cooking. For these reasons, Splenda is a great ingredient to use when cooking using those recipes which call for sugar. You won't notice a difference, but you will enjoy great foods and beverages with considerably less calories! These are two ways in which a calorie-conscious individual can make fantastic light calorie meals that are abundant in the taste department and easy on the waistline as well.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chinese Cuisine What’s In A Name?

Chinese Cuisine What’s In A Name?

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There’s more to Chinese cuisine than meets the taste buds. There is also what meets the eye, the ear and the imagination. Chinese culture demands attention to the entire presentation of a meal, and that includes the blend of flavors, the subtlety of the spicing, how appealing the colors and arrangement of the food is and how well it plays on the imagination of the diner. This is a concept that is as foreign to most Westerners as an appreciation for the nuance of a single brus...

Chinese,Chinese cuisine

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There’s more to Chinese cuisine than meets the taste buds. There is also what meets the eye, the ear and the imagination. Chinese culture demands attention to the entire presentation of a meal, and that includes the blend of flavors, the subtlety of the spicing, how appealing the colors and arrangement of the food is and how well it plays on the imagination of the diner. This is a concept that is as foreign to most Westerners as an appreciation for the nuance of a single brushstroke in an ideograph. To the Chinese, though, the name of a dish plays its own part in the presentation when they serve a meal to guests.

The subtlety is lost on most Americans, who’d rather know what’s going to be on their plate than enjoy a bit of imagery with their meal. Some of the most common names survive – Seven Happiness, a dish that includes shrimp, lobster, scallop, fish, pork, beef and chicken in a delicate sauce with vegetables, for instance. Seven happiness indeed – what mouth wouldn’t be happy with that?

In China, however, many honored and respected restaurants still cling to the old traditions. At the Confucius House, for instance, one can dine on Two Phoenix from One Egg, An Oriole Welcoming Spring and As Luck As One Wishes. The Fangshan Restaurant in Beihai Park serves Phoenix in Its Nest and “Frog and Abalone”. The Fangshan Restaurant has also revived an ancient tradition – the complete Manchu-Han Banquet. Created during the Qing Dynasty as a celebration of important events, the Manchu-Han Banquet consists of 234 hot dishes, 28 cold dishes, cakes and fruit. Such a lavish spread is it that it often is held over the course of several days.

It was during the Northern and Southern Dynasties that the practice of giving poetic names to dishes truly flourished. While many dishes were named simply for their appearance, many others included a play on words in their names – subtle references to the ingredients wrapped in a beautiful title. Thus, a dish of shredded fish with orange might be called ‘powdered gold and minced jade”. Shrimp with green peas and scallions might bear the name ‘Coral, Pearl and Jade’. Some were far more fanciful – and in some cases descriptive of the elaborate preparation that turned a plate of food into a landscape or a scene from history. One such dish is chicken and soft-shelled turtle, served in its shell and named “the Conqueror says goodbye to his concubine”.

It’s only fitting that Hunan cuisine, generally considered to be the most visually appealing of the Chinese regional cuisines, should also feature the most fanciful and delightful names. Who cares what the ingredients are when your host serves you ‘Footsteps of the Phoenix’ and “Pearls in the Snow”? They are truly names fit for the dishes that graced the tables of emperors.

Live Poker: Pros and Cons of Participating in a Tournament

If you have had enough of playing poker with friends or with playing it online and winning some money and then losing some money to only win that money back again, then you have reached the stage in your poker playing experience where you need to start entering live tournaments. That is the real deal. No more long hours in front of the computer, no more feeling guilty for taking your friends' money: you are now ready to turn pro. But, before you do, here are a few things you must consider: 1) One of the big differences of playing in a tournament is that you need to pick you hands carefully. Spend most of your time throwing your cards away at the right beginning. If you see that your cards won't amount to much, fight the urge to exchange most of them, and just hand them all in. This is what most tournament players do anyway. If you don't believe me, watch the others play. 2) Money you take with you to tournaments lasts for a much lengthier period than when playing with friends or online. This is one of the advantages of not playing every hand you are dealt. (Hint: You should do the same thing when playing with friends even though that then becomes boring.) 3) Do not sit to the left of the dealer. Ensure that there are at least two players between the dealer and the players to the left. Why? Only the first 2 players seated on the left of the dealer have to place the ante. Since, most of the tournaments involve ten players on each table, you save this much each time you play. This also means that each hand that you fold will mean that you have spent only half that of the lower limit. This amounts to three dollars in a two to four dollar rake tournament. 4) Take into consideration that the mere fact that you are away from home means that you will spend money on food and drinks. Try and get your own, but in any case keep it light. 5) Tournament dealers are not paid much, and so it' general practice to give them about three percent of whatever you win. Consider that all gambling halls and poker rooms also take a certain percentage but at least this comes from the money you win and so you don't feel it. 6) One of the other advantages of playing in a tournament is that you can use more money than you had. For instance, for a hundred dollar sit-in, many casinos and poker rooms will give you about five hundred in tournament chips to bet with. 7) If high odds and high risk is not what you are looking for you can take advantage of the late night satellite tournaments. These generally begin at one in the morning and since the number of players won't be high, you stand a bigger chance of winning. Conclusion: Playing poker requires tremendous skill as well as come luck. While you cannot depend on luck, improve your skills and your online casino or other kind of betting account will show a profit.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chinese Black Tea Information

Also called by many as ‘red tea’, the Chinese black tea has been enjoyed by the Chinese tea drinkers and the world for centuries. Its popularity is even soaring these days and I guess the primary reason for that is many believe that the Chinese black teas harbor profound and promising health benefits.

