Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ice Cream Makers - To Use Or Not To Use?

By Mia Kane

My friends are always asking me is it cheaper to make your own ice cream or buy it. As well as lots of other benefits, yes it can also be cheaper. That's up to you.

I have kids that eat a lot of ice cream, so mine is nearly always cheaper. Sometimes for special occasions, I dress it with an expensive or exotic fruit, but not for the kids. The fruit usually ends up on the floor or up a nostril. Mostly if I am using fruit, it's tinned or frozen and tastes just great.

Seasonal fruit is cheaper. So I buy it at its cheapest and freeze it. Crush it and mush it up if it makes it easier to store in your freezer. I also go out picking with the kids if I can, blackberries and blueberries.

Canned and frozen fruit work just fine and taste great. If it's canned I tend to drain the juice first, as this keeps it healthier and better for my kids teeth. But that's up to you. Here are some more tips to get you making lovely ice cream.

1. Once your ice cream has defrosted, do not re freeze. The texture will be awful, and there is also a danger of food poisoning.

2. Sometimes I make my ice cream manually, especially when I want to entertain the kids for an afternoon. I get them involved and helping. Mostly though I use an electric ice cream maker, when you make ice cream several times a week, the hands on approach of manual making can be laborious and time consuming.

3. Remember that home made ice cream will not have all the preservatives that store bought has in it. This means that it will not last as long. So try to use within a couple of weeks in the freezer.

4. Take your ice cream out of the freezer for about 10-15 minutes before serving. If it's too cold you won't enjoy it as much and it can also give you a quick sharp headache.

5. Freeze all left over chocolate and chocolate sweets (you can use these when you want to make a choc flavour version). You can grate them over the top for a lovely effect.

6. Blueberries must not go into the ice cream. When they freeze they go rock hard and could take out a tooth. So if you want to put them in, crush them first or just serve them on the side.

Making ice cream at home yourself is so rewarding. The end taste is great, you know what you have put into it, and you can make any type of flavor you want. The kids love getting involved. I like to bring ice cream around to friends' houses for dinner, we usually have for dessert on the night.

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What if the Experts Who Treat Compulsive Overeating Are Actually Do More Damage Than Good?

By Nadine Ann

I will most likely lose the friendship of my colleagues by saying this but I truly believe that the so called experts involved with Overeaters Anonymous and in residential facilities may be doing more harm than good when it comes to treating people with compulsive overeating disorder.

They work hard at restricting diets, creating rules, finding triggers and talking about emotional issues which get their clients thinking and doing. This is how the disorder has been dealt with for the past few decades. But what if this traditional method of treatment is actually making people hang on to compulsive overeating longer than others who tried a different approach?

Let's take for example Overeaters Anonymous (OA). Their 12 Step Program is based on the original 12 Steps for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) which encourages abstinence from the substance altogether. Well we know we can't do that with food or we will die so the next best thing is restriction.

The first thing that OA has you do is state your name and that you are a compulsive overeater. You say this every time you attend a meeting. This just reinforces the fact that you intend to stay a compulsive overeater. The next thing is to follow their diet to the letter. You measure your food, you report your daily intake to your sponsor and hope you haven't screwed up because you could be tarred and feathered for it.

Another thing that OA believes is that once you are a compulsive overeater, you will be for life. You'll never be free of it. But what if this thinking is all coming down from years and years ago before research was done on the subject of binge eating disorder? What if this just isn't true?

Now I'll use a residential treatment facility as the next example. Residential treatment facilities do the same kind of food restriction, often times prescribing anti-depressants and having clients stay for 30-60 days at a time. They do "Talk Therapy" but I have yet to see them hold classes on becoming assertive and dealing with stress so that when the client is released back into the wild they can fend for themselves without falling back into the same trap they were in before.

Could all the traditional or old ways of thinking and treating clients be just that...old?

Now lets say we give people the tools they need to reduce stress, become organized, and face deadlines and fears. We also help them learn to use facts without emotions, question beliefs that limit them, and learn to be assertive in their relationships with people. What if we also taught them to use short chunky goals that are so easy to achieve it makes the brain want to keep going for more? And how would they feel if we could bring back the self worth and self esteem that is gone from their lives instead of making them feel worse?

We could send a message to the world that compulsive overeating is no longer a disorder you must live with forever.

I am reminded of when my dad had a heart attack a couple of years back. It was the old way versus the new way of thinking for us and we immediately chose what we thought would be the best for my dad. It came down to two cardiologists. One had graduated in 1968 and had a ton of experience and the other had graduated in 1990 with obviously less experience but specialized in the latest technology which meant my dad could have the heart catheterization procedure with minimal pain and not have to have open heart surgery.

Sometimes the new guy with the new procedure is the way to go!

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Food Guidelines for Pregnant Women

By Jayde Johanssen

Being pregnant is an unforgettable experience. It's an exciting time in a woman's life. Changes occur each day. Hormone levels increase. Your body and attitude change. It's a time filled with new things. In fact, given all these changes, the topic of what's permissible to eat and what's not becomes a significant question that most pregnant women find themselves grappling with.

Food, both during and after pregnancy, is a big issue. What one does eat affects the child inside, after all. The information that surrounds food and pregnancy can be pretty fuzzy. The good news is, however, generally, what you can and can eat stays the same, except for some notable exceptions.

When it comes down to it, according to doctors and nutritionists, it's best to take a healthy approach. Choose wisely. While this may seem like very common knowledge, getting down into the precise points of what you can and can't eat, it does get very perplexing. Often the matter is made too complicated.

Family members are eager to dish out advice. Strangers even will offer you their supposed tried and true tips when it comes to diet and babies and giving birth, etc. All this often unsolicited information can be frustrating and confusing all at once. It doesn't help that those extra hormones make you delicately testy and moody.

Nor does it help that every day a new article seems to come out suggesting that such and such a food is dangerous or that alternatively, it's actually not so dangerous and that it does have some good effect. One day your favorite food is on the dangerous to eat list, and the next day it's not. All this information ends up boggling the mind.

Often when it comes down to it, this wealth of extraneous and incomplete knowledge leaves you more confused than you started off.

The basics, however, are pretty simple to remember. Essentially, you don't really have to modify your diet too much from what you normally eat. Put into practice the rules of healthy eating-abide by moderation and good sense.

Experts would agree that there are some simple rules to abide by when it comes down to it. These guidelines are actually really guidelines anyone should follow, with a few amendments.

You should always remember to wash all fruits and vegetables before you eat them. Remember too, to be careful with foods such as cantaloupe and water melon-the rinds can actually contain harmful bacteria that may be transferred to the fruit, so do wash them before you cut into them.

Always cook food carefully. This rule applies especially to poultry, meats and eggs. Play it safe and go for well done.

Remember to wash your hands before and after touching meat.

Try not to eat junk food all the time. It's better to eat high fat food in moderation, despite the odd cravings.

Be wary of seafood. Certain fatty fish like shark and tile-fish contain dangerous amounts of mercury.

Instead opt for canned fish or smaller ocean fish.

The consumption of alcohol should be avoided.

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Eating A Real Healthy Diet

By Regina Filange

There are really only a few rules when it comes to a happy diet. Not eating foods high is sugar and salt is a big one. Not eating processed foods is another. We all know these rules but many of us just have a difficult time following them. If you eat well, though, you can maintain a healthy weight and also become much more healthy. A healthy diet is very important.

When you eat right you are eating the right amount of calories. This means that you take in enough calories but not too many calories. Most people need about two thousand calories per day but this amount can change because of you height, weight, activity and age.

Eating well means that you also eat a variety of foods. You need to eat good foods that you normally don't eat. Eat more vegetables, fruits and whole grains. The portions need be moderate, also. This is especially true with high calorie food.

Portion control is also important. It is difficult to do- most restaurants give at least twice as much food as we should have on their plates. If you do go out a lot try splitting your meal or you can even try and order from the appetizer menu.

One of the most important things that you can do to stay healthy is to drink more water. Since our bodies are 75% water we need to make sure that we are drinking enough. We need water to flush out our systems and the kidneys and the bladder. We need to get rid of the waste and toxins. Most people are actually dehydrated and don't even realize it. Plus, water can help you feel more full throughout the day.

Make sure that the foods that you eat don't have too much salt and sugar. Especially try and stay away from any of the processed foods. You can have some of these foods but not very much. Eat them in moderation. You can really pack on pounds from these types of foods. Stay away from soda as much as you can. Soda can really add a lot of unwanted weight. Be careful!

Remember that when eating a healthy diet that you need to enjoy life, too. Eating foods that are not good for you won't kill you if you eat them in moderation. Also, the more you exercise the healthier you will be. You can actually eat more if you burn calories from exercise during the day. So exercise and eat right- have a much better future.

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Colostrum as an Immune Booster

By Dr. Anthony Kleinsmith

Let's meet the Immune Factors Contestants

There are two types of Immune Factors found in Colostrum, immuno-regulating substances and gut protective substances. Immuno-regulating substances assist in the overall functioning and regulation of the immune system. Gut protective substances are generally very localized and are restricted in their area of expertise. Their effects are usually exerted in the gut area of the body.

Immuno-Regulating Substances

Thymosin (Alpha and Beta Chains) - This hormone has two protein-based chains which are present separately in colostrum. These chains either act together to activate, develop and maintain the immune system, or they act independently on the thymus gland.

Proline-Rich Peptide (PRP) - This small protein acts like a hormone as it works on the thymus and other immune system organs. It keeps these organs from over-reacting to an insult. It is also called Thymulin.

Cytokines - Various cells produce these small proteins. They induce specialized white blood cells, signal and help the white blood cells to the insult site.

Lymphokines. Proteins of varying sizes that are produced by different types of white blood cells that tell related cells to transform themselves into more functional cell types that can release substances capable of destroying an invading microorganism.

Let's meet the Gut Protective Substances

Immunoglobulins (IgG, IgM, IgA) - These are complex proteins which are also called antibodies. These proteins are a significant portion of proteins found in colostrum. A mother cow's immune system produces these antibodies throughout her life as she responds to multiple different microorganisms. These proteins are then transferred prior to parturition into the colostrum. These antibodies react against fungi, viruses and bacteria that attack the gastrointestinal tract in humans.

Transfer Factors - These small proteins are created as the body responds to exposure of specific types of microorganisms, especially microorganisms that live for long periods of time in deep tissues. These proteins are limited in their effectiveness in defending against microorganisms; instead, they act with a variety of white blood cells as they strive to keep microorganisms in check.

Lactoferrin - This protein attaches to iron, and it is very effective when certain aerobic bacterias require iron for reproduction. Lactoferrin can impede the growth of microorganisms in the gut when working with a specific antibody.

Transferrin - This mineral-binding carrier protein also attaches to iron that is available. It can either act together with Lactoferrin or on its own to impede the growth of microorganisms in the gut.

Lysozyme - This is a very powerful enzyme, because it can attach itself and leave holes in the cell walls of degrading proteins and bacteria

Lactoperoxidase - This mildly effective enzyme can attach itself and interfere with the replication of degrading proteins and bacteria

Xanthine Oxidase. Another mildly effective enzyme that can also attach to the wall of certain bacteria, degrade different proteins than those affected by lactoperoxidase and also interfere with the ability of the bacteria to replicate.

White blood cells (leukocytes). Primarily three types of functional white blood cells are present in colostrum, including neutrophils, macrophages and polymorphonuclear cells. Each has the ability to phagocytize microorganisms and other foreign bodies and apply substances carried internally to the destruction of the microorganisms. Their functions are dramatically enhanced when antibodies first attach to the microorganisms.

Oligosaccharides and Glycoconjugates - These complex carbohydrates adhere to the inner surface of the gastrointestinal tract to prevent microorganisms from attaching.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tips to Make a Simple and Easy Pumpkin Soup Recipe

By Kc Kudra

Do you always have leftover pumpkin after Halloween or Thanksgiving, and want to know how to cook it? Do you love pumpkin soup and want to make sure that you do not make any mistakes? Whatever your reason, there are lots of important tips for cooking with this versatile squash relative.

While most people stick to plain old pumpkin desserts, there are lots more options out there. Let us take a look at some of the things you should know about the pumpkin before you get started cooking. You will have a lot more luck!

The first thing you should know is that Halloween jack-o-lantern types of pumpkins are not a great choice for fall recipe use. Unfortunately, these large, sturdy specimens are bred for their looks, toughness, and regular appearance, not for their edibility. They tend to be fibrous and low on taste.

These kinds of pumpkins can be very tempting to people look for a great deal on pie ingredients, particularly right after Halloween. However, they are not a great choice for eating, though they compost well and can be fun to feed to the squirrels and other wildlife. The flesh is tough and fibrous, and not very strongly flavored.

That does not mean you cannot eat them at all, but it is a good idea to "hide" this type of pumpkin in other foods. Cook your surplus pumpkin down by baking or boiling it, scrape the pulp out of the shell, and blitz it in a food processor once or twice. Then put it in pumpkin bread, cookies, or even chili.

What about foods where pumpkin is the star of the show? When you are going to make a pumpkin pie, or a simple pumpkin soup recipe, sugar pumpkins are the perfect choice. They are full of vitamin A, potassium, fiber and more, and they have a lot more flavor. These are sweet little pumpkins with smooth flesh, making them popular for dessert use. However, they are great in all kinds of savory dishes, too.

Pumpkins can be used in pumpkin soup in chunks, or pureed for a smooth, silky texture. Some recipes even cook the soup right in the pumpkin, and stir the flesh off the walls to make a creamy, interesting texture. It all depends on your preferences. Just make sure you process the pumpkin carefully, according to the recipe directions, to prevent problems with water content or incompletely cooked pumpkins.

Pumpkin is a wonderful choice for soup and lots more. Pay attention to the kind of pumpkin you have and make sure you cook it right to improve your chances of ending up with the perfect fall meal. Check out all your options for an excellent pumpkin soup this fall, and do not forget to pay attention when you go shopping.

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The Truth Behind Thin Arms And Artificial Sweeteners

By Katherine Crawford M.S.

Getting sexy arms while battling a sugar addiction is extremely hard. Low calorie sweeteners, however, will appease your sweet tooth while providing negligible amounts of calories.

Sounds great, right?

Unfortunately, there is a growing body of research showing that artificial sweeteners can be very unhealthy for you.

So without further ado, here is what you need to know about low calorie sweeteners and sexy arms:

1. They can increase cancer risk. A solid study showed that low calorie sweeteners can increase cancer risk by thirty percent. Not good! The good news, however, is that the increase in cancer was associated with the highest levels of intake.

2. They're within many products. Companies love to inject their food with abundant and varied quantities of artificial sweeteners because it allows them to market products as being low calorie. So beware and lookout for sweeteners in all places.

3. All studies to date have been short term. Most of the studies proving low calorie sweetener's safety have been extremely short and have been performed by the manufacturers. Not good. Moreover, a lot of the results of the studies have been skewed and misinterpreted.

4. Equal/NutraSweet has been found to be toxic. Also known as aspartame, an enormous rodent study clearly showed increased cancer rates. And although rodent studies don't necessarily translate to humans, this is definitely a red flag.

5. Natural doesn't necessarily mean healthy. Stevia is a sweetener that is marketed as being all natural and therefore healthier. Studies, however, have shown that it turns into a mutagen within the intestine.

The bottom line is that we do NOT know if low calorie sweeteners are safe for long term consumption. Thus, I recommend that you limit your low calorie sweetener intake to no more than 3 servings per day. And less is better here. So the best approach is to have the bare minimum necessary! After all, getting sexy arms should not damage your health!

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Choosing The Best Steak To Grill - Jargon Explained

By Mia Kane

The saying goes "rubbish in equals rubbish out". This applies to grilling a great steak. If it's not great to start with then you will have an almost impossible task trying to make it better during the grilling process.

The quality of the meat will decide the taste of the steak. What meat is best for grilling and what should the quality be like? There are so many varieties available in your stores, and price does not necessarily mean best for grilling.

If you have a butcher shop nearby, you should definitely buy your meat there, often it is a lot fresher and you can get some good advice from your butcher who will be a specialist. In any event, here are some tips to help you pick that great steak for grilling on your barbecue or gas grill.

The cut of Steak, what does that mean?

Without going through all the steak cuts, from experience the best for grilling are rib Eye, T bone, Porterhouse, Strips Steak and Sirloin. They have more fat, which is what you need for grilling. Fat gives flavor and keeps the steak moist. Lower fat steaks, like fillet and tenderloin, dry out and can look shrivelled. My favorite for the barbecue is rib eye. But try them all out.

What Is Marbling?

The marbling is the fat in the steak. This is important because it is the marbling that gives the flavor. The marbling should be thin lines, and should be even throughout the steak if possible. Avoid thick marbling, because this will mean that your steak will turn out tough. But nice thin marbling is good.

What Does The Grade Mean?

There are three different grades of beef in the United States: Prime Grade, Choice Grade and Select Grade. Prime the top of the grade and is only a small percentage of beef the beef you will find in the shops. You will mostly see Prime Grade beef in restaurants. Choice and Select are usually the grades that are available in supermarkets or butcher shops. This is the steak you will most likely be grilling with.

So for starters test out a rib-eye, T-bone, Porterhouse and Strip to see which one you like the best on your grill.

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Learning How To Buy A Coffee Maker

By John McKain

Caffeine lovers the world over have fought forever in an effort to decide which type of coffee maker can produce the perfect cup of java. It's all a matter of personal choice, however, the debate still rages on.

Ever since it was discovered that a liquid could be brewed from the coffee beans that, until the 16th century, had been eaten like vitamins to help warriors through battles and fight off fatigue, caffeine addicts have developed multiple methods to make the perfect cup of coffee.

Many agree that there is nothing better than a pot of coffee percolated over an open camp fire. Cowboys and cattle rustlers drank their coffee like this for decades sans the luxuries of cream or sugar. For those who chose to stay closer to home, the stove top percolator did the trick just fine. However, one of the drawbacks of these percolators is that they tend to perk all over the place if not watched carefully.

Fast forward to the late 1950s. A leading houseware manufacturer invented the electric percolator and women scooped them up by the thousands. These worked on the same principle - water boiling up through the coffee grounds - but they had built it controls and monitoring devices to virtually prevent any messy mishaps. Just follow the simple directions and within minutes you'll have very good cup of java.

Nothing much happened until the 1970s when the drip coffee maker came on the market. And once again, housewives flocked to the store to buy them up. Some actually came in selection of colors to match kitchen decors. The technology of these drip makers was almost reversed. Rather than boiling the water and forcing it up through coffee grounds, the water was heated separately and dripped down through the coffee grounds. One major difference in this methodology is that the only thing being dripped through the coffee grounds was pure water, not the coffee that had already been forced up beforehand as with a percolator.

Nothing much changed until the late 1980s when gourmet coffees became a hit and machinery to brew these new coffees was made available to residential homes, not just restaurants and coffee houses. Machines that made cappuccino and espresso and latte became the rage. Much more expensive than the regular coffee makers everyone used for their morning caffeine hits, these machines were big, bulky, expensive - and selling like hot cakes. Coffee lovers proudly displayed their new espresso machines right next to their regular coffee makers.

Technology essentially came to a stop at that point, and no further live changing coffee maker inventions came about for some time. What American did, however, was to look to other cultures to see what they had to offer, and quickly became enamored of the French press and what we know as "the Cuban coffee maker". Even though the brews were much stronger than most Americans were accustomed to, many quickly adapted to the addition of these stronger brews into their daily coffee choices.

Whether you prefer your coffee strong, average, or even a variety, there's a machine to suit your needs.

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The Truth Behind Slim Arms And Trans Fats

By Katherine Crawford M.S.

Your body needs healthy dietary fat to function properly. However, were you aware that one type of fat is hidden in many foods and causes a high amount of deaths every year? This killer is called trans fat.

Not too long ago some chemists discovered a way to extend the freshness of cooking oils. Their novel method was called hydrogenation. If only they knew what would come in the years to follow with their trans fatty acids

Because unfortunately, this new Franken fat would be responsible for the greatest amount of deaths of any nutrient in U.S. history.

The bottom line is that trans fatty acids alter your metabolic process so much that obtaining slim arms becomes a pipe dream. It really doesn't matter how hard you train, except if you're an Olympic athlete.

And here are 4 more reasons to stay away from these Franken fats:

1. They are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths every year. How many? According to the most conservative estimates from Harvard University, about 30,000. Think about that for a minute. A single nutrient is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths every single year. Mind boggling.

2. No amount of consumption is ok. Food industry buffs say it's ok to have a little in your diet. But the brightest minds from Harvard and Stanford say that no level of intake is safe. I think you should listen to the academics

3. They increase triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are the storage form of arm fat within your body. Do you think increasing their level will help you get thin and slim arms? Absolutely not!

4. They raise the worst type of cholesterol. What's the worst type? Dense LDL particles. In other words, they clog up your arteries which is not good for your heart and they reduce circulation which is not good for getting thin arms.

I believe that it has become very popular to use scare tactics for commercial purposes. We live in a society of fear which promotes feverish consumer spending. I do not want to scare you with this article. I simply want you to be informed! After all, in this day and age it's virtually impossible to eliminate every single toxin from your diet. Nevertheless, staying away from trans fat will really boost your slim arms mission.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Buying A BBQ Grill For Outdoor Entertaining

By Franklin Greyklon

When the chill of winter is over and spring days begin to warm, it is time to pull out the BBQ grill for some great food. If you do not already have one, then consider buying a BBQ grill.

In purchasing a BBQ grill, you need to know what type of fuel that you would like to use to cook with. Propane grills are easy to use, give even heat and are portable. Most of the newer grills have done away with lava rock and now use either metal or ceramic to distribute the heat and avoid flareups.

If your home is equipped with natural gas, you may want to consider a natural gas grill. Natural gas is much less expensive than propane and you never run out in the middle of cooking your dinner. The disadvantage of natural gas is that it is not portable like propane.

Charcoal grills have been around for many years. Some of the disadvantages include difficulty in lighting and uneven heating. The grills can be very inexpensive or cost as much as a gas grill depending on the size and the materials of which the grill is made. These grills give the option of cooking with charcoal or hardwood fuel. Many of the hardwoods offer great flavor for your foods.

Some charcoal grills are also smokers. This indirect slow heat is a great way to tenderize tough cuts of meats. It is also an excellent way to prepare fish or poultry.

Using a BBQ grill is an excellent way to keep cooking heat outside of the house during the summer. The family can also choose to dine outside to enjoy cool summer evening breezes. This will greatly increase the living space of your home.

For many years we limited what we cooked on BBQ grills to meats, usually beef and occasionally pork or chicken. Now we have learned that many vegetables will cook up very nicely on the grill. If you want your veggies steamed, wrap them tightly in aluminum foil with a couple of tablespoons of water. Throw that packet onto the grill along with the steak or chicken for the perfect steamed vegetables. Vegetables can also be cooked directly on a clean grill with great results.

If you are looking for a quick marinade for veggies or meats on the grill, try using Italian dressing. The mixture of oil and vinegar makes for tender meats that are moist and the seasonings add a great flavor.

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Nutritional Supplements

By Julie Poundsign

Weight is collectively one of the biggest concerns for people in the western world. Almost everyone considers some aspect of their appearance to be either too thin or too fat, and even some of the wealthiest of people are eluded by the perfect body shape.

Even those who appear to be perfect looking in every way, have usually had lots of editing done on their magazine photos to make it appear that way, and body doubles are used more often than the stars would like you to know about in movies. There are only very few people with the perfect looking body, however there are ways getting closer than has been possible before.

Whether you want to lose some flab around your stomach or hips, or you want to build up the size of your arms or abs, then there will be a nutritional supplement that's been developed to suit those needs, all you need to do it conduct a bit of research into which one will help you, and start a regular course on it.

Although supplements like protein shakes have been around for a while with a fair few people using them, a lot of people are still reluctant to try them because they feel like a drug or because they believe that although they make you look better, that they in fact are unhealthy.

The good supplements however, only contain the proteins, fats, or other chemicals that the body produces itself they are just designed to give it the boost that your body cant manage on its own. As long as you keep up a healthy diet and lifestyle then there is no reason that a good health supplement should pose any threat whatsoever to your health.

However, in order for your supplement to work properly, you must continue to work out on a regular basis. If you just sit back and wait for it to take effect then you wont get anywhere. But if you are one of those people who, no matter how long you seem to spend in the gym, it doesn't get you anywhere, then a nutritional supplement of some kind could be just what your body needs as that extra boost towards the body-shape you want.

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The French Wine

By Jason Myers

Wine assessment is the method of appraising or deciding on the cost of a specific wine by a wine expert. Wine appraisal or wine assessment, as it is generally identified, has frequently been considered as a snobbish activity but in actuality, it is a very significant and vital part of dealing with wines. Without it, the field of viticulture is in fact incomplete.

The assessments and reviews in magazines and guides are extremely subjective. They usually entail a tasting of the specific wine or wines by one person, a newbie and there is no assurance of the review being replicated even the next day. There is no panel of specialists in such evaluations.

On the other hand, the real and formal method of wine appraisal is quite a comprehensive and elaborate process. It requires that a panel of specialists taste the wine and talk about its various aspects. Following a lengthy and thorough discussion, an consensus is made and the wine is appraised.

The wine evaluation specialists are very competent people who have obtained required degrees in relation to viticulture and are as neutral and balanced in their evaluation as human conduct allows them to be.

Wine evaluation is a very important aspect of collecting and buying wine. Serious wine enthusiasts often have their wine basements appraised as this helps them to learn more about the value of their assortment.

Additionally, many corporate companies who are interested in investing in a particular wine cellar or vineyard also have the wines appraised to learn of their business openings. In fact, even the amount of a wine bottle is also determined by the method of wine appraisal by specialists. Without the support of a good wine professional who has the knowledge to appraise wines, anyone should not wish to make up an good wine collection.

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Tips For Selecting Online Cooking Classes

By Lucy Tru

The number of online cooking classes has been on the rise in the last few years, to an extent that a person looking to learn cooking through the Internet today would be badly spoiled for choice. Of course, the online cooking classes are not all equal, and there are some things that can help one in making a good choice of online cooking classes.

The first step towards making a good choice of online cooking classes is taking the time to work out what it is that you are looking to get out of them before starting the search. It is hard to get what you are looking for if you don't know what it is that you are actually looking for. So what exactly is it that you are looking for out of the online cooking classes? Do you, for instance, just want to acquire enough skills to prepare your own meals at home - or would you want to train to an advanced level and become a chef? Clarity is power. Be clear about what it is that you want to get out of the cooking classes, and you are more likely to get it.

Having worked out what it is that you want out of the cooking classes, the next step would be to browse through the various online cooking classes available, looking for the one that is most in line with your objectives. Resist the lazy tendency to go with the first cooking classes you come across (unless it is just the perfect match) and explore the field further before making a final decision.

The cost factor is another thing you need to take into consideration as you about searching for online cooking classes. The idea is to go for the most cost effective option. Now the most cost effective online cooking course need not be the cheapest (or free) one, but you need to ensure that for every extra dollar you pay you also get some extra value.

Other things you might have a look at in selecting online cooking courses include the credentials of the people offering the course (which is especially relevant if you are looking for the advanced cooking courses to make you a chef for instance), the duration of the course, and level of commitment required for the course (and whether it is a level of commitment you can afford) and so on and so forth.

All in all, you can get really great online cooking courses " that is " if you are willing to put in the prerequisite effort in preparing for the search, and in the actual search.

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What To Expect With Home Bistro

By Phil McKnight

Does tasty food takes a major share in your diet which in turn prevents you in loosing weight? This is an universal problem.

Gourmet food are perceived by many people as a major cause of gaining weight. Gourmet foods are concluded as with high price tags and rich with fats. Other school of thought attach rigorous 'monkish' diet with loosing weight and practices of eating less or consuming food hated by others will lead to weight loss. Such perceptions are wrong.

Bistro MD will provide you daily with cooked gourmet food and you will lose weight while enjoying the delicious food. Thats right, gourmet food will be delivered right to your door and you wont even have to cook it. Believe it because Bistro MD is here!

The diet foods from Bistro MD are designed to work with every diet plan, and will also take your personal food preferences into account. This is perfect for people who are fanatical about their health. Dr. Cederquist is the weight loss expert that designed Bistro MDs food. He has worked very hard to help many people lose weight, and reduce fat.

Dr. Cederquist extremely knowledgeable and has worked for ten year in the weight loss industry. She carefully has studied what is and isnt successful at helping people lose weight. She know the kinds of food that the body needs to safely reduce her clients weight.

Dr. Cederquist started Bistro MD to meet this need. Every one of the meals offered by Bistro MD is specifically formulated and balanced to help you lose weight, and they also taste great enough to keep you in the program. The price ranges offered by Bistro MD packages ensure maximum affordability.

Many people just sit and whine about their weight loss problems and take no actions to beat it. Maybe it has been a long time since you have felt good about your body, maybe you are afraid to see exactly how good you could look. Stop it! Do something about it. You can lose the weight and you can look and feel good. Wait no more, Bistro MD is here to help you. Invest in Bistro MD means investing in YOU! Bistro MD has all the right tools to help you!

Since exercise is mandatory component to any weight-loss plan, Bistro MD also will give you all the essential elements and vitamins that can help you get the most out of your workout.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Acai The Chocolate Berry

By Max Wilson

There is a magic little berry that is gaining in popularity around the world " the acai berry. The taste of this small, deep purple berry's juice lies between chocolate and the wild berries. Although, it doesn't just taste great. This super fruit as been credited for giving many health benefits, healthy heart to insulin control.

What better way to good health than to just take some juice every day? Or if juice is not your thing then you can take it in a pill or capsule form. There is even a freeze dried variety and also a pulp. Whichever method fits into your daily routine, there is a product that will suit your style.

Many people reported that after intaking acai berry juice they regained energy. Indeed, in its country of origin " Brazil " it has been called the 'Viagra of Brazil' because of all its benefits. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of taking this supplement is the unique blend of vitamins and amino acids. People who are getting older have less ability to absorb specific vitamins. Inflammation will cause aches and pains in their joints and tissues, thus aging the patient with premature stiffness and painful joints.

The acai products actively encourage and give the ability to reverse that process. Taking the right oil containing omega 3 is beneficial for joints and promotes uptake of oil in the body. Joints become more supple and pain is reduced or eliminated altogether.

Drug dependence has decreased in diabetics, as a result of this product. After a brief period their insulin levels go down and stabilize which indicates they can decrease the medicine they take.

Additional health benefits includes muscle regeneration. The muscle that works the hardest in the human body is the heart. Perhaps it deserves a treat? Add to this the anti-aging aspects of juice and you have a 'super' food which should be tried and tested.

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Wine Making Accessories

By Jason Myers

One of the very famous drinks in the world is wine. Wine has an important role in parties, events, rituals and rites.

Wines are generally made in prestigious wineries globally. Presently however, there are a lot of individuals who produce homemade wines together as a pastime and a small scale production.

Most aficionados possess their own wine making machines. Wine bottles are the most basic of all wine making supplies. Most bottles are available in transparent, olive, red and blue colors and can retain 750 milliliters of wine. These bottles additionally look well and are suitable to display the wine. Sticker are also part of a wine producer?s cadre of wine making supplies. Most tags that can be purchased are previously pre-gummed. This signifies that it can readily be placed to the bottles. All the winemaker should to do is to print out the data. Usually, a packet contains 25 pre-gummed tags.

Bottle neck case and heat shrinks are additionally vital wine making tools. They are used to cover wine bottles. Aside from their functionality, they additionally add a professional appearance to the bottles. Corks and sealing wax should also be available. Corks seal the bottle and will retain carbon dioxide inside til the wine is ready to be given out. Several sizes of stoppers are marketed for a variety of sizes of bottles.

