How to increase your intake of omega 3 fatty acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for physical and mental well-being but the modern diet is often very deficient in omega 3 fatty acids with the balance between omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids being extremely high. In order to ensure good health it is therefore necessary to increase our intake of omega 3 fatty acids and this can be done by eating foods with omega 3 fatty acids in them.

One of the most well known foods with omega 3 fatty acids is fatty fish. Fatty fish such as sardines, salmon, trout and herring contain relatively high concentrations of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids and many studies have been done to show the benefits a diet high in these fish can have on various diseases and disorders. To improve health or to treat omega 3 fatty acid deficiency two to three meals a week containing these fish is recommended. You may also use fish oil supplements to help boost your intake of omega 3 fatty acids. Learn more at http://www. omegaflaxseedoil. com about omega 3.

Seeds and nuts are also good sources of essential fatty acids but unfortunately do not contain the right balance in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. However to boost your intake of omega 3 fatty acids flax is recommended as flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil is often considered an alternative to fish oil supplements for those who would prefer not to take fish oil however it does not contain omega 6 fatty acids.

Green vegetables contain a small amount of good fatty acids such as omega 3 but are not significantly helpful if used alone to boost intake of omega 3 fatty acids as you would need to eat too many vegetables to get a reasonable amount of fatty acids and so they need to be used in conjunction with other foods with omega 3 fatty acids.

Another food with omega 3 fatty acids is the New Zealand green lipped mussel. This often comes as a supplement though in powder or lipid extract form. The lipid extract is the one recommended as it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

In our modern day diet we are not achieving a correct balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids and it is therefore necessary to balance our diet with omega 3 fatty acids. Foods with omega 3 fatty acids are an excellent way to boost your intake of omega 3 fatty acids as are fish oil supplements or supplements made from the New Zealand green lipped mussel.

Ancient tapestries

For the most part large size looms have been used to weave tapestries on. A good amount of types of threads have been used to create laces like gold, silk and silver threads weaving different pictures of subjects plus those of the peasant scenes after Teniers, Biblical history, mythology, etc. Tapestries have been used as wall hangings yet unlike needlework, it was woven on a loom. It was also made in levels much larger than would generally be used in hand-stitched embroidery; tapestry panels ranging from ten or twelve feet in height and twenty feet long are rather typical. The main medium was wool, but in special models silk was moreover used. In some of the finest works the use of gold and silver can be seen. The main center of tapestry weaving from the year 1500 has been Brussels. But the outputs during the years have enormously varied in quality. Biblical and Roman history, peasant, mythology and scenes ensuing Teniers were some of the subjects. Several seventeenth-and eighteenth-century works are let down by the reality that over the years a murky brownish image has faded their red dyes. Brussels tapestries usually own a mark with a shield with the letter 'B' on either side.

At times weavers add their names or initials, in the work. There were two critical factories in France. Both the Gobelins and Beauvais were established in the second half of the seventeenth century. Though the former was a private worry with State support, the latter was a Royal factory and it was only in the late eighteenth century when one could buy any of its productions. Though both did work of the highest quality, Beauvais was generally well-known for a chain of panels established on the Fables of La Fontaine, and for a large amount of sets of settee covers and chairs. The former was also produced at Gobelins, where approximately 1775 they made beautiful and model sets of furniture covers and matching wall hangings.

Example of these types of decorative harmony is to be seen in a room constructued by Robert Adam, remains at Osterley Park, near London. A set of furniture (shorn of its wall-hangings but even now intact Gobelins covers) made for Moor Park in Hertfordshire, is housed in the Museum of Art in Philadelphia. A good deal of of these rich ensembles are intact even now, but a collection of tapestries that had been made for a store at Croome Park in Warwickshire has been sold off for a sum of Ј50,000, and is now seen in the New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Once again in France at Aubusson, tapestry panels, chair covers and also tapestry carpets were produced. Most of the output belongs to the nineteenth century, despite the pattern of work is similar to an earlier era. Philip and Michael Wauters, supplying to international markets, they wove their tapestry in Antwerp. Works popularized by additional plants were copied here with accomplishment, these Flemish tapestries were also at times confused with the English productions they copied. Brussels was the center head of tapestry weaving.