Chinese Black Tea Basics

As the name implies, the Chinese black tea originates in China and has long been used by the Chinese as part of their daily meals.

The brewed black tea ranges from reddish brown to black in color. According to some resources, one of the most obvious characteristic of the Chinese black tea is that it mellows with age and grows richer and deeper in flavor. The vintage black teas in particular are deemed superlative, boasting flavors and aromas that conjure up the same adjectives used to distinguish fine wine or whiskey.

Storing Chinese black tea is simple. It is usually kept in a well-ventilated place and the tea requires no temperature regulation. Also, unlike the other teas, Chinese black teas come in compressed cakes with a variety o shapes and sizes. It could be round, square, and even bamboo-like tubes.

Types of Chinese Black Tea

According to different processing methods, Chinese black tea can be divided into three different types:

1.Souchong Black Tea – This is a unique type of black tea that grows at the Wuyi Mountain City in Fujian province. According to some experts, the pine-smoking fragrance of Souchong black tea is much different from any other black teas in the world. And, according to different producing area, this variety can be classified into four types:

• Tongmuguan Souchong which is produced in Tongmuguan county
• Lapsang Souchong, produced in Chong’An, Jianyang, Guangzhe
• XingChun Souchong, produced in other areas which around Xingcun town of Chong’An county
• Smoking Souchong, which is not from Wuyi Mountain City

Of these mentioned subclasses, the Lapsang Souchong is considered the best, offering longan flavor. The Smoking Souchong, on the other hand, is made from low grade congou back tea and is processed by imitational method as other Souchong black teas. Also, the smoking fragrance of this type is exactly coming from the burning brushwood of pine plant.

2. Congou Black Tea – This Chinese black tea type evolved from the Souchong variety. The most famous congou Chinese black teas include the Qihong of Anhui (Keemun black), Dianhong of Yunnan, Suhong of Jiangsu, Chuanhong of Sichuan and Huhong of Hunan.

3. Broken Black Tea – Finally, this type is also called “graded black tea” for the reason that there is international uniform grading standard for this type of Chinese black tea. Well, according to different shapes, the broken black tea us classified into four subtypes: the whole leaf black, with short strip shape; broken leaf black, with small grain shape; fannings black, with small slice shape; and dust black, with powdered shape.

It is interesting to know that the origin of Chinese black tea is Chong’An, Fujian. This place is actually the city of the Wuyi Mountain today. In souchong black tea was firstly manufactured in the Wuyi Mountain in the last of 18th century. Following that, the congou black tea came to life. Since then, the manufacturing technique of black tea was brought to Jiangsi province, then to Keemun.

Los 7 Mejores Musicales

Aquí te presento una lista de las películas mas destacadas en la sección de musicales para que disfrutes y entretengas. La novicia rebelde (The Sound of Music): La clásica historia de la familia Van Trapp en Austria y la niñera, protagonizada por Julie Andrews en 1965, todavía sigue siendo entretenida ya tractiva para la educación de los niños. La trama, la música, las visuales y el mensaje son parte de la niñez de muchos de mi generación. Chicago: Del musical teatral protagonizado en cine por Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones y Richard Gere es otro de los recomendados. Su más reciente estreno en los 2000 es de una excelente actuación, baile y sonido que ha ganado un premio tras otro. Vale la pena! Mouline Rouge: Protagonizada por Nicole Kidman y Ewan McGregor , dirigida por Baz Luhrmann este increíble musical fue uno de los mas impactantes que vi. En 2001 Moulin Rouge logro traer a la pantalla grande, de la llegada de un humilde escritor ingles en 1900 a Paris, y su encuentro con una bailarina en Mouline Rouge. Grease: Grease es un musical para adolescentes, de 1978 que todavía vale la pena mirar. John Travolta comienza su carrera de galán en la pantalla grande, junto con Olivia newton John hacen un dúo inolvidable. Sus canciones siguen siendo un éxito hoy en día, reproducidas en transe y house music. Mary Poppins: Julie Andrews en 1964 de nuevo hace una brillante actuación junto con Dick Van Dyke convierten este musical en un mágico de Disney inolvidable para niños! Ese clásico nunca pasara de moda. El Mago de Oz: Judy Garland en 1939, junto con sus tres amigos (el hombre de lata sin corazón, el espantapájaros sin cerebro y el León sin coraje) siguen el inolvidable camino amarillo para llegar al Mago de Oz. Excelente. La Bella y La Bestia: Un dibujo animado de Disney para adultos y niños que fue capaz de ganar los corazones de millones de personas en 1991. Un gran mensaje para no guiarse por las apariencias, lleno de magia y entretenimiento. Increíble sonido! Aquí termino mi lista, espero que la hayan disfrutado y que ahora puedan con seguridad elegir su próximo musical!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Origin: Imported from China to Egypt as early as 2000 B.C., Cinnamon was given as a prestigious offering to Monarchs. It is even featured with positive and symbolic meaning in the NY Times All-time Best Seller, The Bible, in the books of Exodus and Proverbs.