Sealing wax is utilized to create a air tight seal on corked wine bottles. It stops oxygen from coming in the bottle. Because it forms a tight seal, the bottle can be kept on their sides or even upside down. The winemaker just needs to dip or pour heated wax on the bottle tip. A pound of sealing wax is enough to fasten 100 bottles of wine. Every single one of the things mentioned above are wine manufacturing materials that are utilized when the wine is produced. However there are additionally additional supplies that are required even prior to the production of wine.

A number of the very important wine producing materials are sanitizers and cleaners. They are utilized to sanitize, sanitize and disinfect wine making equipment. Sanitizers and disinfectants are a set of items. These include sodium bisulfite to kill molds and dangerous bacteria in wine making devices, campden capsules to get rid of the bacteria in the wine itself and barrolkleen which is specially designed to clean and disinfect wooden barrels. Many of these wine making supplies can be purchased from wine producing shops or online.

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A Brief Guide to Mexican Cheeses

By Kc Kudra

If you are like a lot of Americans, your conception of the role of cheese in Mexican food is a little skewed. Typically, what one sees a lot of in the US is an Americanized version of Mexican dishes; many people's only exposure to cheese in the context of Mexican cuisine is either cheddar cheese or perhaps Monterey jack in a taco or burrito.

However, Mexico has many cheeses to try for yourself and thankfully; many of these products are becoming increasingly available here as well. Ever since Mexican farmers began making cheese, it has been an important part of the country's culinary heritage, just as it is in the US; but of course, with its own unique spin.

The art of cheese making came to the Americas with the Spanish, who imported goats and cows. These new foods were quickly adopted by Mexican cooks and styles unique to the country soon developed and some Spanish style cheeses found new fans in the New World. Mexican cheeses provide a variety of different flavors and textures perfectly suited for a wide array of traditional Mexican foods.

Quesadillas are something, which are familiar to most Americans, though the cheese used in making these popular snacks in Mexico is less so. Queso Oaxaco is the cheese of choice for this dish in Mexico. It is a type of cheese, which is similar to string cheese and has a mild flavor, which suits it for use in quesadillas and other recipes where a mild melting cheese is called for as well as eaten on its own as a snack. Queso Oaxaca is becoming easier to find in the states and cooks looking to add an authentic flavor to their quesadillas will find this cheese well worth seeking out.

Cotija cheese is named for the town in Michoacn state where it was first made and has often been called the Mexican version of Parmesan or Romano. This hard, salty cheese has an assertive flavor which makes it a great match for salads and refried beans - try crumbling or grating a little into salads and soups. It can also be an excellent stand in for Romano in pasta dishes.

If you are a fan of Munster cheese, you will find a lot to like about queso criollo. Originating in Guerrero state, this cheese is a natural on sandwiches, including the Mexican sandwiches called tortas and also makes a good choice for quesadillas and other Mexican recipes. Try using this mild, nutty yellow cheese anywhere you would use Munster.

Queso fresco is a cheese, which originates in Spain but has been enthusiastically adopted by Mexican cooks. This is a mild, soft cheese made from both cow's and goat's milk. Try queso fresco crumbled on salads or tacos, as a filling for chiles rellenos, or serve it with fruit; berries and pears make especially wonderful pairings with this mild cheese.

There are more wonderful Mexican cheeses than there is room here to discuss; but that just means there is more to explore and experiment with in your kitchen! Next time you are planning to cook your favorite Mexican recipes, have a look at your local Mexican grocery, and seek out some new cheeses to add a new and delicious dimension to your old favorites.

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Italian Espresso Makers Make The Best Tasting Cup Of Coffee

By Albert Blue

How do you like your morning cup of coffee? Do you take cream, sugar or espresso. If your answer is espresso, you know that an ordinary coffee maker will not work. You need to choose from the available espresso coffee machines for your favorite morning cup.

Some inexpensive electric espresso machines can be purchased in the thirty to fifty dollar range.

These inexpensive espresso machines use steam power to force the hot water through the coffee grounds. There is a sealed chamber that the water is placed in. As steam pressure builds the water is forced out and through the grounds that have been tightly packed. True espresso lovers say that the water is not forced through the grounds in a steam machine with enough pressure to produce a cup of true espresso.

One great feature of many of the inexpensive machines is that they have a steam wand that allows milk to be both frothed and warmed for lattes.

If you want a pump driven espresso machine that makes a more consistent coup of espresso, you will need to pay at least one hundred fifty dollars. Prices can be found up to five thousand dollars for some home espresso machines. These machines force heated steam through the filter containing the coffee grounds at the right pressure for a true espresso.

If you are purchasing the more expensive machine and steaming milk is important to you, be sure that the machine you choose has this feature, as several of this type of machine do not offer the option.

For a true Italian cup of espresso, stovetop models are inexpensive and readily available in the United States. Water is placed in the lower portion of the pot, coffee placed in the filter and the whole pot is placed on any type of stove for heating. The process takes about three to five minutes and users swear that you cannot tell the difference between stovetop espresso and the expensive pump models.

If you decide to go with a stovetop model, remember that espresso cups are very small, only 1. 5 to 2 ounces each. Otherwise, you may buy a nine cup espresso maker expecting it to have a pot the size of your Mr. Coffee and find that it only holds about one large coffee mug of espresso.

The cheapest of the stovetop espresso machines had the largest number of complaints. They are often made in PRC and replacement parts are not available, even though they often break. Many purchasers of these cheap models, found that the replacements they made with better stovetop espresso machines would last from ten to fifteen years.

All users of espresso coffee making machines agree that a food coffee bean is the key to a great cup of espresso. If there is a coffee roaster in your hometown, buy freshly roasted beans there to take home to make your espresso. Coffee beans start to loose quality as soon as the roasting process is ended, and are best when used within one week of roasting.

Do not buy beans in large quantities unless you make large amounts of espresso every day. Coffee beans are best when used within a week after roasting and ground fresh for each brewing of coffee.

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The Importance Of Diet Meal Plans

By Emily Sanders

If you are looking to lose some weight, then you might want to look for diet meal plans. Why a diet? Well if you are familiar with the Pareto principle, then you would know that 80% of your results comes from 20% of you input. In the case of losing weight, we all know that exercise and diet are the 2 main elements.

If you apply Pareto principle, the main bulk of your ability to shed those pounds is based on your diet. Exercise helps but can be easily undone by improper eating. So what can you do if you are binging on food and just can't seem to control yourself? Simple, you got to have prepared diet meal plans.

Now, I'm not saying you should go out and eat vegetables only. Nor should you try to torture yourself this way (unless you are a vegetarian or enjoying eating this way). What I'm saying is that your diet meal plans should have the proper amounts of calories and nutrients. For 7-day diet meal plans, the key element is that it should cycle your calories intake. This is because eating too little calories for several days will actually cause the body to starve. It will then create a response in the body to store the fats instead.

On the flip side, eating healthy but calories-rich food will not help you to lose weight. You'll be maintaining your weight at the most. Next up, your diet meal plans should have a decent ratio of protein and fats.

The ratio of carbohydrates should be lower though, as that is what turns causes your body to release insulin and covert what you eat into fats more easily. Protein tends to promote weight loss if taken enough. Be careful not to overdose on the ratio though as it may cause stress on the kidneys.

So there you go, some reasons why you should place emphasis on your diet when losing weight and some quick tips that can serve as a guideline for natural and healthy weight loss.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Everyday Regimens and Health-drinks

By Anker Arkady

How many bodies do you have? I don't know about you, but last time I checked I only had one. It's impossible to go to the store and buy a new one if we were not able to take care of it. There's simply no substitute for regular exercise and a good balanced diet. You'll lose your health if you don't take care of it.

The market will always have the latest fad in health and fitness. And honestly, I'm getting bored of having to follow all those trends. I have had enough. The information that we see are sort of like influencing us to mix and match exercises with diets with vitamins with supplements with health drinks. Exercise is required, no question about that. Other than that, are the others mentioned basic needs?

Let's talk bare essentials here. The human race seemed to be doing fine before those supplements and health drinks came out. In other parts of the world, I bet they don't even care about those as long as they get to do their exercise and eat right. And they seem to be doing fine. Others even have longer life expectancy.