What you need to know about potato salads

Potato salad is a dish, usually an appetizer, made, obviously, from potatoes. However so, it still varies throughout different countries and regions of the world. Potato salads are more classified as side dishes than salads for they generally just precede or the follow the main course.

Many would claim on having made the best potato salad and would offer the truest and most authentic way of making it. But no matter what is said by many, the best potato salad, or any kind of salad at that matter, is purely of personal preference. Some like their potato salads mingled and just oozing with its dressing, some would prefer theirs to be really soft and tender, and others would want their potato salad to be crispy.

Potato salads are oftenly served along with hot dogs, barbecue, hamburgers, roasts and cold sandwiches. This kind of salad is categorized more as a casual fare and more oftenly served during outdoor barbecues, picnics, and other sorts of casual events or meals. But this fact is not stated to underestimate their savory goodness.

Potato salads are definitely a popular menu choice of various chefs and cooks for preparing food for a large crowd, and since they can be made in large quantities with utter ease, they can also be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator until it is their time to be served.

You must never worry about emptying your wallet when going to the grocery store to buy whatever ingredients you need for you potato salad. The ingredients needed for potato salads are inexpensive and very much affordable. Thus, you do not have to worry about making one yourself because it is, in fact, quite easy.

You would need two pounds, or approximately six large potatoes which are peeled and quartered; two stalks of chopped celery; one finely chopped onion, of which you could cook using a microwave on high level for just one minute to be able to reduce that hotness, if you want, that is; four green onions that you have sliced for just ј of an inch thick; one large carrot, shredded; ј cup of a sweet pickle relish; ј cup of chopped red onion; one teaspoon of dry parsley; a half teaspoon of mustard seeds; you would also need pepper or salt for the taste, along with balsamic or wine vinegar, and also with yogurt or a nonfat mayonnaise.

Of course you have to cook the potatoes in boiling water for approximately fifteen minutes, or when the potatoes are already barely tender. You have to check every minute or so after the first ten minutes have gone by. Once you have confirmed of the cooked status of your potatoes, cut them into smaller pieces. After that, just leave them be so that they will cool down. Then, you should mix the other ingredients you have also prepared in a large bowl. Once you are confident that you mixed them finely, add your already cooled potatoes, and then mix them, altogether, well. When all these are done, chill your self-made potato salad, but just do not forget to stir it a couple of times during the chilling time you have alotted for it.

Mangosteen juice

Although there is no actual evidence that mangosteen juice is effective as a treatment for cancer, there have been studies done that show that mangosteen juice is incredibly rich in antioxidants. In fact, there have been early research studies done that show it may have promise to help relieve acne, and early small studies in the lab and on rats show that further research should be done in order to find out if it can in fact help with cancer prevention in humans.

It is important to understand at least the basics about mangosteen juice, so that you can truly understand the plentiful benefits that are available in the mangosteen fruit. Such mangosteen juice info includes things like the available nutrients, how the juice is beneficial, and where the mangosteen fruit derives from. In all actuality, mangosteen juice is a tropical juice beverage that is made by the liquefying of the seeds, rind and flesh of the mangosteen fruit. All mangosteen juice info should also include the fact of what the mangosteen fruit actually is. Mangosteen is a fruit that is about the size of an apple, with an incredibly thick rind and an interior snow-white colored fruit.

No studies have been able to prove that drinking mangosteen juice on a daily basis would offer any significant improvement in illness. However, research does show that increasing one’s dosage of mangosteen has been proven to boost your absorption of vitamins, therefore strengthening your overall immunity.

Mangosteen juice has been used for centuries as a folk remedy, especially in places around the fruit’s native countries, such as Thailand. The mangosteen fruit has been widely acclaimed of having the qualities of an anti-histamine, anti-aging ointment, antibiotic, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory. Besides this, it has been shown to help certain medical issues, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, immune deficiency, and even fibromyalgia.

Mangosteen extract has also been generally accepted as being useful in the treatment of arthritis, acid dyspepsia, moderate asthma, otitis externa and eczema. It is considered to be at least as effective and helpful as most pharmacological agents, and diabetics especially are increasingly in favor of its use. Many diabetic users report the use of mangosteen has decreasing their need for insulin dramatically. