Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Recently in the news across the USA there have been several reports of parents leaving their children locked in their cars, while the parents sit in a casino and gamble. A great way to stop this from happening would be to legalize online gambling so that parents that can not afford a baby sitter will not do something as stupid as locking a small child in a car alone for several hours. Another solution would be for the casino industry to take responsibility of the people they lure in with promises of riches beyond belief. If the casinos all offered 24 hour free daycare for all casino players those parents who are so far gone in their addiction will not have to make the decision of what to do with their children, they can just take them to the casino and let them be watched after in the casinos daycare centers. As well as making sure children are not being neglected by their parents or legal guardians, the children in their care can be checked for signs of abuse and any parent that brings a child regularly to the casino can be talked to about gambling addiction. Please do not get me wrong I feel the parents should be the ones taking responsibility for their kids, but gambling addiction is a disease, and at least this would provide a way for the government to monitor parents gambling habits, and to provide them with help if they need it. Besides being the right move for the casinos to make for its own civic duty, it also makes good business sense. If the casinos offer such a service they also open themselves up to single parents that could use a little time for some adult fun, and by making the day care 24 hours a day there is no reason why a parent would leave their kid at home instead of at the casinos free daycare. The parents could relax and have a little fun with the knowledge that their kids are being taken good care of. This is not a new concept there are several casinos in Las Vegas that offer day care. These centers offer children of different ages fun things to do, such as all the popular videos, and games fro kids. This will appeal to people with kids. The parents get to gamble and have some adult fun and the kids get to do fun kid stuff. By doing this the casinos will get more business and they are doing the responsible thing for their customers with gambling problems. I understand that the casinos are a business, but they should make sure that some of their less responsible gamblers do not put their children's lives in danger just to make an extra few dollars in a multi billion dollar a year industry If enough people recommend this to their local casinos and state officials, casinos could be required by law to provide child care when they are open.
Swivel bar stools are a brilliant idea for bar furniture and have many unseen advantages for both business and pleasure. Swivel bar stools are practical because they have excellent manoeuvrability when being sat in, this allows for extra comfort and convenience for those who are sitting in them. When in the bar or restaurant industries, swivel bar stools are usually affixed to the one spot, this facilitates the look of neatness and a well compacted yet spacious seating area. Most significantly swivel bar stools always look very chic and have an air of prestige about them. Not only do swivel bar stools come in a variety of different designs and styles, there is also an extensive range of swivel mechanisms. There are 2 different kinds of swivel bar stools; there is the manual and the automatic. The manual swivel bar stool has a knob that must be turned in order to move the seat and then there is the automatic which turns in multiple directions freely due to the gas pressure cylinder. High quality swivel bar stool with memory return swivel mechanisms are the perfect for industrial use. When buying the bar stool take note of the swivel mechanism, make sure that it can handle a good bit of weight. Prices on swivel bar stools have a very wide range. The bar stools for home uses have a starting price of as little as $25 and steadily increase in price up to about $450, of course you do get what you pay for so the quality of the bar stool does increase exponentially when the price goes up, the style, design, padding, embroidery and even the type of wood or metal used. Obtaining the correct size of bar stool is essential. It is important to note that retailer’s measure bar stool height from the floor to the height of the seat. In order for comfort and elegance allow at least nine inches between the seat and the table or counter.
Monday, May 30, 2011
When it comes to learning how to buy a gas barbeque grill there are several good tips to be found online. We found some excellent advice on buying a gas bbq grill from one grill vendor. Your first consideration that you should think about is knowing how many you'll be cooking for. While bigger can be better, you also have to consider cost, the amount of fuel you'll need to have on hand, and the space you have to hold and house your gas bbq grill. Another aspect is knowing how proficient you are in keeping that grill in top notch condition and how much time you want to spend on this. While it's great to have the best and most feature-prevalent grill, the fancier it is the more parts to service, clean and break. Paying a little bit more for a quality barbecue may be a sound decision if being built to last several years is an important consideration as you think about which one to choose. Make sure that the gas bbq grill you buy has devices for flame taming that cover the entire burner on your gas grill. This is important because grease is the most damaging ingredient for your grill. You also want the flame tamer to be directly over the gas grill's burner. The final thing to think about is determining which brand is for you, especially if you are going to buy something simple with hopes of adding on accessories. Some gas grill brands have few accessories, some have many. Some top brands to consider are Weber, Brinkman, and Coleman.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
You know it’s addictive. You know that it can be fattening. You know that it contains loads of sugar. Has that stopped you? Of course not! It’s chocolate we’re talking about here! Who can give it up? Chocolate is the favorite vice of both young and old. There are so many types out there. You can find practically any kind of chocolate to satisfy even the most finicky among us. Undoubtedly, the worshippers at the altar of chocolate are a vocal bunch. Ask anyone where the best chocolate in the world come from and you’ll get a variety of opinions, but most will agree that Belgian chocolate is among, if not the, best. Belgian chocolate, as we know it today, evolved during the 19th century, but chocolate itself had been present in Belgium for roughly three centuries already. Today, there are many major brands of Belgian chocolate including Guylian, Côte d’Or and the exquisite Godiva chocolates. Even Leonidas, which is considered to be the cheapest out of all the major brands of Belgian chocolate, has a vast following worldwide. This can be attributed to the quality of Belgian chocolate, but also the variety available. Unlike many other types, which stick to popular combinations of caramel, raisins and a few classes of nuts, Belgian chocolate displays practically every edible combination possible. Just go to the online catalogue of any big brand. You’ll see sections for truffles, nuts, fruits, white chocolate and a host of other categories. If you can’t find something you like, then you don’t really love chocolate The ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ consistency of Belgian chocolate has made it a favorite for use in chocolate fountains. This is the latest craze at parties, weddings and many other social events. Chocolate fountains are essentially devices for heating chocolate, which is then transported vertically before flowing over tiers for a waterfall effect. Belgian chocolate is usually high in cocoa butter, giving it the naturally wonderful consistency that is recommended for chocolate fountains. Chocolate fountains are also a lot easier to obtain than a traditional wedding cake. There’s no need to pay someone tons of money for an intricate design and you don’t have to worry about anything falling apart on the big day. A growing number of catering companies offer chocolate fountains as an alternative and they’re usually a big hit with guests, who can unleash their inner child by dipping strawberries, marshmallows and anything else you give them, in the cascading Belgian chocolate.
The great state of California carries some of the most rich aspects of American culture, from the pioneers to the gold rush to quality cuisine. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and Baja, classic California food can take on many forms. The unique cuisine of California is earmarked by a tradition of freshness and home grown quality, calling forth to mind fresh leafy green salads, fruit, and organic just-about-anything. California is one of the major agricultural centers of the United States. The state of California, as one of the nation's leading producers of fresh produce, has an extreme abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. When it comes to food in California, a lot of the focus is shifted to quality and nutritiousness rather than cost, taste, or anything else. While this does not necessarily mean that California cuisine tastes badly, it is not for everyone. Those who prefer a heavier, fried or battered food would have better luck sampling some other type of cuisine. Fruits and nuts account for at least a quarter of California's farm income, and vegetables in themselves account for another 25 percent. This includes the famous grapes, oranges, nectarines, peaches, nectarines. and avocados that California is famous for producing, as well as almonds, pistachios, and walnuts. Organic food, which is grown without the aid of pesticides, insecticides, and other potentially harmful additives, is also an extremely popular aspect of California cuisine. Don't get it confused, though; contrary to popular belief, California food is not all about grapes, nuts, yogurt, and organic orange juice. The taste of California is, of course, highly accented by its major influence from the south--of course, Mexico. Tex-Mex or Baja-style cooking plays an integral role in good old-fashioned California Cuisine. Mexican-style food is part of the way of life in California; with the dense Mexican-American population in California (about 34.3 percent of the total number of California residents), a great California chef can put a south of the border twist on just about anything! El Pollo Loco is a fast-food restaurant very commonly seen in California. El Pollo Loco, which translates into The Crazy Chicken, specializes in marinated, grilled chicken in tacos, burritos, or alone. El Pollo Loco is an excellent representation of southern California's obsession with Baja-style "Mexican" food. There are some restaurants in California, even, that boast to serve the "classic Californian cuisine." The California Pizza Kitchen is a chief example of this type of restaurants. The California Pizza Kitchen has more than 180 locations all over the United States and the world. On July 5 the company even opened a CPK in Shanghai, China. They specialize in making food authentically "California-style." The Pizza Kitchen specializes in healthier foods; they mainly serve many different kinds of salad and pizza. All of their pizzas are specially prepared in an open flame pizza oven, conforming to the California trend of healthier meal preparation and eating.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Food and romance go hand in hand. But, if you’re on a budget, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to show your sweetie that you love him. You can have a romantic meal at home – for the cost of a regular meal. The food you choose is not nearly as important as the atmosphere you create. You could easily make a very romantic meal from pizza or sandwiches if you take the time to create the perfect ambiance in the room. Choose your main dish according to your partner's favorite dishes. There's no point in feeding him something he dislikes. Plus, an upset stomach is not very romantic, so take his food preferences into account when planning. Appetizers are a great way to dress up any meal. Some favorite romantic additions include asparagus, artichokes, oysters, black beans, strawberries, and chocolate. The presentation of your meal is more important than the foods you serve. Keep things simple and mix flavors and textures, giving the meal contrast and different shapes. Plan ahead and prepare everything you can in advance so that your final meal preparation goes quickly. Romantic foods can include almost anything if you serve the meal with soft candlelight and music. Here are some additional tips to plan that perfect romantic meal: Decorate your table with tall candles and inexpensive flowers placed in a glass vase. Add a pretty tablecloth and cloth napkins to add elegance to your romantic meal. Fold your napkins into decorative shapes and use napkin holders made from colorful paper with romantic massages or poetry written on the paper. Use your best dishes or simply purchase 2 plates in a discount or thrift store. Strawberries dipped in chocolate are not only yummy, but they are very romantic. Purchase inexpensive fortune cookies with romantic fortunes inside for a little excitement if you desire. Use your imagination instead of your credit cards to create a romantic meal that neither of you will soon forget. You’ll be able to relax and enjoy your romantic meal, knowing that you aren’t going into debt enjoying it.
Friday, May 27, 2011
A sip in the morning, while reading your newspaper just makes your day complete. Most people's understanding about tea is that, it is a source of refreshment and nothing more. Many do not have a clue about its benefits and how useful it has been in making our life a healthier one. For many who are not aware about the importance of tea, can get to know it a little better. Tea has been around for more than 5,000 years and hopefully would be around for another 5,000 years. There are four basic types of tea black, green, oolong and the most uncommon and rare breed is the white. All teas come from the same plant called as "Camellia sinensis" a shrub which happens to grow up to 60 feet if found in wild. The processing pattern is different for each tea which makes the difference. You can also have iced tea which is equally beneficial like any other hot cup of tea. Tea carries anti-cancer properties of polyphenols which helps to fight cancer. There is very less risk of heart disease as it prevents blood from clotting and helps to reduce cholesterol levels. With the charm of refreshment and adding sparkle to your life, it also helps in shielding you from some of the most deadly diseases mankind has ever known. After a thorough research it has been said that drinking 2 cups of tea everyday can reduce your risk of developing ovarian cancer by 50%. It has been very useful to maximize your body defenses to fight diseases like cancer and heart disease. Black tea protects you against cancers. It also helps in reducing your bad cholesterol. Having tea in comparison to coffee is better because coffee contains more caffeine which is not good for our health. One who adds milk to their tea helps in developing strong bones as milk has calcium which is good for the bones. Tea contains fluoride and tannins which drive the plaque away. It helps in keeping your dental records white and shiny, of course including your usual dental regime which would involve brushing and flossing. Even though there has been research that caffeinated fluids dehydrates your body which includes tea. But it has now been seen that caffeine doesn’t dehydrate you entirely, unless you happen to drink five to six cups at one time. So having little tea can help you remain hydrated. Having ginger tea may help you get relief from sore throat. Having herbal tea can be very good to get rid of the early cold attack. Teas like enchinacea, peppermint and chamomile would do wonders against the cold if you combine all these together to make a brewing hot cup of tea. If taken 2 to 4 times a day, it may just do the trick.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Often enough we can come across friends, colleagues, neighbors, and even fellow PTA members that possess an espresso coffee maker. The times have been changing with the fast paced lives of people when everyone seems to be in a hurry and less time is spent on living and tea rooms and more instead on the town’s coffee shop. Way before the coffee shops started to mushroom, there were a few espresso coffee makers sold in the common market. Getting a hold of these machines would be at coffee exhibits and conventions only. During those times preparing for a cup of espresso (and for coffee drinkers a cup of espresso is just a couple of sips) takes long and can be a messy process. Everything is done manually from the boiling of the water to the grinding and tampering of the powdered beans. Preparing this would mean having knowledge on what it takes to be a barista. As more and more people have enjoyed true gourmet and specialty coffee, there are many models of espresso coffee makers out in the market today. There are some models that practically do everything and all the user has to do is to plug the espresso coffee maker and a perfect brew of espresso will be ready in just a couple of minutes. Semi – automatic Espresso Coffee Maker For espresso coffee lovers who want to have total control on the taste, flavor and texture of their espresso – this machine is just for you. This type of espresso machine is not fully automatic and mainly for the reason of controlling the outcome and taste of the espresso. For budgeted espresso lovers who want to own a piece of espresso machine this is the right model for you. The price range for these models is from $100 – $1,000 depending on the brand and model. These models do not give a mediocre brew. It basically still has the same outcome as the automatic ones except for the fact that you‘ll just have to perform some of the tampering. Fully Automatic Espresso Coffee Maker Top of the line espresso machines are these models with some having prices that go as much as $4,000. These machines are the fully-automated-press-the-button machines and all the coffee aficionados just have to sit and relax for his espresso to drip unto the cup. These models come with a standard LCD screen where in you can program the thickness and the quantity of the espresso. The volume of the espresso can also be programmed in order for it to fit exactly on the cup without spillage. The price range for these models would start at about $300 and could go as high as $4500. So it’s a good idea to check out first the basic models before jumping onto the more complicated ones so as not to lose that hard earned money.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Ok, so you like to down to your favourite coffee house and order coffees, cappuccinos, café mochas, lattes and espressos. It isn’t the fancy coffee cups that make this beverage taste so great. It’s the recipe of the coffee and of course the way it looks that factors into the equation. We all have a favourite style of coffee and every cup will taste different because of the roast of the coffee bean, the grind, the amount used, the water, the temperature and a variety of other factors. We have all had a go trying to reproduce the coffee goodness from the coffee houses at home, the way we imagine they are supposed to be done, but do we actually know the proper method to use in order to extort the captivating flavours perfectly? Below is the basic list of how to make these excellent coffees. Cappuccino: This coffee product consists of equal parts steamed and frothed milk and shot of coffee. The milk then gets poured on top of the coffee shot and dusted with nutmeg, cinnamon or chocolate powder. Café Mochas: The easiest way to do this is to make it with quality hot chocolate, add a shot of coffee with steamed milk poured in and top with whipped cream, then lightly dust with chocolate powder. To achieve to best effect, use a clear glass-mug with a long stemmed spoon.. Lattes: Foam and steam milk to 75 degrees (C). The ratio is worked out as 50% coffee and 50% milk. Slowly pour the milk down the side of the coffee cup or glass so it infuses with the coffee shot. The main differentiation between a latte and a cappuccino is a latte blends the milk and coffee together, whereas the cappuccino keeps the 2 apart. Espressos: We have all had a foul espresso, right?. There are a number of reasons for this. The No.1 reason being an unfavourable coffee bean being used. If you like espressos you are most likely a lover of all things coffee and know what makes a good coffee bean. So with this in mind, to make a good espresso coffee you need to follow these instructions: • Finely grind the coffee beans • You must pack the espresso down firmly • You must use a high pressure coffee machine or stove top model • You must not try to make too much coffee at once • You must see the crème floating on the top of the coffee shot, which is a golden-brown foam • You must use an appropriate espresso cup to keep the coffee warm When all is said and done, making coffee correctly is all up to you and the way your flavour buds take to the coffee taste. If you like coffee in a particular way, then make it that particular way. However, if you have guests over they may just like the basics. So do yourself a favour and learn the correct way to make coffees, lattes and espressos.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Kerala is situated on the South West coast of India right beside Tamil Nadu. The capital is Cochin with its bustling harbour lined with fishing nets and home to fishing boats of all shapes and sizes. Much of the architecture has been influenced by the Chinese who traded along the coast leaving legacy of cooking pots similar to woks, cleavers and pickling jars. As well as the Chinese, the abundance of spices in Kerala attracted the attentions of the early Phoenicians, Syrians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all of whom were happy just to trade and return home. Fighting over the territory didn’t begin until the late 15th Century when the British, Dutch, Portuguese and French tried to stake their claims to the spice riches. The British ended up the victors and set up a factory and depot dealing in spices in Tellicherry, a name still associated with good quality pepper. Black pepper is prolific in Kerala and makes a major contribution to India’s input of one third of the world’s production. Cardamom too is a native here and the warm, damp growing conditions are ideal for ginger and turmeric rhizomes to flourish. Kerala is famous for its inland waterways including lakes, lagoons, canals and rivers, collectively known as backwaters, bordered by tropical, lush, greenery and paddy fields as well as homes and schools. The backwaters provide a road network along which transport in the form of canoes, grass-thatched rice boats and overloaded water buses ply their trade. Kerala means “land of the coconuts” and no part of the coconut is wasted - the oil is used for frying and the dressing of hair. The flesh appears in a large number of cooked dishes and the coir which is produced from the husk of the coconut, is used to make floor mats, mattresses and many handicrafts. Fish is big business here - a lot of prawns are exported to Japan and USA, having first been peeled and sorted by size by an all-woman workforce and frozen. Squid too goes to Japan as well as frogs’ legs to France but the majority is eaten locally. There are many methods of fishing - Chinese fishing nets attached to upright wooden poles catch what is swimming by. The nets are raised and lowered with ropes and the catch extracted. Trawlers fish the deeper waters and, as elsewhere, fill their nets with anything and everything which can’t escape through the mesh. On some beaches you can buy fresh caught pomfret, tiger prawns, red snapper, crabs and mullet, to name but a few and have it stir-fried at a shack where a quick sauce of garlic and shallots is tossed with turmeric and chilli. The fishermen eat what they call Boatman’s Curry. It uses meaty fish steaks such as cod, swordfish or salmon, cooked in a thick spice paste (red chillies, cayenne pepper, paprika, ground coriander, turmeric and grated coconut) which is first fried then mixed with tamarind paste, green chillies, ginger, shallots and salt. Apart from fish, a popular celebration meal is “stew” for especially for Christians at the end of fasting for Lent. Made from boneless lamb shoulder with potatoes and carrots simmered in spicy sauce of cardamom, cinnamom, cloves, curry leaves, ginger green chillies and onion with coconut milk added at the end, it resembles a spicy Irish stew. Another favourite lamb dish is shoulder meat stewed with fennel, spices, vinegar and toasted coconut chips. The sauce is allowed to dry out so it clings to the meat and the dish is finished with fried mustard seeds, shallots and curry leaves. Duck and chicken are readily available and vegetable dishes are common as many Hindus are vegetarian. Whatever the vegetable, it will very often be mixed with coconut. Local boiled red rice is eaten with every meal and sometimes appams which are rice pancakes with a spongy centre. Ginger chutney or yoghurt with pineapple may also be served. Favourite snacks are paper-thin slices of plantain or banana deep fried in coconut oil - the Keralan equivalent of western potato chips.
Latest news from the strawberry jam front – the tide of strawberries is advancing, threatening to engulf me in a wave of strawberries waiting to be processed, taking up whole shelves of the fridge, lurking in corners just when I thought I’d done the last batch. Heaving a sigh of relief as the last pot is filled and sealed, I turn around only to find the kitchen table groaning under a fresh sea of newly picked strawberries waiting to be sorted. There is no more room on the larder shelves for jam – what I’ve got there already will probably last us a decade at the current rate of consumption, I’ve used up all the jam jars and am down to oddly shaped mustard jars, coffee jars and outsized sauce jars and there are still a good few weeks of strawberry season to go. I have to start selling the jam…………..memories of a film, where ex-city career woman, moves to country with baby in tow, starts making apple puree baby food and ends up with a full scale business employing half the village, flit through my head. Country baby was her label, with a cute picture of baby, designed to appeal to other city people looking for the good life. Mind you she was a PR person, so had a head start on promoting things and I’m not a business person at all, just someone with too much jam on their hands, larder shelves and everywhere else in the house. So, I take a stall at the local market and arrive with a basket of jam, a few jars of marmalade for variety, a table and chair. I discover a few things – people smile when they see strawberry jam, people like strawberries, there is a high feel-good factor about them, they conjure up summer and celebration and treats. It’s not a hard product to sell, people are predisposed in its favour; the price just has to be not too scary. Some people are more attracted by the pretty fabric covers on the lids and choose one to match their kitchen décor…I’ll have to work on the pretty aspect. No I’m not about to become a strawberry jam millionaire, but I did sell ten jars. After thinking I’d got the jam consistency sorted, producing reliably runny but not too runny jam, I suddenly turned out several batches that set completely - thick solid stand-up-your-spoon-in jam. Now I know it’s all about pectin and how much there is in the fruit, but why now? I did leave it soaking in the sugar longer because I didn’t get round to cooking it till the afternoon, but does that do anything to pectin levels? Anyway, I now have two varieties of strawberry jam – thick and runny, both have a good flavour - and both sorts have their aficionados. But now the dilemma is, am I able to reproduce the thick jam to order or will it only happen by accident? We’re a long way from scientific laboratory controlled conditions here…. a wing and a prayer is more like it. So prayer it’ll have to be, if my market customers return demanding thick strawberry jam! Copyright 2005 Kit Heathcock
Monday, May 23, 2011
Salt and Pepper: A Perspective Have you ever thought about salt and pepper? There’s more to it than just the shaker on the table. Pepper is the singular reason we are Americans instead of Europeans. Even today, pepper is the most widely traded spice in the world and served as the incentive for Christopher Columbus and others to search for a direct oceanic route to India. Hippocrates prescribed it as a digestive aid, and the active ingredient in pepper, piperine, is what makes it hot and is still used today as a heart and kidney stimulant. Historically, salt and pepper have been used as currency, medicinally and as seasoning. Plato wrote, “Pepper is small in quantity and great in value.” Ancient Egypt, the Greeks and the Romans all competed for supplies, which were shipped via small boats in the Mediterranean or overland by camel along the Silk Road. Both routes were treacherous, with the danger of sinking on the voyage contrasted against the cost of buying off Arab middlemen. Interestingly, all varieties of pepper come from the fruit of a perennial climbing shrub, and are grown by a handful of countries within 15 degrees of the equator. Differences in appearance and flavor are the result of picking the berries at different stages. Below is a list of characteristics, point of origin and best uses. 1. Green peppercorns – Picked before maturity and more expensive due to smaller yields and extra processing. Aromatic, but not pungent. Used in French, Creole, and Thai food. 2. Pink or Rose peppercorns – Not from the pepper vine, but rather from a small tree related to the rose bush. Grown on the French Island of Reunion. Rare and expensive, rose pepper has a milder, sweeter flavors and is used in nouveau cuisine or in pepper mixtures. 3. White peppercorns – Fully ripened with the outer skin boiled off. Hotter flavor, but fewer aromas. White pepper is the most popular spice in Northern Europe and is used in sauces, soups, potatoes and beverages. 4. Red peppercorns – Picked at full maturity and dried whole. Extremely rare and expensive. There are two varieties, Muntok, from Indonesia and the superior pepper, Sarawak, from Malaysia. 5. Black peppercorns – The most popular variety in the US, they are picked while still ripening, then dried and fermented naturally in the sun. There are several types: a. Malabar – From SW India. Slightly green in color, robust flavor. b. Tellicherry – Also from SW India. Large, dark chocolate to black peppercorns with pungent, complex aromas. These are considered the best. c. Sarawak – From Malaysia. Least pungent, mild, fruity flavor. d. Lampong – From Sumatra. Earthy, smoky aromas, hotter flavor. e. Talamanca Del Caribe – From Ecuador, certified organic, the world’s finest pepper, according to some. Robust flavors, hotter than average. In no way does salt pale to pepper in comparison. Salt is not considered a spice, but a naturally-occurring mineral. Over time, it has been used as a preservative as well as medicinally. There are as many types and originations of salt as pepper, but modern salt is filled with additives to keep it from clumping up. Iodine is the main additive and tends to have a bitter flavor. Some of the varieties available include: 1. Sonoma Pacific Sea Salt – Kosher, coarse sea salt originating from California. Soft flavor. 2. Sterling Atlantic Sea Salt – Off-white color from Brazil. 3. Sel Gris de Guerande – Unrefined, organic and sun dried. Originating in Northern France, it is very soft, flavorful, but not good in a grinder. 4. Fleur de Sel de Guerande – The finest available. Moist, slightly gray and used as a finishing salt served in a small dish on the table. 5. Alaea Hawaiian Red Sea Salt – Hailing from Hawaii, it is harvested from salt beds lined with Alaea red clay that lends color and unique flavor. Use on meats and fresh vegetables. 6. Salish Pacific Alder Smoked Sea Salt – A natural, coarse-grained salt that is slow smoked over red alder to give it an earthy flavor. Good for salads, meats and salmon. Have you heard the phrase, “Worth your weight in salt? “ Salt has been referred to and regarded for centuries as priceless. Pepper was worth more by weight than gold in the Middle Ages. Consider Sodom and Gomorrah. God turned the sinners into a veritable gold mine. So, the next time you are adjusting the flavor of your meal, consider the origin of the spice. Enjoy the flavors available and seek out some new varieties. Another modern miracle of agriculture and transportation that we often take for granted. Mary Margaret Ambler is the Publisher and Editor of Black and Whites Magazine, a trade publication for wait staff, www.blackandwhitesmag.com.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Who says there is something fishy on fish oils, shellfish, and other seafoods when it comes to health benefits? That is absolutely a fishy story. Nowadays, people have come to realize the importance of seafoods in our diet. Various studies and researches have proved that the best sources of good fats, vitamins, and minerals to promote good health can actually be found on different seafoods. The only drawback is that it took so many years for most people to realize the health benefits of having seafoods in their diet. So for those who still do not understand why most people are into sashimi and grilled tuna these days, just keep on reading and I will let you on for some secret. Here's why: 1. Fish is your heart's best friend! Undeniably, fishes are exceptional low-fat food. The fats contained on fishes and fish oils are high in Omega-3 fatty acids. These are polyunsaturated fatty acids known to protect the body against heart diseases. These so called "good fats" also aids in lowering cholesterol, decreasing blood clotting factors, increasing beneficial relaxation in larger arteries and blood vessels, and decreasing inflammatory process in blood vessels. 2. One serving of fish two to three times per week keeps arthritis away. There have been clinical trials that have shown that one serving of fish two to three times a week can actually lessen arthritis symptoms by fighting inflammation, decreasing fatigue and reducing morning stiffness. 3. Some varieties of seafoods were proven to strengthen the immune system. Studies showed that certain varieties of fishes and shellfishes have very high antioxidant E, aside from vitamins E, C, D, and A. These antioxidants boost the immune system and also lower the risk of heart disease by reducing buildup of plaque in coronary arteries. 4. Seafoods in pregnant woman's diet make smart and healthy kids! According to several researchers, the Omega-3 fatty acids found in different types of fishes and shellfish can be very vital during an unborn child's development in the womb. It greatly assists in neural development as well as eye development. There had also been studies showing how these essential fatty acids have a positive effect on Attention deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in children. Also, a healthy diet for children with two to three servings of fresh seafoods per week can definitely increase their learning ability and improve their health in the future. 5. The fatty acids in fishes can alleviate the symptoms of depression. Omega-3 fatty acids can also ease the signs of depressions in patients who do not respond to typical anti-depressant medications. Studies showed that depressed patients who had greater amount of seafoods in their diet, particularly fish, had feasible lower symptoms such as sadness, anxiety, and sleeping problems. 6. Shellfish ensures healthy skin and eyes. Different varieties of shellfish are rich in vitamins and mineral, aside from being very low in fat content. Hence, these guarantees healthy skin and promotes good eyesight because vitamins contained in shellfish aid in formation and use of red blood cells and muscles. 7. Children who eat oily fish may have lower risk of getting asthma. Studies showed that children who were able to receive at least 300mg of fish oil a day had undergone noteworthy improvement of asthma symptoms. This is because fish oils aid in controlling food allergens and environmental allergens in the body. 8. Fish heaters have lower risks of getting cancer. The Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are the essential components responsible for protection against cancer. In fact, there had been reports that people who eat fish regularly have low risks of cancers of the mouth, throat, stomach, colon, rectum, pancreas, lung, breast, and prostate. 9. Fatty fish are best natural source of Vitamin D. In areas like the North America were people do not get enough Vitamin D, a nutrient important for stronger bones, substituting foods can be difficult because of a lack of vitamin D rich options. However, after some careful studies, most nutritionist found out that fatty fishes are excellent sources of vitamin D. They said that a serving of fatty fish a day can provide 90% of today's recommended dietary requirement for vitamin D. 10. Essential fatty acids found in most seafood variety may reduce the development of Alzheimer's disease. Various reports have recommended that long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly those of the omega-3 family, can actually slow mental decline and even reduce the development of Alzheimer's disease in older people. These kinds of polyunsaturated fatty acids are structural components of neural membranes and are linked to some aspects of nervous tissue functions. With these kinds of fatty acids in the body, inflammation and proinflammatory substances in the brain are reduced from which Alzheimer's disease, a type of dementia, is linked. With all these viable health benefits of seafoods, no one can ever smell something fishy when eating fish and shellfish. Undeniably, seafoods are remarkable creatures marvelously made just for the health of it!