But hey, there are people who want to have the exercise plus supplements plus health drink lifestyle and they're doing pretty fine too. And there's nothing wrong with it either as long as you're happy or you're getting results. I have been through both lifestyles. So which do I choose? Well, I can say that I'm kind of right in the middle of it all. It's not a safe answer if you'd just let me explain.

Exercising is part of my daily routine; no excuses period. However, I might want to add some aid to get me closer to my goals in fitness. So after a nice cardio exercise, a nice health drink would be like adding cherry on top. As much as possible, I'd like to have my drink fresh. And I'd like to be able to drink it immediately.

So when I saw Yoli Blast Caps, I was interested in the beverage in an instant. That fact that it is not pre-mixed caught my attention. Meaning, I get to mix it just before I drink the beverage. It couldn't simpler: the ingredients are stored in the cap. And they stay in the cap until you release them to infuse the liquid. By the way, infusing the liquid looks cool and space-age like.

Activation is the process of infusing the liquid with the ingredients. Well, at least that's what they call it. Three simple steps: activate, shake and drink. Great innovation: simple yet very effective. This alternative to having health drink is really a welcome addition in the beverage industry. As a consumer, I get hyped up to see new and innovative products such as Yoli Blast Caps.

So, to top off my daily cardio, I can have a freshly activated drink. Once in a while, a brilliant product like Yoli Blast Caps comes to the market. I keep asking myself, why hadn't I thought about it in the first place? Blast, shake and drink everyone!

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Know What To Eat And Drink to Receive Sustained Energy? Acai Berries!

By Jeremy Liddle

Well what is it about acai berries that delivers sustained energy?

The biggest energy secret in acai berries is the combination of carbohydrates and dietary fibre, however they don't provide sustained energy in every food. In all foods, carbohydrates are converted into sugar in the blood. The rate at which this occurs is measured with Glycemic Index (GI), and if the GI is high then the food is digested and absorbed quickly, delivering a fast rise in blood sugar. Examples of such foods are sweets, sugar, and processed bread.

A blood sugar that is too high or too low is dangerous for our bodies. So when sugar rises, it stimulates our organ, the pancreas, to release insulin into the blood. Insulin tells all our cells to open up their gates and let sugar in. This then causes the blood sugar level to drop again. When foods that release sugar quickly are consumed, our bodies tend to release too much insulin. Too much insulin means that too much sugar is taken up by our cells, and causes our sugar level to drop to under normal levels. This is what is usually felt after a sugar rush. It does not give you sustained energy and tends to leave people feeling tired and fatigued.

With a glycemic load (GL) of 0.5, acai berries delivery a slow and sustained blood sugar rise. GL is a newer and more accurate way to determine the effect of certain carbohydrates in the blood. It gives a better picture than GI alone as it also takes into account the volume of carbohydrate eaten. A Gl of 10 or less is considered a small level, and so a food with GL 10 or less helps to control blood sugar levels and lowers the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Acai has a GL of 0.5, which means that it delivers the sustained energy needs for today's hectic life.

Dietary fibre can act like a sponge during the digestion of food, particularly the fibre in acai binds to digested food and reduces the rate of digestion. So when eating acai it is less likely a sugar rush will be experienced as the sugar is released slowly. This can also assist in controlling food cravings, which can in turn assist in stopping obesity.

Unlike most juices, most of Acai's kilo joules come not from sugar but from the healthy unsaturated omega-6 and omega-9 fats. This is one juice that can be consumed guilt free! It can provide a satiated and full feeling due to the high fibre content and at the same time provide sustained energy, unlike other fruit juices! Acai is usually mixed with apple juice, which has a low GI- to provide the same sustained energy as an Acai berry smoothie.

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Learn How to Pick The Best Ice Machine For Your Restaurant

By Jane Escamilla

It is necessary for you to have the proper equipment to run a business effectively. In a restaurant business one such piece of equipment are ice machines, and without one you could find yourself in trouble. But many times it can be extremely difficult when it comes to trying to figure out which type of Ice Machine is going to work best for you business, and all trying to compare the quality and the price.

But, the more knowledge you can gain from information about the products will better equip you in making a good purchase of and ice machine for your restaurant, so you can see how having an understanding of ice machines can be helpful for you.

It goes with out saying that it is more than just the price that you have to concern yourself with. It is extremely important to make sure that you factor in the quality of the item you are thinking about purchasing when you are looking at purchasing a piece of equipment. All ice machines are different and many times you get what you pay for when it comes to restaurant equipment.

There are some very basic things you need to consider when buying a ice machine for your business such as how much ice does you business require, so when trying to figure out this math problem you need to know that they measure ice by pounds. So, you need to know how many pounds of ice you need per day. Another thing you need to consider is what type of unit will work best for you. Ice machines come in two types of units air cooled and water cooled, so you need to figure out which type of unit will work best for your restaurant.

In picking the best equipment for your business, you need to view both pros and cons of the unit you are looking to but, and make sure that it is the best unit for your restaurant. This will save you a lot of heart ache, time, and money. Your business cannot operate without proper equipment, so make sure that you do your homework when getting ready to buy an important piece of equipment for your business.

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The Basics Of Choosing A Bread Machine

By John McKain

If one of your major temptations is fresh bread, then you need a bread machine to indulge your cravings. Regardless of personal preferences or even budgetary constraints, you are guaranteed to find the perfect one for you.

When bread machines first came on the market in the 1980s, they became an immediate hit. Even with their $300+ price tags, people scooped them up off store shelves and headed home to bake up a storm. In the beginning, the mainstream houseware retailers hadn't caught on to the craze; bread machines were made by companies who produced that one particular product only.

Finally in the 90s the big houseware lines jumped in and produced a better product for less money, usually in the $75 to $100 range. In stark contrast to the earlier versions, these were less noisy and much less bulky. Many had far more options than the older ones as well.

Since any baker will tell you, you need a round pan to mix ingredients, so the first bread machines all produced round loaves of bread. The loaves may have looked strange, but they still tasted like regular homemade bread - fabulous. So who could complain? It would be another few years before manufacturers figured out how to make a bread machine with a square baking tin that could also produce some reliable bread.

Nowadays it's easy to find round and square models. (The actual machines are all square or rectangular; it's only the inside baking pan whose shape will change.) Some bread baking aficionados will swear by the round tin because the bread is easier to bake and the quality is more dependable. However, even though many now prefer the square tins, the uses do admit that the loaves do end up with some burned edges or unmixed flour near the corners.

Bored with making just bread all the time? Newer models have custom settings for Danish, pizza dough, specialty doughs like Italian bread, and a whole range of other tasty options. The machine will still mix the dough, let is rise, and then let you know when it's ready for your next steps.

If you have ever tried to make your own home made bread, you'll see right away how much time and effort these machines save while still producing equal or better bread. They are set up to standardize mixing times, raising times, and kneading times. If you have ten minutes to add the ingredients, and if you know how to push a button, you already know how to use a bread machine.

One of the key factors in deciding which one to buy is to see how easy it is to clean. The easier it is to clean, the more expensive it will be, but still very reasonably priced in contract to 25 years ago. Most machines only allow you to remove the baking pan or pail in which your bread bakes. These are usually dishwasher safe. However, as the pan turns and jostles about inside, flour will fly and milk will splash. Cleaning up these spills can be almost impossible. Chances are that the spills will fall all the way down to the heating coil, and these are very difficult to clean because they are pretty fragile.

One very important part that you need to remove completely is the top. Bread can sometimes rise too high and stick to it. Cleaning can be difficult if you can't take it off. Also look for internal splash guards that you can remove to wash.

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The Traditional Kitchen

By Jane Davies

What is the traditional kitchen? Is it merely the room in which your mother, grandmother and great aunt Etta prepared every meal? Can it be called a traditional kitchen as long as it contained a stove, sink and refrigerator? If the above elements combine to make a strong, elegant statement that is characteristic of the European and American kitchens of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, then yes, the kitchen can be called traditional. A formal use of natural materials, ornamental detailing and vintage hardware are all distinguishing elements of a traditional kitchen.