Las Vegas: Top Three Land Casinos

Las Vegas is synonymous with casino playing and sports betting. While the desert blooms on its outskirts, the lights of this betting mecca signal all who enter that this is not any other vacationionl spot. Who does not recognize the big neon cowboy called Vegas Vic waving to all visitors: "Come In Come In" at the entrance to the Pioneer Club. But, let us suppose you have decided to go to Vegas and have no idea which casinos to go to play. There are so many that you might just go to the nearest one and miss out on some real and true excitement. That is why you must read this article. Why Do you Want to Go to a Casino? Interested in the spectacular sights? These are the top three not to miss: 1) The Venetian Why go to Venice if you can take a gondola ride through street just like you would in Venice? This is a definate MUST and especially so if you are going with a mate. For singles, this is still a great experience because the place is huge and the ride entertaining. 2) Paris Similar in theme to the Venetian, this casino makes you feel like you have visited Paris in France with the imposing Eiffel Tower looming down on you from above, you can even take a fast-moving ride and wizz through and by the towers and other spectacular palaces and gardens. 3) The Bellagio No waterfall or water fountain I have seen is as spectacular and coloruful like the one sported at the Bellagio. Starting with blue and then changing from an orange to a fiery crimson tinge, I felt that the water has caught fire and I was witnessing something I had only read about: instant combustion. More interested in playing a casino game than in sightseeing? Pick one of these three: 1) Excalibur This is one of the most busiest corners of the entire globe. Their casino is the largest you will ever see and it addition it is not just a casino. Its designed in a medieval manor or palace kind of theme that makes you feel as if you have been jutted back in time. The tables are also easy to get a seat and the dealers are fair. Yes. The Excalibur is a great place to play your favourite casino games. 2) The Luxor Why not enter ancient Egypt and place your bet as the age-old pharaohs look on? The casino hall at the Luxor is designed as the interior of the Great Pyramid in Egypt (actually it’s a lot better than the orignial one) and the betting floor is vast and encompassing of all games such as poker, craps, roulette, baccarat, blackjack and a large number of electronic slot machines. 3) The Hilton Casino Lounge Amazing but true. The Hilton casino lounge supplies the best odds for sports and casino bets. Maybe it’s the fact that this is not one of the better known casinos in Las Vegas, or maybe its because its name is not synonymous with gambling, but in any case, if you are interested in pure card or slot gaming, this is the casino to go to. Conclusion: Las Vegas is one of the best locations for entertainment in the world and you can find all kinds of shows and theme parks there so you will not get bored no matter what you like. Relax, or take an active part in your trip. Learn more about casinos at because you will definitely enjoy your stay at Las Vegas.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chicken Recipes

Chicken recipes are a part of diets for many of the worlds people, many of these recipes we have made over and over and others, are special recipes, this could be as an old family Christmas recipe or a special occassion fondue chicken recipe.

In the united states the population eat more chicken then any other meato the market, but we still strive to create new and intresting recipes or even just spicing up an old.

When cooking with chicken you must remember about food safety, chicken contains bacteria that you need to avoid contaminating yourself and your guests. Always wash your hands before and after touching or handling raw or cooked chicken. Use hot water you can and antibacterial soap when washing hands. When handling raw chicken be sure not to touch any equipment or items before washing your hands. This will prevent cross contamination.

When cooking chicken, make sure you cook it until it reaches the required temperature. Chicken NEVER be eaten raw cooking it thoroughly kills any harmful bacteria that may be on your chicken. Again, make sure to use utensils that are clean everytime you go to check the chicken and never use the same utensil for checking a raw chicken and a cooked one