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Spike Lee is one of the most influential and provocative American moviemakers. Recently, he celebrated the 20 year anniversary for the release of his remarkable debut film Shes Gotta Have It. His films are groundbreaking in their controversial approach towards social and political issues and offer different perspective on race, class and gender issues in contemporary America. Spike Lee was born as Shelton Jackson Lee in 1957 in Atlanta, Georgia to a jazz musician and an art teacher. When Lee was a young child, the family relocated to Brooklyn, which was used as a background for many of Spike Lee's movies. Lee's talent was recognized while he was still a film student in NYU. His thesis film Joes Bed Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads won 1983 Student Academy Award for best director. Spike Lee's debut movie Shes Gotta Have It was released in 1986. The movie was shot in 12 days in a budget of 175,000 dollars. The film was written, produced and directed by Spike Lee. Shes Gotta Have It tells the story of Nora Darling, a young, independent African American graphic designer who cannot commit to any of her three lovers. Tracy Camilla Jones played the role of Nora Darling. Tommy Redmond Hicks and John Canada Terrell along with Lee himself played the three men in Noras life. Shes Gotta Have It was a landmark film in its presentation of African American characters in an American movie and part of the explosion of 80s independent movie industry. The African American community embraced the movie, which displayed a non stereotypical group of young, intelligent black American people. The film won the Prix de Jeuness at the Cannes film festival for the best new film by a newcomer. The 1992 biographic epic Malcolm X is considered by many as Lee's best film. The 195 minutes movie depicts the story of the African American activist Malcolm X, from his early childhood to his assassination. Lee uses the Malcolm X story to confront the audience with the racial discrimination and violence that black people went through during the 1950s and 1960s in America. Spike Lee's name was associated with many controversies. He was often accused of anti Semitism and racism for portraying Jews and Italians in his films a stereotypical manner. His 2001 television miniseries about one of the Black Panthers founders, Huey P. Newton, stirred another controversy, which helped establish Lee's image as a provocative and radical figures in the American film industry. Lee's latest project is the documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, which tells the story of New Orleans post and pre hurricane Katrina. The four hours documentary is about the New Orleans culture, the damage caused by hurricane Katrina and the recovery efforts. Lee does not spare his critic on the government inadequate reaction to the destruction. 5 Top Movies Directed by Spike Lee Do The Right Thing: this 1989 comic drama shows what happens in Brookline when the interracial tension heats up during the hottest day of the year. Starring: Spike Lee, Danny Aiello, John Turturro Mo Better Blues: Denzel Washington as a jazz trumpeter who makes all the wrong decisions regarding his musical career and relationships. Jungle Fever tells a pessimistic interracial love story between an African American man and an Italian American woman. Girl 6 looks at the life of a young black actress who prefers working as a phone girl than being abused by movie directors 25th Hour is dedicated to the last 24 hours in the life of a New York drug dealer before his jail term begins.
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll nació en 1977 en Colombia y desde los años 1990 en Latinoamérica, y desde los 2000 en los Estados Unidos se ha convertido en una gran figura de la música latina con estilo oriental que la destaca entre los demás artistas. Ella es una exitosa cantante, escritora, instrumentalista, productora de discos y bailarina la cual ha logrado atraer los oídos y corazones de la millones de jóvenes y no tan jóvenes que disfrutan de su música original, creativa y rebelde. Sus líricos son originales ya que escribe poesías inusuales en las cuales incluye frases como:"Tu mordiste la manzana y renunciaste al paraíso, y condenaste a una serpiente, siendo tu el que así lo quiso." Logra producir rimas de una forma única que solo ella conoce y a su vez en sus versiones en ingles que comenzó en el 2001, logro adaptar su propio estilo sin problema de idioma. Su primer disco en ingles se llama "Laundry Service" (Servicio de Lavanderia) convirtiéndose en un hit impresionante con el cual gano la mayoría de sus 10 Grammys ganados hasta ahora. Las canciones mas conocidas de aquel disco don "Underneath Your Clothes" (debajo de tu ropa) y "Whenever, Wherever" (Suerte) fueron los mas populares. Su música incluye tiene un estilo de Pop con Oriental, Tango, Latino y otros nuevos ritmos originales. Fijación Oral Vol 1 and 2, fue su siguiente álbum que saco con Alejandro Sanz la canción "Tortura", con Wyclef Jean "Hips don't Lie" y luego con Vellones "Beautiful Lie" otro gran éxito. Shakira tiene un origen descendiente catalán-Italiano mezclado con católico Libanés, la cual la caracteriza por tener un estilo oriental, latino que ha logrado obtener a lo largo de su popularidad que la diferencia de cualquier otro artista. Shakira escribió su primer poema llamado "La Rosa de Cristal" a los cuatro años y siguió escribiendo poemas que luego se convirtieron en canciones. A la edad de 8 cuando su hermano fue matado en un accidente de motocicleta Shakira escribió su primera canción llamada "Tus Gafas Oscuras". Su personalidad por su puesto es expresada en sus líricos y poemas, así es como también políticamente mantiene opiniones bastante polémicas como comentarios "anti-israelíes" salidos en alguna entrevista en la radio resaltando su origen libanés frente al conflicto en medio oriente. Tu actual novio, futuro marido es Antonio de La Rua, hijo del previo Presidente de la Republica Argentina, quien no es exactamente querido por la población Argentina. A pesar de sus decisiones personales, su éxito como cantante y bailarina sigue siendo un hit y aplaudido por Sudamérica, Estados Unidos, España y demás países. Su estilo puede ser comparado al de Alanis Morisette, pero con una sensualidad y habilidad de bailar Belly Dance, que la destaca de las demás cantantes. Lo que la ha ayudado a despegar en el mundo Internacional fue cuando saco su disco MTV Unplugged, "Donde Están los Ladrones" en 1999 el cual llego a las casas de millones de jóvenes en Estados Unidos e Europa.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Have you heard of Just-in-time, TQM, The rise of Toyota as a powerful global player in the automotive industry, even surpassing the gaping mouths of the big three in the United states? You would have certainly come across the term 'Supply Chain Management' - It sounds like jargon, doesn't it? Well, it isn't so difficult to understand and it is something most manufacturing ( even services!) industries indulge in today. Supply Chain management basically means that the process of managing the whole process of finding a suitable raw material, processing it and converting it into something valuable or useful that could be sold to the market. The better a company is in managing its resources, the process of locating its raw materials, processing them, working on them, the entire production process, the out put, the packaging and even the labelling might constitute a simple supply chain management case study. According to the CIO Magazine, Supply chain management (SCM) is the combination of art and science that goes into improving the way your company finds the raw components it needs to make a product or service and deliver it to customers. The following are five basic components of SCM. Supply Chain Management has a lot of visible and also invisible elements to it. The glamorous parts might probably be the vendor management and the like. It is the invisible parts of the supply chain that attain the status of primary importance. Things like labor management, procurement, warehouse management, Order processing, fulfillment and delivery. The importance of supply chain management has been growing steadily over the recent years and more so because of the fact that the companies have been growing larger and larger in size.Due to this enormous increase in size, the companies gain more cost efficiency when they outsource some of the functions that they ought to do themselves to other specialized service companies that do the needful. This enables the larger companies to be more flexible, focus more on their core competencies and create more value for their customers, while retaining profits by reducing costs at the same time. The ubiquitous, simple to use, nature of the Internet has made it possible to automate some of its supply chain management elements with the help of robust supply chain management software ( Though it is always not so easy to do the implementation and execution part!). The extended supply chain - the vendors and their vendors network, has always become a critical link in the new era of Modern supply management theory and has taken it to another realm where everything boils down to cost cutting such that the whole process can create value for the customer.
The Premium Gourmet Coffee Blend Coffee has top choices when it comes to quality in taste and flavor. Of course, coffee enthusiasts know the difference of what is considered “rich gourmet” as compared to “instant” blends. The latter one can easily mix anytime, since its powder content is already manufactured to suit the need of the fast-paced consumers who won’t take the time to use their coffee makers. The flavor may be good, but there is usually a lack of distinction in its taste and finish. Then, there’s the prime choice of premium gourmet coffee that one can only get from grinding the finest coffee beans available in the market. There is much more substance when the hot concoction hits one’s taste buds, effectively separating itself from the ordinary and blasé category. What makes a premium gourmet coffee blend? Its source comes from a mix of various superior-quality Arabica coffee beans that give a unique odor and taste. There are many of them to choose from in the market, with varying results from their different roasting styles and origin. One can easily distinguish the difference when they take a sip from a cup of gourmet coffee blend, its richness and texture combined with the intoxicating fragrance, at the same time doing wonders to the coffee-drinker senses. Premium Coffee Delight Now how can one achieve just the perfect cup of premium gourmet coffee? First, one should carefully choose the right kind of blend that suits the palate. Some like their coffee beans dark and oily; others are more into light-roasted ones that are not so strong yet still able to give that certain kick. Finding them should not be that hard as there are a variety of kinds to choose from. The next crucial step is to grind them just enough for the oils to blend in together with the beans, not necessarily for them to dissolve into a cloud of small particles as this would lose the rich taste of the bean essences. One must be careful not to overdo the grinding process in using a blade coffee grinder. One must be particular of when the beans reach a certain consistency. A liberal amount is then recommended to be put into the coffeemaker, and by liberal, it may mean the more the better, or according to one’s definition of what better is. The usual coffee aficionado already has an idea of how rich he wants his cup of coffee to be. Whatever delightful concoction the drinker may produce, one thing is sure: a premium gourmet coffee will never disappoint the senses.