A liberal use of natural materials gives a traditional kitchen its penache. Walnut, cherry and mahogany are woods of choice, bringing a richness to the kitchen with their boldness. Raised panel doors add to the depth of the cabinets. The addition of rope and crown molding, corbels and fluting is used universally used to crown the traditional look. Not only do these details look stunning, they add authenticity to the period of style for which the designer is striving.

A large part of the traditional kitchen decor is the use of natural stone or tile. These two materials come in a large variety and enhance the traditional look with their elegance. They can be used as a combination of the two or singly. A very fitting detail, also in great demand with the traditional designer, is the use of vintage fixtures. Lighting, hardware and faucets in a reproductive style will add to the traditional look of the kitchen and are easily acquired at stores in many cities.

One example of a traditional kitchen is the Victorian kitchen. Elegance is the catch-phrase for the Victorian kitchen with its high arched doors and beautifully papered walls. Cabinets of dark heavy wood create a strong statement with their raised panel doors, while intricate crown molding leads into detailed ceiling panels.

Another example of traditional design in the kitchen is the Italian kitchen. Similar to the Victorian kitchen, the Italian kitchen relies on its cabinetry to make a strong statement. The design is in the details: cream colored cabinets with overlays of rope molding and trim. Custom carved reliefs along with intricate tiling help give the traditional Italian kitchen an olde world feeling. Add heavy granite or marble tile for the counter top and you have the recipe for an elegant and functional space.

If Italian is not the desired effect, then the Georgian period has a traditional kitchen worth looking in to. This style of kitchen has its own distinctive design elements, as did the Italian and the Victorian. The Georgian kitchen is formal in its design, with its cabinets of mahogany, cherry and walnut; the doors are generally square raised panels. The stacking of the cabinets from floor to ceiling, generously topped by ornate crown molding is a commonality of the traditional Georgian kitchen, and often an element of black is added, such an a center island

The traditional kitchen has much to offer in design elements for today's home. Even with its formality and elegance, the homeowner should not discount its functionality and convenience. The basics of the traditional kitchen are the same: The use of natural materials, antique and vintage fixtures and ornamental details. But the possibilities are nearly endless!

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Friday, September 25, 2009

An Introduction to Mexican Salsas

By Kc Kudra

A lot of people's experience with salsa begins and ends with the mass-marketed grocery store salsas. Usually on the milder side and mostly made from tomato, these are definitely the type which most Americans are familiar with. While this is a style of salsa that you will also run across in Mexico, there are many other kinds of Mexican salsas to choose from at specialty shops; you can also make your own at home.

Salsa has become very popular in the past few decades, finally eclipsing even ketchup as the best selling condiment in the US. Of course, most of this salsa is the mild grocery store salsas we spoke of earlier; but you should definitely branch out and discover some new favorites as well. Many Mexican salsa recipes call for a little more heat than you may be accustomed to, but there is a salsa for everyone from the chili lover to those who cannot take much in the way of spice. Of course, when you make your own salsa, you can adjust the heat level to your own tastes.

Salsa is the Spanish word for "sauce" and while it conjures a certain type of sauce to our minds, the word is used to refer to all manner of different condiments seen at the table in Mexico and increasingly, the US as well. There are salsa recipes, which are made from many different ingredients.

Other than the basic tomato salsa with onions. Herbs and peppers (usually jalapeno or Serrano peppers), you will also find many green salsas (called salsa verde in Spanish) which are made from tomatillos and green chilies. There are also salsas made from ground pumpkin seeds and nuts with chocolate and chilies, salsas made from dried chilies like pasilla and guajillo peppers and even fruits!

For those looking for Mexican recipes like a milder Mexican salsa recipe, which offer something, a little bit different, a fruit salsa may be in order. Peach salsas are especially popular, with the sweetness and tartness of the peaches and tomatoes complimenting each other perfectly.

It is easy to make your own fruit-based salsas as well. While peach and mango are two of the best fruits for this purpose, you can experiment in your kitchen to find a salsa recipe that you are fond of.

One of the easiest salsas to make is pico de gallo. The name means "rooster's beak" in Spanish and can be made in almost no time at all. You may have tried this salsa yourself in a restaurant; but it is easy and quick to make at home and it is an ideal complement for many Mexican dishes as well as being a great dip for tortilla chips. The recipe is very simple, calling for diced tomato, onion and jalapeno along with cilantro and a little limejuice. It is simplicity itself, but incredibly good.

Since the space we have here is not enough to cover all of the different delicious Mexican salsas and salsa recipes, which there are to try, we hope that this introduction has sparked your interest in exploring these condiments further. It's easy to make your own salsas at home and with some experimentation and a little of your own creative touch, you're certain to come up with some new salsa recipes which can bring an entirely new dimension to your Mexican recipes and any other dishes you choose to serve them with.

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Live Lobsters: A Short History

By Sherry Shantel

Close your eyes, and picture that large, mouth-watering lobster waiting on your plate for you to crack open and enjoy. You'd be hard-pressed to think of anything that sounds better. However, don't rush out for a live lobster dinner just yet. Wouldn't it be fun to learn a little bit about the critter you're craving before you indulge?

Once upon a time, America was peopled by only Native Americans, and lobsters were plentiful. They were so plentiful, in fact, that the Native Americans used them as fertilizer for farm fields and fish bait. They never ate them! Yuck!

When European settlers started arriving on America's shores, many of them starved to death, but they still wouldn't eat lobster meat. They used it for fertilizer, too, plus they fed it to the people they considered inferior: slaves, indentured servants, the poor, and their own children (children weren't spoiled in those days like they are now!). After word got around that indentured servants were being forced to eat this terrible fare, prospective indentured servants had promises written into their contracts that they wouldn't be made to eat lobster more than three times a week. Imagine that!

Up until the early 19th century, people could get all the lobsters they needed by snagging them from tide pools. They had no need for technological advances in the harvesting of live lobsters. The first lobster traps didn't come on the scene until the 1850s. The reason harvesters needed traps is because they had become able to sell their lobsters to canneries. No one ate the lobsters fresh, and the canned version was so tasteless that few people ate them canned, either.

With the advent of modern transportation, live lobsters became the delicacies they continue to be today. As it became possible to ship live lobsters to America's largest cities, they caught on with the well-to-do, and the rest is just history.

Have you ever felt a little funny about watching a lobster resting quietly in a fish tank only minutes before he appears on your plate? Don't worry. That's been a common feeling since people began eating lobsters years ago. But if you want to experience lobster in its freshest form, this is the way it has to be done.

During my lifetime I've known family members tracing clear back to my great grandmother who was born in 1873. Even when seafood came into vogue, she never ate it. As a Victorian lady, she would never have even wanted to think about throwing something live into a pot of boiling water. After all, women in the Victorian era were sheltered from the harsh realities of life.

It's amazing how tastes change over the years. For centuries the succulent meat of much-maligned lobsters went unnoticed and unappreciated. Then, almost overnight, lobsters moved from obscurity into the fanciest restaurants of the time.

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Choosing Pumpkin Soup Recipes

By Kc Kudra

Autumn is a great time to try out new seasonal recipes, and pumpkin soup is a wonderful choice. After all, there is more to these big orange squash than just pie! There are so many options available - from velvety pumpkin bisque with sweet spices to rich, garlicky soup with strong Swiss style cheeses, to stew with potatoes, tomatoes and chunks of pumpkin. You will love all of them.

You can try fusion cuisine, adding Thai or Indian spices to your soup to create a great curry flavor, or stick with hearty, familiar tastes that will make you think of home. There are lots of options available, and pumpkin soup is one of the least noticed fall recipes. For a lot of people, the idea of making a savory recipe with pumpkin is strange and unusual.

Most people run into one big problem with making pumpkin soup right away, however. Finding recipes can be really tricky, especially since a lot of people do not even know you can make soup out of a pumpkin. Most cookbooks do not offer a lot of information about using this method to cook pumpkin. Fortunately, that does not mean you cannot find a good recipe. All you really need to do is check online.

The online world offers plenty of great pumpkin recipes, in all kinds of formats. Check out personal cooking blogs or giant recipe repositories to get what you have been looking for. A quick run through your favorite search engine should do the trick. All you have to do is go through the results.