Las Mejores Biografias de Los Artistas Visuales Mas Destacados

Las biografías de artistas visuales es un tema popular en el mundo del cine. Los productores de películas siempre estuvieron fascinados por las biografías de artistas visuales, especialmente si incluye locura, adicción a las drogas u otros temas duros. De hecho, les da una oportunidad de mostrar obras de arte restauradas u originales en la pantalla grande. Aquí, puedes leer a cerca de algunos de las más interesantes películas a cerca de la vida de artistas visuales. 1)"Lust for Life", dirigida por Vicente Minnelli en 1952: La biografía de Vincent Van Gogh ha ganado varias adaptaciones cinematográficas. Esta en especial es interpretada por Kira Douglas como Vincent la cual la ha hecho muy notable. La película esta basada en un libro (best selling) por Irving Stone, quien también escribió "La Agonía y el Éxtasis" a cerca de Michel Angelo, la cual también fue convertida en película. Si disfrutas de las obras de Van Gogh, disfrutaras de "Lust for Life", que presenta casi 200 pinturas originales del Van Gogh. SI eres familiar con Kirk Douglas, verlo como este torturado pintor es un poco extraño. Otra película recomendable sobre Van Gogh es Robert Altmans Vincent y Theo de 1990. 2) Sobreviviendo Picasso, dirigida por James Ivory en 1996: Como Van Gogh, la imagen de Pablo Picasso lo convirtió en una figura icónica fuera del círculo artístico. Mientras que Van Gogh simboliza la propia destrucción, maniaco depresivo el cual su éxito apareció luego de su muerte, Picasso representa lo misantropito y mujeriego del artista. Las relaciones de Picasso con mujeres es el enfoque de esta película. La historia es contada desde los ojos de la ayudanta de Picasso Francoise Gilot y caracteriza solo reproducciones de las obras del artista. El talentoso Anthony Hopkins interpreta a Picasso teniendo un parecido al artista muy increíble. Esta película logra crear un retrato tan cruel, egocéntrico y genio como el verdadero. 3) Chica con el Aro de Perla, dirigida por Meter Webber en 2003: Comparado a Van Gogh y Picasso, la biografía de Vermeers es menos conocida y menos controversial. Por eso, esta película es mucho más restringida y delicada que las anteriores. La película se focaliza en un corto periodo de la vida de Verneers en el que pintaba el retrato de su ama de casa de baja clase. A pesar de que la película no evita convenciones cinematográficas extra dramatizando el proceso de su pintura, vale la pena mirar la película por su diseño artístico que logra evocar la percepción de color y luz del pintor. 4) Basquiat, dirigida por Julian Schnabel en 1996: La critica mas común en contra de películas que tratan de artes visuales es la manera en que expresan el proceso de las creaciones. Por eso, había grandes expectaciones de Basquiat, que fue dirigida por el celebre pintor Julian Schnabel. Este logro expresar bien la subida y caída de Michelle Basquiat. De todas formas, la principal razón para mirar esta película es David Bowe quien interpreta a Andy Warhol. 5) Frida, dirigida por Julie Taymor en 2002: Como la mayoría de los artistas que tuvieron su biografía adaptada al cine, Frida Kahlo tuvo una bastante inusual, que incluye accidente de ómnibus, matrimonio problemático, y un romance con Leon Trotsky. Como Van Gogh, Picasso y Jackson Polloch, Frida Kahlo era un icono mucho antes de la creación de su película, pero los 123 minutos de ella ayudaron a esforzar su posición como idola feminista y la pintora más famosa del siglo 20. Este film intenta integrar a Frida con sus pinturas y el resultado es muy colorido y agradable. Muy recomendable.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chicken Fried Steak

For those who happen to enjoy an unusual cross of flavors and styles, chicken fried steak is something to be experienced. A cross between the classic taste of steak and the simple joys of fried chicken, this increasingly popular method of cooking steak is a wonderfully memorable mix of different flavors. Casual, yet dignified, it is a meal that distinguishes itself with its flexibility and accessible nature. Which makes chicken fried steak the type of meal that can fit a variety of occasions.

Cooking chicken fried steak is not too difficult to make. All it requires is a steak, breadcrumbs, oil and a skillet or deep fryer. Simply cover the steak in breadcrumbs, heat the oil in the skillet or deep fryer, and cook the steak until it is done. If it is being made in a skillet, it needs to be flipped every couple of minutes but, otherwise, there is little that needs to be done until the steak is done cooking.

It is very rare for chicken fried steak to be made from a top quality cut of beef. After all, the steak is not being expected to stand entirely on its own, so it is not vital that it be perfect. Additionally, the frying of the steak has a tenderizing effect on the meat, which also permits a slightly lower quality cut of meat to be used. Obviously, there is a limit, but chicken fried steak is more forgiving than steak on the grill.

The part that really makes the difference in chicken fried steak is the mix of spices that are added to the breadcrumbs. These spices are the savor that truly makes the difference in the taste of the steak and makes it distinctive on the palate. By blending just the right combination of flavors, chicken fried steak can come into its own and really shine. But to get the best blend of spices, the best thing anybody can do is experiment. After all, there is only one person who will always be there to judge the results, and that is the person who cooks it. So any cook who wants to master chicken fried steak would be well-served to try a few new things, take a few notes, and figure out just how to make it just right.

No matter how you make chicken fried steak, it is almost always a welcome addition to the menu. Whether for dinner after work, a Sunday brunch, a picnic, or a get-together with friends, chicken fried steak can be a fun addition to the menu. Unusual, yet familiar, it is a meal that is easy to enjoy and always welcome.