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Coffee and tea has long been a traded commodity in the orient. It has been considered as a drink only for royalties and kings. These two commodities are processed in almost the same manner for it to become a soothing and relaxing drink. Knowing Good Quality Specialty Coffee and Tea Specialty coffee and tea should be made from the best coffee beans and tea leaves in the market. Coffee and tea experts believe that the best brews come from homegrown and handpicked batches. But this handpicking process can just be a myth since it really does not affect how the taste and texture comes out. The one thing that could affect the flavor and texture of coffee and tea is the climate since this can affect the humidity and moisture of the raw products. It is important to know the quality of specialty coffee and tea since top quality produce are prized at a bigger rate than that of mediocre quality ones. Having to know the difference can give you the edge in the specialty coffee and tea market by going to specialty coffee and tea shops that are willing to give you the right value for your money. A good hint to detect a medium or a mediocre type of specialty coffee and tea commodity is the smell of burnt beans from roasting. These kinds of produce are intentionally burnt because it gives out a good flavor if it is in this state. Adding Flavor to Your Specialty Coffee and Tea In the past decade the specialty coffee and tea business has exponentially grown. Many specialty coffee and tea shops have been sprouting and eating up each other’s neighborhood market shares; each of then brewing and concocting their own original flavors and mixes. The way coffee and tea is consumed has drastically changed over the years. Before coffee and tea was only taken hot and straight out of the coffee maker or from an instant foil pack. Now, specialty coffee and tea drinks are made hot or cold depending on the consumer’s preference. Vast variety of flavors and other ingredients such as grounded biscuits and whip creams are added to the drink to have that perfect specialty coffee and tea concoction. But these are just flavors and ingredients to enhance the specialty coffee and tea experience. A good flavored specialty coffee and tea should not be overpowered by the taste of its other ingredients. The aroma, texture and flavor of the original coffee and tea must still be present to give coffee and tea drinkers the full experience.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I’m a Wisconsin girl so I like to think that I know cheese. It is one of the products the state is well known for and is something I grew up eating quite often, especially during the holidays. That was because we used to receive a 5-pound block of cheese every year as a Christmas present. Five pounds of cheese was a lot of cheese to eat, even for a family like ours who loved cheese but since we were usually given cheddar cheese I didn’t mind. Cheddar was my favorite cheese when I was a child and is still my favorite kind of cheese. Most cheese curds (at least the ones made in Wisconsin) are a cheddar cheese product. And even though the name suggests they might be a “less than tasty” item, they are delicious! Cheddar cheese curds are basically what cheddar cheese is before it is pressed into a block and aged (cheddar cheese you see in your grocery store is aged – usually at least 60 days and up to several years). It’s a very fresh product (think baby cheese or newborn cheese!) and it tastes best when eaten as soon after being made as possible. In my opinion cheese curds taste best the same day they are made but that’s not an option for a lot of people. I’m lucky enough to live near several cheese factories that make cheese curds so I go purchase them on the days they make them. Cheese curds are available in several flavors. Although the traditional yellow/orange cheese curds are the most popular and most widely available I’ve also seen and tried white cheddar cheese curds in addition to the following flavors: garlic, dill, jalapeno (they have a “kick” to them), Cajun (also have a “kick” to them), pesto, chipotle, and paprika. Cheese curds have a smooth texture. Plain cheese curds have a mild salty flavor. They come in their natural shape and form which is small random chunks. Although most cheese curds are made from cheddar cheese, colby, mozzarella, and monterey jack cheese curds are available. Although “fresh” cheese curds may be available at your local supermarket, it’s likely they are at least a week old by that time. Because cheese curds are a fresh cheese product they do start to lose their flavor fairly quickly. Cheese curds are best if eaten within a week of being made. If you don’t have the luxury of going directly to a cheese factory to buy fresh cheese curds order them online or by phone from a cheese factory that ships them the same day they make them. You’ll be glad you went to the trouble of ordering the freshest curds possible. One fun thing about cheese curds is that they “squeak.” A fresh cheese curd will make a squeaky noise while you’re eating it. That’s one of the reasons why kids love to eat cheese curds. Besides eating them fresh, another tasty way to eat a cheese curd is to deep-fry it (and yes, a deep-fried cheese curd is definitely not a “health food”). You can purchase special batter mixes made especially for cheese curds, but a general purpose batter mix like Golden Dipt All Purpose Batter Mix (made by McCormick) works fine. But personally, my favorite type of batter for deep fried cheese curds is a beer batter (can you tell I’m from Wisconsin?). If you haven’t had the opportunity to taste a cheese curd yet, I highly recommend trying them. Even if you are not a huge fan of cheese, you’ll probably like cheese curds because they a fresh, mild-tasting product. Happy eating!
It's hard to tell which wing sauces are better because we all have different tastes. Buffalo wing sauces are not hard to make at all. The original Anchor Bar Buffalo, NY wing sauce is said to only have five main ingredients. But with so many varieties already available and with such inexpensive price tags, there's no reason to make them on your own. Buy a variety of wing sauces and try them all out I say! More Info on Wing Sauces If you want to have the widest selection of wing sauces, then you should go to InsaneChicken. They carry a VERY large catalogue of wing sauces, condiments, marinades, and barbecue ingredients that are hard to find in some retail outlets. The most popular brands include those coming from restaurants like Anchor Bar, home of the original Buffalo wings, and Hooters. They also carry brands that are extra hot or quite hard to find. Ordering is secure and convenient. Because most wing sauce products are inexpensive, you should try ordering a lot and stock up on this essential ingredient. Wing sauces aren't just useful for chicken wings you know. You can use them on any chicken part. You can even use them on ribs, pork chops and steaks. While wing sauces are typically mixed with the wings after frying, you can use wing sauces to marinate meats as well. They also make great seasonings to such viands like steak, meatloaf and various fried foods. For the best culinary experience, consider serving your chicken wings with your choice of dip. The type of dip you should serve depends on the wing sauces used. For instance, hot wing sauce calls for blue cheese, ranch and mayo dips, while sweet wing sauces go well with sour cream and onion or cheddar dips. Also, remember that fresh salsa, pickle relish or minced tomatoes go well with ANY dish. Buffalo Wings – Fun Recipe Ideas Buffalo wings are fun to eat. Adults and children simple never tire of them! They are also very easy to make. You can fry them, bake them or grill them. You can make your own barbecue sauce or buy prepared sauces available in grocery stores. However, if you plan on making a lot of wings and feeding a lot of people, consider buying a variety of sauces at InsaneChicken.com, an online specialty sauce and condiment retailer. Below are some fun ways you can prepare wings quickly. Wings - Coat Me Silly Ideas Easy Wings. This dish is just perfect for those who don't have the time to make elaborate dish preparations. Simply get your frozen wings out of the freezer and defrost them in the microwave. Afterwards, you can mix some water and the wing sauce of your choice with the wings, and boil them on the stove. After the chicken and the sauce are thoroughly cooked, simply place the wing in barbecue sticks and sear them with the flames of your gas stove. This recipe is easy and delicious. Tender Wings – Sweet chicken barbecue that falls off the bone is simply irresistible. It's relatively simple to make too. Just mix your favorite barbecue sauce into the chicken wings, along with paprika, brown sugar or pancake syrup. Place this in greased aluminum foil and wrap tight. Bake slowly for 3-4 hours and you'll have mouth-watering barbecue the entire family will enjoy. Enjoy these with baked potatoes and sour cream for a delicious dinner. Fried Wings – This is a quick barbecue recipe that tastes just as good as the grilled counter part. Coat your chicken liberally with bottled wing sauce like Wing Time Mild Wing Sauce (for a slightly hot taste), or Jim Beam Wing Sauce (for really hot), or Spontaneous Combustion Chicken Wing Sauce (for ARE YOU CRAZY hotness). Then in a non-stick pan, melt two sticks of butter and add half a cup of olive oil. Fry your wings until brown. This goes well with cucumber salad or some great tasting salsa!
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
It does not matter if you are a Doctor, a Lawyer or an infantry soldier in the Army if you want to be the best and get ahead, you will need to take risks. A doctor may have to take risks when working with a patient. The Doctor may have to experiment with different forms of medications or new surgical procedures when all else has failed in an attempt to help the patient. A lawyer may have to argue a case in an unorthodox manner to win the case, but if the lawyer wants to become the top lawyer and make millions of dollars fighting high profile cases lots of risks have to be taken. A soldier may have to take a risk and run thru gunfire to save another injured soldier, to complete their mission, or just to secure an area from being overrun by enemy troops, after going days with little to no sleep, but if a soldier wants to get promotions and eventually lead men into battle they also need to take risks. These risks are not unlike someone looking to get rich in a casino, they have to be willing to risk everything they have to get that million dollar payoff. If you play it safe in a casino you may get lucky and win a big jackpot on the slot machines, but if you want to make millions you are going to have to play games such as Poker, Blackjack, Roulette and Craps . These are the games that with some skill, some luck and a lot of risk taking you can retire off your winnings. The same can be said about life in general. No one gets ahead in life from playing it safe. You will not meet your special someone if you are too afraid to risk getting rejected by someone, you will never get that big promotion unless you take risks at your job. It is very important to continue to take risks in life. To stop taking risks means to stand still in life. Standing still in life is one of the main causes of depression. These are usually the people afraid to confront the boss and tell him that they demand a raise; they are the ones that allow life to pass them by out of fear. The entire purpose of fear is to stop you from taking a risk. Fear is nothing more then the unknown. If you have always wanted to quit your job and open a shop but you are too afraid to do it, this is because you are afraid of failing and risking what you already have. It is important to learn to take risks in life if you want to be happy, you may not always get the things you risked for, but you will know that you tried, and in the end it does not matter in my opinion if you succeed or not it is how many risks you try to make that is the real test of how successful you are. Just remember if no one took risks we would be a world without flight and probably no automotive vehicles at all, maybe we would have no electricity. So risk truly is needed to improve the world.
It seems that everyone uses dip mix but me. I’ve managed to accumulate quite the collection of dip mixes. (Ranch, jalapeno, Mexican, etc.) What can I do with these other than make DIP? Signed, Drowning in Dip Dear Drowning in Dip, I hear you! I find myself in the same situation. But, I ended up with my pantry over-flowing in dip and finally found some solutions. I hope they help you, too. All you need to use your dip mix is sour cream, mayonnaise or cream cheese. From there, the possibilities are endless. Tuna to the Rescue: If you enjoy tuna sandwiches, but get tired of the boring standard of tuna and mayonnaise, then make some ‘fancy’ mayonnaise. A few hours before you want your tuna sandwich, mix some mayonnaise and dip packet together. Let it sit. Then, when you want to enjoy your tuna sandwich, simple mix the ‘fancy mayonnaise’ with your tuna – and you’ve got a winner. Turkey Wrappers: Have cream cheese sitting around? Mix it with some dip and microwave for a few seconds. Then, get out a tortilla wrapper, pile some of the cream cheese and turkey slices on the wrapper and microwave for another few seconds. The cream cheese should be all smooshy and the wrapper will roll up nicely. Add fresh veggies or just enjoy as is. Potato – A cheap, healthy meal: Mix a packet of dip mix with a container of sour cream (to taste). Let it sit for at least one hour. Microwave or bake your potato as you normally would. Then, top with cheese, veggies, leftovers, meat, beans, etc – and a dollop of your flavored sour cream. Voila! Pasta Salad – Any noodle salad that pairs mayonnaise with noodles can be enhanced with dip mix. It’s much cheaper than buying deli salads and it’s very simple. All you need are noodles, mayonnaise, dip mix, veggies and meat. Try it. You’ll love it! So, use up those dusty dip packets and you just might find yourself becoming a fan of those little dip packets in your pantry.