Of course, not all pumpkin soup recipes are going to be alike. You could run into some that are poorly written, or which assume that you understand what to do. They could leave some steps out, resulting in a recipe that does not come out like you planned. Take the time to examine any recipe you decide to use.

You can also take a trip to a site that you know will be trustworthy. There are several specialty sites out there covering fall recipes and how to cook a pumpkin. They will have information that has already been checked out in advance. It is no guarantee that you will love the recipe when it has finished, but it can help you make sure the recipes are put together properly.

Make sure you check out any recipe to ensure that the ingredients are ones you like and have on hand, and that you understand the instructions you are given. There are plenty of excellent ways to cook soups with pumpkin in them, from making them a crock-pot to cooking inside a pumpkin. Add in all the excellent options for presentation, and you will have a wonderful seasonal dish.

If you have been looking for a great new option for dinner this fall, it might be time to think about pumpkin. It is not just for pie, and there are all kinds of things you can do with it. Soups keep getting more popular. Do not just stick with the same old thing - pumpkin soup can be pretty amazing.

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Visual Cues Add to the Dining Experience

By Amy Nutt

People want a dining experience that allows them to take a break from their everyday problems and stresses. As soon as people walk into a restaurant, their assessment of the establishment begins. If they do not like the appearance and atmosphere of the restaurant, they are likely to turn around and walk out. The visual cues are fundamental components to attracting and retaining diners.

The atmosphere of a restaurant should project a sense of friendliness and relaxation. It should be attractive, clean, with well dressed wait staff. The atmosphere is one part of the dining experience that is remembered. For the restaurant owner, the atmosphere along with the food is essential qualities that will encourage repeat diners.

The ambience of the restaurant must be pleasing to the eye. Ambience will depend on the type of restaurant such as luxury, informal, or fast food. With formal or luxury restaurants, a restaurant's ambience should reflect elegance. The restaurant can create an ambience by using such furnishings as fresh flowers, professional paintings, candles, soft music such as classical, linen napkins and tablecloths. There will also be elegant dress code with waitstaff in stylish and professional uniforms. Male servers will be wearing ties.

The atmosphere should emanate warmth and a welcoming. Many restaurants will use certain colors to help enhance the ambience. Colors will reflect the theme. If it is a romantic restaurant, colors will be subtle and the lighting will be dim, but the candles will provide the right amount of lighting to see one another and their meals. The color green emphasizes restfulness and tranquility. Violet and purple emphasizes elegance and sophistication. Yellow emphasizes cheerfulness and warmth. The decor will say to a diner that the restaurant is elegant, stylish, and comfortable.

Luxury restaurants provide some of the loveliest atmosphere to enjoy a meal. Most restaurants take great care in their decor, design, and lighting, in order to provide a comfortable and pleasing ambience. Restaurants that focus on a particular ethnic theme, such as Italian, Chinese, or Mexican, the furnishings and decorations will reflect and enhance the ethnic design. There may also be music to add to the ambience such as a certain type of music like romantic soft music, or there may be a performer such as a harpist, pianist, or a classical guitar player.

The aroma is an important part of a restaurant's atmosphere. The aroma should be pleasing. For instance, an elegant restaurant may have a scent of flowers in the air. As well, people enjoy such aromas as fresh brewed coffee and oven-baked bread. Unpleasant odors will only cause a diner to leave and never return.

The temperature of the restaurant should make a diner comfortable. In the winter, the dining room should be warm and cozy. In the summer, it should be comfortably cool. The proper temperature allows the customer to relax and enjoy their meal.

Designing the best and most appealing atmosphere takes careful planning. It should be designed to attract a large number of people. The atmosphere taps into one's senses such as sight, touch, smell, and hearing. The right atmosphere can relax guests and generate contentment as well as repeat customers. The proper atmosphere and food can make the dining experience pleasant, relaxing, and memorable.

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Fresh Insights - How Can I Lose Thirty Pounds Naturally

By Scott Edwards

Fat Loss Is An Alarming Issue - You should recognize that in addition to being the problem for millions that it is - it's also a business. And the temptation for weight loss companies to cash in on the nation's obesity problem is huge - as the annual spend on diet products runs into billions.

OK, How Large Has This Got? Maybe you're not classed as obese, but you're probably somewhat overweight if you're reading this. Statistics taken recently suggest that weight issues are a problem for around seventy per cent of Americans. Put another way, that's 210 millions! And many other countries will shortly have a similar situation. But we don't want this to happen!

It's thought that in Britain alone, around one quarter of over 18's are obese, which equates to a minimum of thirty to forty pounds overweight. Future predictions look even worse... The current figure of 25 percent could reach 90 percent by 2050.

But we can do something about it! There isn't anyone who wants it to carry on like this. Easy to follow information is what's needed. We shouldn't have to spend a fortune on diet products.

It's a well known fact that obesity can lead to many major problems - Type two diabetes; mental health problems; high blood pressure; heart disease & heart failure; cancer; liver disease; osteoarthritis and high cholesterol. This illustrates that we don't just need to lose weight so that we can look more attractive.

Losing the pounds doesn't have to mean getting STICK THIN! You just need to aim for the right weight for you. Although that's going to be different for each of us, we should look to maintain a comfortable weight for our height.

When we have a family, we need to consider how they can learn to eat well. It's our responsibility as the adults in the house to help our children adopt sensible habits where diet is concerned. The odds are on that our children will grow to be obese if we don't change things now. Who wants to be that kind of benefactor?

So not to put too fine a point on it - we have to become more nutritionally aware before the problem gets any bigger. We're all very influenced by each other, so once you've mastered a lifestyle of healthy eating, those around you will take note. Just think of the long-term advantages of taking action now. Let's face it, the health of our grandchildren could well depend on it!

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

How to use Butcher Block in the Kitchen

By Arthur Butler

If you are purchasing items to outfit your kitchen, you know that a good cutting block can be a definite asset to anyone. You don't need to be a professional chef to benefit from the advantages of butcher's block, but you should know what to look for when you are shopping for one.

Butcher block is a very thick, very durable cutting surface that is made from pieces of wood that have been stuck together. It got its name because it was originally used in butcher shops and meat processing facilities because it can withstand repeated blows from very heavy knives without being damaged. If the butchers block did become damaged, it was simple to resurface it and the block was so thick that you could resurface it many times without weakening it overall.

If you are trying to decide how you want to incorporate butchers block into your home, you have several different options and it is up to you which you select. You should think about how much cutting space you want to have and this can be a guide to your plans. There are a number of different options, including entire counter tops, kitchen islands with a butchers block top, or a piece that is used as a stand-alone board.

End grain butcher's block is extremely durable and allows the force of knife blows to be absorbed between the wood fibers. This is excellent because by absorbing the force, the block will keep your knives shaper. End grain butcher's block is considered by many chefs to be more desirable than edge grain because it keeps the block from being nicked and scratched. Sharper knives and a longer lasting cutting surface are things that matter very much if you work with food for a living.

Edge grain butcher block is the kind that many people are used to. This is the style that many see when they picture butcher's block. It is made of long slats of wood that often run the length of the board and the look is very similar to that of wood flooring.

Think about the use you will be putting your board through. If you love the look of natural wood and want a lot of work space where you can cut food, consider using butcher's block as a counter top. If you love the look of stone but you want to have some ability to use butcher block, think about an island or a separate block. You can even build or buy portable stands which place the block at cutting height but are not a permanent part of your kitchen and can be moved around. When selecting any block, consider how the pieces have been glued together and how they have been treated. Make sure it is with food safe oils.

You need to know what kind of oil the wood has been treated with. Butcher block needs to be treated with oil to keep the wood pliable and conditioned so that it does not break or splinter. There are a number of different oils that wood can be treated with and some can be toxic if they are ingested. That is the last thing you want if you are using it to prepare food on.

If you are looking at getting butcher block counters, you need to get them from a reputable dealer. Although they can be shaped with regular woodworking tools, you need to make sure that they have been assembled using glue that is food safe and treated with food safe oil as well. Learning as much as you can about butchers block can help you avoid costly mistakes and get you the product you have been looking for.

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