Though it has only recently joined the mainstream, chicken fried steak is an increasingly popular meal both at home and when going out to eat. A distinctive blend of different flavors, it is a meal that is starting to receive its proper due as a dish that is well worth the effort. So give chicken fried steak a try and see why it is becoming the new recipe of choice for people who love steak.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Chicago Restaurants

Chicago is a city that has pioneered many “firsts”. These include the first planetarium in the Western World, first atomic reaction, first elevated train system and commercial airplane. These events and facts have played a role in shaping Chicago into a city where tradition and enterprise coexists with innovative ideas. Chicago and its suburbs are home to more than 10 million people.

Also known as the Windy City, Chicago has a distinctive style of its own and is also a fast-paced city. Chicago can be described as a restaurant town in a factual sense of the term, as diners here have the opportunity to taste cuisine from all parts of the world. The city is home to a wide range of eating establishments that serve Mediterranean, Israeli, Italian and Japanese cuisines. Specialized seafood restaurants, steak houses, burger joints or theme restaurants, they are all available in Chicago.

Chicago is famous for its corner restaurant chains such as Pizzeria Uno and Georgetti. Diners in the city can also taste preparations by world famous chefs at eating establishments such as the West Loop’s Blackbird. The Everest, situated on the Chicago Stock Exchange’s 40th floor is another unique restaurant.

The city’s dining experience offers multiple moderately priced eateries. Chicago has a reputation for launching stylish and original restaurants. This trend has helped broadening the options for the diner besides providing reasonable prices. Along with these eating joints, Chicago is also home to numerous celebrity restaurants. These include restaurants owned by famous people such as Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenneger.

Visitors to Chicago have an opportunity to pamper their taste buds and often, it is a problem of “ which one do I miss out on”. Trial and error is never a good way to get familiar with the dining culture of any city. It is important to read reviews that appear in the local print media or on the Internet. Some of these reviews give a pretty good glimpse into featured menus of various restaurants and an approximate pricing.