Monday, May 16, 2011
Nowadays, the easiest and the cheapest way to dine-in is at the fast food restaurants. Such restaurants are available everywhere. It's the handiest restaurant accessible in the neighborhood. Those who can't cook due to their tight schedule mostly order their meal from fast food restaurants. They just ring the delivery service, and the food will be delivered in just a few minutes, ready to be eaten. What an easy life. Apart from its convenience, fast food is also known as unhealthy and a weight gainer. High calories, sodium and fat are the culprits of its unhealthiness. It's often lack of important vitamins and minerals too. If you are among those who are reluctant to eat fast food, here are some tricks to help you eat nutritious and less fattening fast food. * Don't eat big size food (there are some restaurant selling big size food, such as McDonald's Big Mac). * Choose the healthiest foods available in the menus. This will help you maintain your diet, as you will not be tempted to unhealthy food. * Eliminate high fat and calorie sauces and dressing of your food. * Instead of taking sodas, change it with water or low fat milk * Eat not more than 1,500 calories a day Here are some menus for the day which consist of less than 1,500 calories: Breakfast Your 300-350-calorie breakfast: * Muffin (150 calories) plus scrambled eggs (16 calories) * Croissant with egg and cheese (350 calories). Avoid sausage as it will increases 260 calories * Egg sandwich (300 calories). All sandwiches usually contain 300-350 calories. Avoid bacon as it has more than 300 calories. Lunch Your 400-450-calorie lunch: * Grilled chicken (400 calories) * Four chicken nuggets and small portion of french fries (420 calories) * Grilled potatoes with chili sauce and cheese (395 calories) * Sandwich with chicken inside (300 calories) and salad with low fat dressing ( 125 calories) * Individual chicken popcorn (450 calories) * Two slices of thin flat slight cheese pizza (200 calories each slice). The most important thing in consuming pizza is to eat thin flat slight pizza with less topping to minimize the calories (unnecessary for vegetables topping). Dinner Your 500-calorie dinner: * Plain hamburger, 1 portion of french fries (children's package) and diet drink (530 calories) * Three slices of pizza by reducing the fatty cheese (500 calories). * Original chicken breast and mashed potatoes (500 calories) * Meatloaf (310 calories) with potatoes salad ( 200 calories) * Marinated grilled chicken sandwich (470 calories without mayonnaise) If you want to make another choice, here is the list of some healthy fast food you might want to choose: *Single hamburger (regular or children's size) *Fruit or fruit and yogurt *Whole wheat rolls *Baked potato (with vegetables instead of cheese, butter or sour cream) *Low fat deli sandwiches on wheat bread or on pita bread *Wraps on whole wheat tortillas (without dressing)
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Doing any job is easier when you have the right tools on hand. One of a cook's best tools -- and secret weapons -- is having a well-stocked pantry. Cooking is much simpler if you know that you've already got what you need on hand, and aren't going to have to run to the corner market every time you want to fix a meal. Having a well-stocked pantry is also the secret weapon of every "Hostess with the Mostest" especially when unexpected guests drop by. You'll be able to make every guest feel special and welcome because, whether it is appetizers for four or dinner for ten, you can handle it with style and panache. In fact, your reputation -- and your sanity -- will be assured, because with these things in your pantry, you can put together beautiful and tasty food that is beautifully presented in just minutes, simply and easily. Here is a list of basic ingredients that should be in any well-stocked pantry. (One great way to stock your pantry is to buy one or two things on the list each time you go shopping, rather than trying to get it all at once. If you watch the sales and take advantage of seasonal buys, you'll be able to save money as well!) Remember to rotate everything in your pantry on a regular basis, and adjust the items on this list to suit your family's likes and dislikes. Herbs, Spices, Extracts and Sauces: - Salt (Sea and Iodized) - Pepper (Whole Peppercorns, Black, White and Red) - Nutmeg (Ground and Fresh) - Cinnamon (Ground and Sticks) - Pumpkin Pie Spice (Ground) - Allspice (Ground) - Cardamom (Whole and Ground) - Ginger (Whole and Ground) - Curry (Ground) - Garlic (Fresh and Ground for Emergencies) - Mustard (Ground) - Bay Leaves (Dried) - Rosemary (Fresh and Bottled) - Thyme (Fresh and Bottled) - Sage (Fresh and Dried) - Sweet Basil (Fresh and Dried) - Parsley (Fresh and Dried for Emergencies) - Cumin (Ground) - Oregano (Dried) - Onions (Flakes for Emergencies) - Vanilla Extract - Maple Extract - Almond Extract - Lemon Extract - Orange Extract - Soy Sauce - Cooking Wine or Cooking Sherry - Rice Wine Vinegar - Sesame Oil - Balsamic Vinegar - Red Wine Vinegar - Citrus Vinegar - Teriyaki Sauce - Barbecue Sauce - Sweet and Sour Sauce - Tabasco or Other Hot Sauce - Chili Sauce - Steak Sauce - Packages of Salad Dressing Mix - Packages of Dried Onion Soup Mix (Or Other Flavors) - Soup for Sauces (Cream of Chicken, Mushroom, Celery and Cheese) For Baking: - All Purpose Flour - Self-Rising Flour - Whole Wheat Flour - Pancake Mix - Yeast - Sugar - Confectioner's Sugar - Brown Sugar - Sugar Cubes - Molasses - Baking Powder - Baking Soda - Yeast - Cornstarch - Honey - Cocoa Powder - Unsweetened or Semi-Sweet Chocolate - Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips - Butterscotch, Caramel and other flavored "chips" - Nuts (Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds, Hazelnuts and Cashews) - Marshmallow Cream - Vegetable Shortening (Regular and Butter-Flavored) - Sunflower Oil - Maraschino Cherries For Appetizers or Adding "Something Special" to Meals: - Peanuts in the Shell - Salted Peanuts - Mixed Nuts - Extra Virgin Olive Oil - A Variety of Crackers - Black and Green Olives - Canned Mushrooms - Palm Tree Hearts - Bottled Asparagus - Sun-dried Tomatoes - Bottled Salsa - A Variety of Chips and Dips - Cheeses (Traditionally, 3 to 5 are served, from hard to soft, mild to strong. Find flavors that mix well together, and serve cheeses from different animals and different countries) For Everyday Meals: - Bullion Cubes and Powders (Chicken, Beef and Vegetable) - White Rice - Long Grain and Wild Rice - Brown Rice - A Variety of Pastas - Barley - Bread Crumbs - Croutons - Tomato Sauce - Tomato Paste - A Variety of Canned Tomatoes - A Variety of Canned Beans (Black, Red, Kidney and Garbanzo) - Dried Beans (Pinto, Chili and Kidney) - Canned Tuna, Chicken, Crab and Clams For Desserts: - Canned Pineapple (Chunks and Slices) - A Variety of Canned Fruits - A Variety of Jams or Jellies - A Variety of Cake Mixes, Brownies and Frostings - A Variety of Packaged Puddings - All the fixings for Ice Cream Sundaes or Banana Splits - Applesauce In the Refrigerator: - Milk - Eggs (Or Egg Substitutes) - Cream (A staple for many Mediterranean Dishes) - Butter or Margarine - Yellow Mustard - Brown Mustard - Dijon Mustard - Ketchup - Mayonnaise or Salad Dressing - Cheeses (Cheddar, Swiss, Feta, Parmesan and Jack) - Cottage Cheese - Sour Cream - Green Onions - Tomatoes - Cilantro - Salad Fixings In the Freezer: - Whole Chicken - Steaks - Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts - Beef or Pork Roast - Stew Meat - Hamburger - Pork Chops - Pieces of yellow, red and green peppers (Chop up any leftovers each time you use them and throw them into a bag in the freezer. They will add color and flavor to bland dishes) - Frozen Bread Dough (Make your own or store bought) - Frozen Rolls (Make your own or store bought) - Frozen Pizza Dough (Make your own or store bought) - Frozen Baguette - Broccoli - Spinach With these ingredients in your kitchen, the only thing you'll have to worry about when it's time to cook is which recipe you want to try!
Saturday, May 14, 2011
In China, food and its preparation has been developed so highly that it has reached the status of an art form. Rich and poor, the Chinese people consider that delicious and nutritious food is a basic necessity. There is an old Chinese saying “Food is the first necessity of the people”. This art has been cultivated and refined over hundreds of years. Legend has it that the culture of Chinese cuisine originated in the 15th century BC during the Shang dynasty and was originally introduced by Yi Yin, it’s first Prime Minister. The two dominant philosophies of Chinese culture both had extreme influences on the political and economic history of the country but it is less well known that they also influenced the development of the culinary arts. Confucius emphasised the artistic and social aspects of cookery and eating. The Chinese don’t gather together without involving food - it is considered to be poor etiquette to invite friends to your home without providing appropriate food. Confucius established standards of cooking and table etiquette, most of which remain to this day. The most obvious example of this is the cutting of bite-sized pieces of meat and vegetables during the course of the food preparation in the kitchen, rather than using a knife at the table which is not considered to be good manners. Confucius also encouraged the blending of ingredients and flavourings to become a cohesive dish, rather than tasting the individual components. Harmony was his priority. He believed and taught that without harmony of ingredients there could be no taste. He also emphasised the importance of presentation and the use of colour, texture and decoration of a dish. Most importantly, cooking became an art rather than a task to be endured and certainly he was instrumental in promulgating the philosophy of “live to eat” rather than “eat to live”. On the other hand, Tao encouraged research into the nourishment aspects of food and cookery. Rather than concentrating on taste and appearance, Taoists were more interested in the life-giving properties of food. Centuries on, the Chinese have discovered the health-giving properties of all sorts of roots, herbs, fungus and plants. They have taught the world that the nutritional value of vegetables is destroyed by over-cooking (particularly boiling) and in addition have found that things with a great flavour also have medicinal value. Home cooked Chinese food is extremely healthy, even though much of it is fried. This is due to the use of polyunsaturated oils (used only once and discarded) and the exclusion of dairy products. In addition the inclusion of animal fat is minimal because portions of meat are small.