Local or Organic? A False Choice

A couple of years ago, I visited an organic vegetable farm in southeast Minnesota, not far from the Mississippi River. Nestled in a valley that sloped down from rolling pasture and cropland sat Featherstone Fruits and Vegetables, a 40-acre farm. Featherstone was part of a local food web in the upper Midwest, selling at a farmers' market, through a CSA (community supported agriculture) and to co-op stores in the Twin Cities. But the partners, Jack Hedin and Rhys Williams, who began in 1995, were having a tough time economically and realized they would have to boost sales if they were to become viable. The farm earned about $22,000 a year -- split between the two partners -- so they had to take on debt to keep going; this, after a 60 to 70 hour work week. Hedin told me he made some calls and eventually landed a deal with Whole Foods to supply the natural foods chain with organic heirloom tomatoes. When I visited, they were in year two of the contract, picking the tomatoes before their peak ripeness, then shipping them to Chicago for stores in the Midwest. The deal had become the biggest sales channel for their farm; while still "local," they were not as local as when they sold in their backyard. There was a lesson here, one that often gets lost in the debate about which is better, local or organic? Too often this is understood as a zero sum game -- that the money you spend on organic food at the supermarket will mean less for local farmers. After all, the food you buy is being shipped from who knows where and then often ends up in a processed food product. I've heard the argument that if all the money spent on organic food (around $14 billion) were actually channeled to local food, then a lot more small farms would survive and local food networks could expand. Well, Featherstone was doing precisely the opposite: it had entered the organic wholesale marketplace and then sent its tomatoes hundreds of miles away to survive as a small and, yes, local farm. As consumers, it's hard to understand these realities since we're so divorced from the way food is produced. Even for conscious consumers who think about values other than convenience and price -- avoiding pesticides, the survival of small farms, artisan food, and, of course, the most basic values, freshness and taste -- choices must be made. Should we avoid pesticides at all costs or help small local farmers who may use them? Should we reduce food shipment miles, or buy food produced in an ecologically sound manner regardless of where it's grown? These questions arise because we want to do what's right. The problem, though, is that these questions set up false choices. What Hedin and others showed me was that when it comes to doing the right thing, what really mattered was thinking about the choice -- to be aware, to stay informed, and to be conscious of our role as consumers. But what you actually chose -- local or organic -- didn't really matter. Hedin, for example, was competing against farmers he actually knew on the West Coast, who also supplied organic produce to Whole Foods. I met one, Tim Mueller of River Dog Farm, in the one-bar town of Guinda, California. His farm sold produce at the Berkeley Farmers Market about 90 minutes away, but he was also tied to wholesale markets. (I saw River Dog's heirloom tomatoes in western Massachusetts.) For these organic farmers, selling wholesale was a foundation for economic sustainability. Moreover, by expanding the organic market, we may be actually helping local farmers. The USDA surveyed farmers' markets and found that about a third of farmers selling direct were organic -- local and organic, that is. In comparison, just one percent of all American farms practice organic agriculture. So for smaller-scale farmers selling direct, organic food has become a key component of their identity. By bringing more people into the organic fold, through whatever gateway they happened to choose, the pool of consumers considering local food would likely increase too. That's at least what Jim Crawford, a farmer from south central Pennsylvania believed. His 25-acre operation, New Morning Farm, works two farmers’ markets in Washington, D.C., and Jim played a key role in the growth of local foods in the region, having started out as an organic farmer in the 1970s. He told me he worried when Whole Foods opened a supermarket near his farmers' market location in Washington because he thought he would lose customers. But over time, he noticed, sales kept rising. He thought the supermarket, which stocked a lot of organic produce from California, was actually converting customers to organic food and they in turn were finding their way to his market. But what about companies that have pursued the organic marketplace without any concern for local food? What about, say, Earthbound Farm, which has grown into the third largest organic brand and the largest organic produce company in the nation, with its bagged salad mixes in three-quarters of all supermarkets? The company fiercely competed with other organic growers who later went out of business; its salad was grown organically but with industrial-scale agriculture; and the trucks that shipped the salad around the country burned through a lot of fossil fuel. But Earthbound was competing with the likes of Dole, Fresh Express and ReadyPac in the mainstream market to offer consumers an organic choice. It did little for local food (a saving grace, since it left the market to smaller players). But Earthbound farmed on 26,000 acres of certified organic land, which meant that 267,000 pounds of pesticides and 8.4 million pounds of chemical fertilizers were being removed from use annually, the company estimated. And as studies repeatedly show, organic farming also saves energy (since the production of fertilizer and pesticides consumes one-third of the energy used in farming overall). Earthbound's accomplishments should not be ignored -- even if they are anything but local. Which brings me to a final point: How we shop. Venues like Whole Foods are not fully organic because people are often unwilling to spend more than a small portion of their grocery budget on organic foods. It's too expensive. This is one reason why organic food accounts for just two percent of food sales -- one percent if you include eating out. Similarly, local foods, though important, total 1-2 percent. So arguing over local or organic is a bit like two people in a room of 100 fighting over who has the more righteous alternative to what the other 98 people are doing. It doesn't really matter, because the bigger issue is swaying the majority. When I shop, visiting the Dupont Circle farmers market in Washington, D.C., on Sunday morning and then going to the supermarket, I make choices. I buy local, organic, and conventional foods too, because each meets a need. Is the local product "better" than the organic one? No. Both are good choices because they move the food market in a small way. In choosing them, I can insert my values into an equation that for too long has been determined only by volume, convenience and price. While I have nothing against low prices and convenient shopping, the blind pursuit of these two values can wreak a lot of damage -- damage that we ultimately pay for in water pollution, toxic pesticide exposure, livestock health, the quality of food and the loss of small farms. The total bill may not show up at the cash register but it's one we pay nonetheless. So what's my advice? Think about what you're buying. If you want local food, buy local. If you want organic, buy organic. The point is to make a conscious choice, because as we insert our values into the market, businesses respond and things change. There's power in what we do collectively, so is there any reason to limit it unnecessarily? © Samuel Fromartz 2006, reprinted by permission Author Samuel Fromartz is a business journalist who has written for Fortune, Business Week, and Inc. Organic Inc. is his first book. He lives in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit

Friday, April 9, 2010


Cheesecake, do you think that cheesecake is hard to make, well if you do then you are wrong, cheesecake is one of the easiest deserts to make as far as I am concerned, it is even easier and less messy than making cookies.
Just go to Yahoo or MSN and type in the search box Free Gourmet Cheesecake Recipes and click search and you will find my site and many recipes for cheesecake such as Chocolate Cheesecake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake, Individual Vanilla Cheesecake with Lemon Curd, Bailey's Marbled Cheesecake and these are just a few we also have many recipes in our classic food section, pastry in our baked goods section, and there is also an area on Wedding Cakes.

The wedding cakes that you find there are cakes that I have done and have had time to take photos of.
Do you need something fast for dinner tonight? You know that a lot of quick and easy dishes are made in crock pots, you can start them in the morning and have them ready when you come home from work, crock pot lasagna or ” Golambki” Another Old Time Polish Recipes, and these are just the beginning.

However you choose to locate the recipes that you need weather it be on a web site, blog, or whatever, there are many good places and products that you can find them and you can be sure that these recipes are top quality and will give you a perfect dinner or desert.
What ever it is that you are looking for you can find it online or in the public library, you will find many new recipes and some of them will become your favorite.

Liquor Distillation From Wine

Distillation is the centuries-old process used to produce alcohol. Heat is used to separate the components of a liquid, or mash, and as vaporization takes place the vapors are cooled so they condense into neutral spirits with little color, aroma, or flavor. The distiller then blends this neutral spirit with other alcohol or flavorings and may or may not leave it to mature, or age, until the desired flavor and aroma is achieved before bottling. Brandy and clear, colorless grappa are two examples of spirits distilled from wine, which you will find in most standard bar stocks. The following are the best-known distillations from wine produced in countries around the world. Armagnac Armagnac is a pale golden, fiery, dry-tasting French brandy. Under French law, only white grapes from the Haut-Armagnac, Tenareze, and Bas-Armagnac regions of Gascony, in southwest France, may be distilled for Armagnac. The distillation takes place after the grape harvest, which occurs between October and April. Unlike cognac, its younger cousin, Armagnac has traditionally been made with only one distillation, but a recent change in legislation means double distillation is now allowed, speeding up the maturation process, which takes place in oak barrels. Three stars on the label mean it has had at least two years' maturation; V.S.O.R, at least five years; Napoleon and X.O., at least six years; and Hors d'Age at least 10 years in the barrel. A vintage year on the label indicates the year of the harvest. A vintage Armagnac is never blended. Brandy First discovered in the middle of the thirteenth century in France as an attempt to produce a medicinal drink, brandy is now made around the world wherever grapes are grown. After two distillations, the clear, colorless alcohol is given its distinctive nutty brown color and flavor by aging in wood, often oak, barrels. The longer a brandy ages, the more refined its flavor is judged to be. In the United States. Cognac Prehaps the best-known brandy in the world, cognac comes from a uprcific area in western France centered around the town of Cognac Hi ihe Charente region. To be labeled as "cognac," French legislation n|ircifies the brandy can only be made from specific white grapes winch are grown and later distilled within a strictly defined fid'graphical area. Cognac production is governed by old traditions as well as the laws, so all the brandy is distilled at least twice and then matured in oak barrels for at least two years, during which time it develops its rich, brown color. The end result is 80 proof. Information mi ihe label, also governed by law, explains the maturity of the cognac. Three stars or VS. means the cognac has been matured in the barrel for at least two years; V.S.O.R, Vieux, V.O, and Reserve Indicate at least four years; V.V.S.O.P and Grande Reserve are (cognacs matured for at least five years; Extra, Napoleon, X.O., Tres eux, and Vieille Reserve are stored for six to 10 years in oak barrels. Crappa This clear, Italian spirit, about 80 proof, is distilled from the remains Of the grapes used in wine production, the stems, skins, and pits. Crappa made from white wine is dry and fiery, while that from red wine has a powerful flavor. Although grappa is best known as an Italian spirit, versions of it are made in other countries, such as marc in France. Marc This French pomace spirit is distilled from the press residue resulting Irom wine production. Depending on the variety, it either tastes powerful and full flavored (marc de bourgogne) or light, dry, and very soft (marc de champagne). The alcohol content is between 80 and 90 proof. There is a flavor difference between marc made from red-wine and white-wine residues. A small glass of marc, served neat, is aperfect digestive. Metaxa The best-known Creek spirit, metaxa is distilled from black grapes. The alcohol content is about 80 proof. Stars on the label tell you how long the liquor was aged. Three stars means three years; five stars, five years; and seven stars, seven years. Bottles labeled as Private Reserve have been matured for at least 20 years, and have the smoothest flavor. Pisco This very tangy, colorless brandy is the national drink of Chile, and is the main ingredient in the refreshing cocktail Pisco Sour. Produced from black grapes with a high proportion of muscatel grapes, it is matured in clay casks. Weinbrand This German grape brandy, whose name translates as "burned wine," is distilled using some wines from neighboring countries, but legislation requires up to 85 percent of the final product to be German. It must then be matured for six months in oak casks holding a maximum of 1,000 liters (about 2,600 gallons) each. Old weinbrand must be cellared for a minimum of 12 months. If it is then at least 76 proof, it will receive an official reference number and can be sold. Like cognac, weinbrand is double distilled. Weinbrand should be served no warmer than room temperature, and is best served in a brandy snifter. If it is a little on the cool side, however, it does not matter because it will quickly attain the correct temperature through heat transferred from the hands.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cheese Making Through the Ages

The many different types of cheeses available mean there is something to suit every taste. It is generally believed that cheese was first made in the Middle East. Legend has it that a nomadic Arab made cheese by accident when a saddlebag filled with milk fermented due to the hot sun and the galloping movement of his horse.

Early cheeses were not the solid products we eat today. They were simple curds and whey, like what Little Miss Muffet ate. The curd is the solid part while the whey is liquid.

Workmen making cheese are depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics. In ancient times, the whey was eaten immediately while the curd was salted or dried for preservation. The Roman Legion helped spread the art of cheesemaking throughout Europe and England. The monasteries and feudal estates of Europe made great improvements in cheesemaking during the Middle Ages. Many of the classic varieties of cheese enjoyed today were developed by monks. During the Renaissance, cheese decreased in popularity because it was considered unhealthy. By the nineteenth century, sentiment had changed and cheese production moved from farms to factories. No one involved in the early history of cheese could have imagined that today people would buy cheese online.

While most cheeses are mass produced today, some artisanal cheeses are still made by hand using old-fashioned techniques. When you buy cheese online, it is possible to deal directly with the people who make the cheese.

How cheese is made today

Cheese can be made from the milk of cows, goats, sheep and even buffaloes. The basic principle involved in making natural cheese is to curdle the milk so it forms into curds and whey. Contemporary cheesemaking methods stimulate the curdling process by using a starter, which is a bacterial culture that produces lactic acid, and rennet, a coagulating enzyme to speed up the separation of liquids and solids. Different bacterial cultures are used depending on the type of cheese being made.

The least sophisticated types of cheese for sale are the fresh, unripened varieties like cottage cheese. These are made by warming milk and letting it stand, treating it with a lactic starter to help the acid development and then draining the whey. The cheese is eaten fresh. This is the simplest form of cheese.

For more complex cheeses, bacterial cultures are used to lower the pH or acidify the cheese. It is important to make sure the right amount of acid is produced or the cheese's texture will be poor. At this point, the cheese will begin to coagulate and form curds and whey. The process is enhanced by adding rennet.

The curd is then heated and cut, allowing whey to escape. The curd hardens before it is salted, shaped and pressed. Depending on the variety, the cheese will then be aged or ripened for different amounts of time. Bacteria are still growing in the cheese, resulting in flavor and texture changes.

Cheese rinds are formed during the ripening process, often naturally. The rind's main function is protecting the interior of the cheese while allowing it to ripen harmoniously. Its presence does affect the final flavor of the cheese. Every variety of cheese for sale has gotten to market after being made through some variation of this process.

Life Advice: A Lost Friend Speaks

When my friend sensed that in a few weeks the light of life was about to be extinguished, and that there was no more hope for him, he called me to his side and said, "If only I had lived my life differently, I might not have felt such an emptiness now. Promise me," he caught my hand, "Promise me that you won't make the same mistake." And when I asked him what mistakes, he asked me to get a pen and paper and to jot down his last words. Here they are in condensed form: 1) Talk less; listen more. 2) Listen to your grandfather's stories about his youth. When he's gone, you will relive the bond through these memories. 3) Invite friend over for a snack or dinner even if the house is a mess. 4) Eat popcorn in the living room even though its messy. 5) Invite the friends who have children home. Don't worry about their children creating a mess. 6) Sit on the grass even though it dirties your pants. 7) Never buy something just because it lasts for a long time or because it is practical. 8) Stay in bed and at home when sick and stop pretending that the world cannot go one without me for a day. 9) Light up the wonderfully crafted candles and let them burn out. Better this than they accumulate dust in the closet. 10) Share life's responsibilities with a partner, not only expenses. 11) (Meant for Women) Instead of waiting for the pregnancy to get over, cherish each moment in your heart. Understand that the life in you is the only chance you will get to help god create magic. 12) Let your children hug and kiss you whenever they wish to. Don't stop them by saying things like: later, go wash your hands first, we have to eat dinner. 13) Say the following two phrases as often as possible: "I love you" and "I am sorry." 14) Stop worrying about who loves or and who doesn't or about what others have or don't have. 15) Cherish all personal human relations. 16) Play with a pet every day. Laugh and run with it and take part in all its antics. 17) Spend more time with the people who love you. 18) Stop sweating because of all the small details and problems of life. 19) Grab every moment, look at it and live it. That moment will never return again. Her name was Susan, and she had one six year old daughter. Susan taught me these few basic ideals that I have tried to follow in honour of her memory. It has made me a better man, a much nicer husband and in general, a happier person. Even now I can hear her say that God has blessed each and every one of us, and that we should accept these blessings and strive to become stronger both physically, mentally and also emotionally. I will always remember what she said to me the last time we met: "Jack, you are lucky. Don't blow it."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Legend has it that an unknown Arab nomad accidentally discovered cheese. He embarked upon a horseback journey across the desert filled with a saddlebag of milk. When he stopped to rest, the milk had separated into curds and whey. The logical explanation to this occurrence is the functioning of rennin. The bacteria were present in the saddlebag, which was made from the stomach of a young animal.

Cheese has been a popular food for centuries and has also been mentioned in the Old Testament. Even today, inducing various types of bacteria into milk transform it to cheese. The bacteria in time works on the milk and, depending upon the different types used, specific textures and flavors of cheese are determined.

Cheese is always manufactured from milk. Milk from cattle (cows, sheep, goats) is used at all times. Cheese textures vary from hard to semi-soft, and from mildly acidic to sharp. There are hundreds of different types of cheese available. Primarily, they are classified based upon 4 factors. These include type of milk used (raw, skimmed or pasteurized) and the source of the milk (cow, goat, sheep, buffalo, horse, yak or camel). Other factors include type of bacteria or acid used and the country it is made in.

Since cheese is available in such a wide variety, it can be confusing for the consumer to decide what to buy. Stored cheese is a good travel food. It has a long shelf life and contains high fat, protein, calcium, and phosphorus. Cheese can also be eaten in various forms. These include consuming raw, cooked, cold or warm cheese preparations.