Friday, May 13, 2011
Counter stools will come in 2 different fashions either very basic and practical stools or elaborate and imaginative designs. Both of these bar stool designs are good in any home kitchen or restaurant counters. What ever style you want comes down to your fondness for that design of bar stool and of course the décor of the surroundings are a vital criteria. The most basic of bar stools have padded seats with no back rests; they are also made from varnished or unvarnished wood and have 4 legs with 2 sections of interlocking wooden beams for leg support. This basic design has been in circulation for over 500 years and is now used in homes, bars, and restaurants that want a traditional country look. For those of you who want to find counter stools that have a more elegant and artistic design, there are stacks of options to choose from. These types of bar stools usually have back rests and favour metal over wood. The most popular styles of metal bar stools are wrought iron and brushed aluminium with swivel motion and padded seats. Counter stools are only ever found to have a height range between 20 and 24 inches. Counter stools are generally smaller that standard bar stool, it is for this reason that counter stools are mostly used in diners, cafes and kitchen counters. Other advantages for these counter stools is that your kids can make use them in a game room, watching TV, or doing homework at the counter or when you have friends over As with every other type of bar stool out there, you will absolutely no hassles in find many different styles and designs of counter stools. When thinking about shopping for such stools searching online with prove to produce far better results, but you need to find the good sites like marios-bar.com that have the best selection and good prices that give a good description of the product. If you expect heavy use, one tip is to concentrate on stools that have durable seat materials. Heavy fabric or thick vinyls are good choices. Moreover, you may want to get counter stools that have thick cushions for maximum comfort. It's also a good idea to look for counter stools with legs made of a durable material, like stainless steel or varnished hardwood. You want long-lasting, tough stools that will stand up to abuse over many years.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Many home or bar and restaurant owners who are in the market to add new bar stools to their décor are discovering that upholstered bar stools have more going for them than you might think. It's all about adaptability. The time of using upholstered bar stools only for the home are long gone, more and more business’s are turning towards upholstered bar stools for there sheer level of comfort. When ever you shop for bar stools, you want a stool that will look good in any area of your home, bar or restaurant. An upholstered bar stool has 1 main advantage over conventional bar stools used in the home or in industry, when set against an elegant décor it wont stand out like a mile. It will blend in when sat next to your other furniture. Another constructive feature of opting upholstered bar stools is their exclusive look. Ordinary stools look grand in their planned environments, but if you decide to redecorate or you want to relocate the bar stools to another room they might look out of place. With upholstered bar stools being able to fit in very well, you have an additional benefit of being able to use in them in your home or business’s other rooms without them looking to much out of place. When you buy upholstered bar stools, you now have furniture that can adapt to what ever changes you make in the coming years. When you decide that your taste for creams is over and you then fancy something darker, you won't have to get rid of the old bar stools. Just reupholster them! So here end the problem. The one potential downside to choosing upholstered bar stools is the inevitable stains. You can count on spilled drinks, dropped dip, and other accidents. However, if you're careful to pick fabric material that resists stains - or to apply stain guards - this risk is minimal. One back-up solution is to use inexpensive fabric, so you can reupholster the stool without crying over the cost.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
There's a certain weird appeal to the Japanese delicacy known as fugu. After all, it's not every day that the food on your plate could bring about almost instant death. Fugu is the Japanese name for the blowfish, also known as the pufferfish, which has the ability to puff up to twice its size and project poisonous spikes to defend itself from predators. The spikes of a blowfish contain tetradotoxin, a poison considered to be at least one thousand times deadlier than cyanide. Theoretically, the poison from one blowfish could kill up to 30 people. Fugu is served raw, and its widespread fame and notoriety doesn't come from its taste. In fact, it's been described as a fairly bland, delicately flavored fish that doesn't hold a candle to the more popular forms of Japanese seafood. It's a widely accepted fact that the danger element is what draws people to this peculiar delicacy. In the world of Japanese cuisine, it takes approximately 10 years of rigorous training and a special licensing program before a chef can consider himself skilled in the art of preparing fugu. It is estimated that about 6 people a year in Japan die from eating improperly prepared fugu, and the deaths are usually those of inexperienced chefs who are testing their own handiwork. Approximately 60% of people who consume improperly prepared fugu will die from the poison, which leads to paralysis and respiratory failure. Japanese lore holds that a chef who prepares fugu incorrectly and thus kills his consumer must take the honorable way out and disembowel himself. Licensed fugu chefs are carefully taught which parts of the fish are edible, and which parts contain the deadly tetrodotoxin. The slices required to remove the toxic parts of the fish are delicate and require a skilled hand and a knowledge of exactly what to cut away. Fugu chefs study and memorize the exact layout of the fish and the location of every drop of poison, and learn how to remove it without removing the precious meat surrounding it. Understandably, with all of this training and care required, eating fugu is not exactly a cheap thrill. Fugu first arrived on American shores in 1989, during the boom of Japanese economy, but since the 1990s it has dwindled in popularity and is now mostly found only in areas of New York and the west coast. Japanese restaurants in America that serve fugu generally import the fish from Japanese chefs who have already removed the poison and purified the meat. Even without a fugu chef on staff, restaurants can charge upwards of $150 for a plate of this exotic fish. But New York city chefs have adamantly stated that no one in the US has died from improperly prepared fugu since it came to this country in 1989. And for some thrill-seekers, it might be worth the price.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Using proper food storage is very important to your health and your family’s health. It is up to you to provide proper storage solutions for every type of food that comes into your home. This is no easy task. If you plan to store large amounts of food, you need to have the room. It is also important to realize that foods go bad quite easily and quickly. Taking the time to find the right solution to your food storage needs can even help you save money. Purchasing And Storing It is quite important for you to purchase foods that are in good condition especially if you will have them in your home for a long period of time. This is especially true for foods that will not last for long, such as fruits and vegetables that are purchased fresh. But, you can also package them to keep them lasting longer. For example, fresh produce such as vegetables and fruits can be canned or purchased and placed into a vacuum sealing to keep them fresh much longer. For meats, it is important to use them within their date or to freeze them. You should freeze them properly without defrosting them more than once to use. You can also use a vacuum sealer to do this work as well. Having Enough Room One of the biggest problems that many have when it comes to food storage is that it is hard to find enough room in our kitchen cabinets for the products that we purchase. In order to have enough room, you can think outside the box. Using your fridge and freezer effectively is one thing. You can store canned goods in boxes in a cool location as well. You can add bins or containers to your kitchen as well. Using proper food storage means keeping everyone happy and healthy!
Monday, May 9, 2011
Even if we roll our eyes when we hear it, "Eat your veggies" is a maxim that we'd be well advised to heed. Our mothers and grandmothers instinctively knew that fresh fruit and vegetables were good for us, and science has reinforced the value of fresh produce in keeping our bodies in peak condition. Nevertheless, we often skimp on eating root vegetables, either because they seem boring or we don't know how to best prepare them. These nutrition-packed powerhouses are worth a second look, though. Here's an overview that will hopefully inspire you to reach for the roots when you're in the produce section of your grocery store. Captivating Carrots Oh, the ubiquitous carrot. Baby carrots are peeled, washed, and sealed in plastic bags for a no-fuss, no-muss snack. But carrots aren't given credit for their variety or versatility. For example, not all carrots are orange. The next time you want to experiment, be on the lookout for white, yellow, red, and even purple carrots. They can be used in recipes, or to add vibrant color to your plates. Speaking of recipes, carrots can be more than an afterthought for a salad or to enrich and add flavor to broths. Carrots give breads, muffins, and cakes a wonderful moistness, texture, and flavor, and cold carrot soup can be a refreshing taste treat on a hot summer day. Throw grated carrots, cream cheese, and grated onion into a food processor and spread on toast points for a delicious appetizer. Step into the future with a carrot mousse or flashback to the past with pickled carrots. Let your imagination fly and you'll rediscover these colorful treasures. Radical Rutabagas and Tasty Turnips Although the Finns and Swedes cook rutabagas with aplomb, the rutabaga and turnip aren't in most Americans repertoires when it comes to cooking vegetables. Sure, turnip greens are a staple of the delicious cuisine of the South, but what to do with the root? Rutabagas are actually a cross between turnips and cabbages, although they are most often used like a turnip in cooking. Either rutabagas or turnips can be cooked and added to mashed potatoes to enhance their flavor and nutrition. Try turnip custard, or combine apples and rutabagas for a delicious baked casserole. Use rutabagas in a spice cake or bread, or make a seasoned puree and serve it with a meat dish. Hearty Jicama Like the carrot, the jicama is often relegated to the salad bar. But this sweet, starchy, and refreshing root vegetable is a wonderful addition to stir-fry or potato salad. Much of jicama's appeal is its unique crunchy texture, so grate it, cube it, or julienne it to add zazz to cold dishes. Toss jalapeno with vinegar, cilantro, and jalapeno, and then place grilled shrimp over a bed of jicama. Delectable! Other Nutrition-Packed Roots When visiting the fresh produce section of your grocery store, don't overlook other roots that have taken a back seat to other fresh fruit and vegetables. Beets, parsnips, and radishes also offer culinary delights, so embrace their versatility and their ability to get you excited about eating your veggies!
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Has this ever happened to you? You’ve been invited to a party and realize you don’t have a meal to bring. Not only that, but the party starts in an hour. What should you do? You have four options: Don’t go, and miss out on a really fun time. Show up empty-handed and explain red-faced that you forgot. Grab a casserole dish and head to the deli. Order your food and have them put it right into your casserole dish. Yes, I’ve gone this. It’s expensive but it works. If you get asked for the recipe, just wink and say “It’s Grandma’s secret recipe”. Whip up a big batch of pasta salad for only a few dollars, and have plenty left over to eat for lunch during the week. You will save money and look good showing up at the party with a great dish. Pasta salad is truly one of the easiest meals to prepare. All you need are noodles and salad dressing. You can use pretty much any salad dressing on the market – the standards like Italian, Ranch, or, if you’re ambitious, your favorite homemade dressing. Now for the fun part. Cook the noodles, following package directions and then drain. Pour the dressing on while the noodles are warm so they will absorb all that good oily flavor. Look around your kitchen to see if you have any of the following ingredients: Fresh veggies – carrots, broccoli, green onions Frozen vegetables – frozen peas are wonderful in pasta salad Cubed or shredded cheese Garbanzo beans (also known as Chick Peas) Black Olives Toss in whatever you can find. It’s an ‘everything goes’ type of recipe. Bring more dressing with you in case you need to add it later, and voila! You’re done. If you’re feeling fancy, you can bring some cherry tomatoes, parmesan cheese, bacon bits or sunflower seeds as toppings. It’s all good. The next time you are invited to a party, don’t panic. Just grab these instructions and whip up a meal in minutes. Enjoy!
Saturday, May 7, 2011
The Bond that can come between a person and a dog can be extremely strong, especially if that bond had been strengthened living with each other for many years, I have personally cried after loosing our family dog that had been like a best friend to me from my birth till I as 15 years old, when he was hit by a car one morning. Dogs serve many different needs for people. Some people get a dog because they are lonely and need a loyal friend or because they want a dog to protect the home. A dog that is taken good care of and given attention to regularly will give his life to help protect his home and his owner. For the blind a dog can be a pair of eyes to help them get around and for the police a dog can be an important tool and a loyal partner, with a nose that nothing can beat. The first thing you need to know about taking care of a dog is that dogs need lots of exercise. This is the same for large dogs and small dogs. All dogs need to be let out at least once every 8 hours and should given at least a 20 minute walk to give the dog some fresh air, exercise and a chance to relieve themselves. It is also important to play with the dog on a regular basis. This can mean going to the park on a weekend or day off and having a good game of fetch, tossing the ball around in your back yard or just wrestling on the ground with the dog, just make sure if you are ruff housing with a little dog that you don’t accidentally hurt the dog. Playing with the dog for a half hour a day, is not only good for the dogs physical health but a dig that is played with regularly is mentally healthier and less likely to become a depressed dog, it also lowers your blood pressure as well and it will form an unbreakable bond between you and your pooch, which will extend to your family if you should start having one after having the dog. What you feed your dog is very important to the dogs continued good health. The better dog foods will be marked for what are groups the food is appropriate for. Younger dogs need certain vitamins and minerals in larger amounts then an adult dog, and the same goes for an elderly dog they need more calcium in their food to help protect their bones and joints. Feeding your dog the wrong food can stunt the dog's growth and opens the dog to a larger risk of surgery when they are older. Just like a person a dog should be taken to the veterinarian's office every 6 months, and must receive their shots every year. Regular checkups and vaccinations will also help assure that your dog grows to be an old happy dog.
Friday, May 6, 2011
The Roll of Oatmeal (Porridge) in a Healthy Diet Oatmeal, or porridge if you live outside the US or Canada, play a major role in our modern diet yet few seem to know the true health benefits it gives. Oatmeal provides two of the required three daily servings of whole grains required in a healthy and balanced diet and this alone should help convince you to use it. However there is an added bonus because oatmeal (porridge) is the only whole grain recognized by the US FDA to help reduce cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Can’t you imagine all the Scots jumping in the air, waving their Sporrans in glee telling the world: “We told you so!!!” (Sorry I can’t type in a Scottish accent.) There is also a school of thought that claims that by eating filling foods in the morning you actually suppress appetite later in the day and this makes oatmeal an ideal breakfast for weight-watchers. Research clearly indicates: People who eat breakfast, like a bowl of oatmeal for instance, tend to weigh less than those who skip it. Adults that eat cereals, cooked or cold, have a lower body mass index than those who eat a combinations of meat and eggs, or those who skip breakfast altogether. On the subject of healthy eating and weight control - don’t forget that you need seven daily servings minimum of fruit and vegetables to maintain health. Again this is also good advice to weight watchers. The biggest problem you are likely to face if you are trying to lose weight is serving sizes. I’ve lost count of the number of weight watchers who have told me that they follow a strict diet regime but never seem to lose weight, then they serve themselves at least double recommended serving sizes. Hey it doesn’t work that way. Serving sizes are the biggest problem that most weight watchers must contend with and when they come to terms with serving sizes they not only start losing weight they keep it off too. Quaker has recently introduced Weight Control instant oatmeal, no doubt there are equivalents in all parts of the world and you can get some good tips at www.weightcontrol.quakeroatmeal.com You can also find a free weight control program at: http://www.recipesmania.com/weightlossprogram.html Sometimes all it takes is a change in your daily habits to regain health. This article is © Copyright David McCarthy 2005. It may only be reproduced in its entirety.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
These days everyone seems to be looking for a healthy diet. Why? Because there is too much of stress in our lives as a result of which, lifestyles have changed and so have food habits. More and more people have opted for fast food or junk food that does more harm than good. In such an environment, the human body will not get any or proper nutrients and this will lead to diseases or medical problems like cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart problems etc. The best way to fight it is by going on a healthy diet. Fruits are considered to be extremely healthy as they can provide you with important nutrients. The need for fruits If your diet consists of vegetables and fruits then it will automatically become a balanced diet plan and you will not develop conditions severe medical problems like coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, bone loss, type 2-diabetes, and cancer. Fruits have a high nutritional value, which will also reduce any risk of kidney stones. The best way to have fruits is take them fresh and you can take them whole or even sliced. You can even do a little experimentation and transform your regular fresh fruit like blackberry or banana into special snacks or side dishes and then you can even add them in your desserts. If you are open to experimenting with fruits then here are some options that will not only keep your diet healthy but also add some flavors to it: 1. A spread with peach and honey: Take a bowl and add 1 sliced peach, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of honey. Mash all the three together using a fork until the mixture looks consistent in appearance. Serve it as a topping on French toast or pancakes or you can even serve it on grilled pork or roasted chicken. 2. Fruit slices: Fruits slices can be used for creating many dishes. One of the best ways to have fruit slices is by making a salad out of different fruits instead of vegetables. You can take slices of pears, apples, peaches and mangoes and then gently brush them with some canola oil. After wards sprinkle some cinnamon and place the bowl in skewers. Alternatively you can wrap it in a foil. Grill this fruit mixture in your over on low heat for around 3 to 5 minutes. Viola! you will have a great fruit mixture that is ready to eat. 3. Lemon fruit dip: The lemon fruit dip is a fairly uncommon dish. To prepare it, you will need to mix sugar-free lemon yogurt, 1/2 cup low-fat, 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice and a teaspoon of lime zest in a bowl. Add a few slices of pineapple, diced kiwi, strawberries, bananas and a few grapes. You can choose between black grapes and the green ones depending on your liking. You can serve it before meal or after meal. Either ways it will be good for health and great for taste. 4. Fruity pops: This is a great recipe that tastes good when served frozen. You will need a blender to do the job. Take some sliced bananas and strawberries and add 1/4 cup of orange juice as well as 3/4 cup of low-fat strawberry yogurt. Blend all the ingredients together and then pour them into a 2 to 3-ounce cups. Freeze the mixture for at least 3 hours and then serve. 5. The Banana-Blueberry Mix: This is quite simple to make and it will stir your taste buds. You can use a blender to mix 2 fresh bananas, 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries, and 1 cup of low-fat vanilla yogurt. Once they have been mixed well, all you have to do is taste it. 6. Fresh strawberry salad: Talk about fruit salads and here is one. The ingredients that you will require are 1/2 cup of sliced strawberries and 2 cups romaine lettuce. Put them in the same bowl and add 1 1/2 teaspoon of raspberry vinaigrette as a dressing. Toss it well and then sprinkle some cashew nut on the top. It is ready to be served. 7. Mango salsa pizza: You may have never heard of this before but this is a great dish. You will have to start by mixing 1 cup of chopped green or red bell peppers, 1/2 cup of chopped mango, 1/2 cup of chopped onion, 1/2 cup of chopped pineapple, 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro and 1 tablespoon of lime juice. Spread the mix over your pizza crust and bake it at 4250F. Once the crust is brown, it will be ready to serve. These are some of the fruit recipes that you can try at home. The important thing here is to eat healthy and be healthy!
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Las Vegas was for a long time the adults playground. Las Vegas was and is the gambling and drinking capitol of the world, and it was just about as Wild West as you could get in the twentieth century. But in the last 20 years Las Vegas has changed into a large amusement park for the whole family. There is such a wide variety of things to do inside and outside of Las Vegas apart from gambling, that it would be a shame to pass up the opportunity to see some of the beautiful sites around the area. 1) Think location. A hotel that is located directly on the strip will end up being much higher in price than a hotel just off the strip. Really, glamour is nice, but saving a couple of extra hundred dollars in the long run will allow you the opportunity to do some great things that had not been originally accounted for. 2) Outside of Las Vegas are some very nice deserts and mountains. Easy to get to and very close, it is nice to take a break from the gambling and partying to get out and visit a bit of nature. Finding a hotel that is close to the Strip but also close to all the nature reserves is a big bonus when you are not having a good time at the casino tables. 3) Las Vegas is huge, and continues to grow, so trying to visit an amusement park on the outskirts from the Strip, may tend to be a bit difficult, so try to aim to be a little farther from all the traffic if you are not just gambling and are doing other fun things. 4) When searching for a place to stay in Las Vegas, you will find that in just about any direction there will be hotels in which to stay, offering a drive of less than 10 minutes to the Strip plus there is free parking at most casinos on the Strip for when you are going to gamble. 5) Think Entertainment! Check out the available shows during the time you are in Vegas. If you are lucky, you might get to see some of the greatest entertainers such as Jay Leno, Edwin Murphy, Sting, Bon Jovi, Celine Dion, Jeniffer Lopez, Shakira, Madonna and many many more for just a few dollars. Sometimes, you might get a ticket dirt-cheap if you only look around and ask. Since Vegas is relatively small, its worth your while to check out not just the shows that your hotel (however grand it is!) is planning for its customers, but also to check out those offered by the rest of the hotels in Las Vegas. These are just a few things to keep in mind when traveling to Las Vegas. If you are traveling with the family, you will want to remember that Las Vegas and Nevada offer excellent hotels and casinos as well as some of the most undisturbed wildlife and nature reserves and fantastic camping in the area. If you wish to find out more about the casinos in Las Vegas or the entertainment and different adventures you could take part in, go to http://www.gambling-portal.com for detailed reviews, explanations and hot tips.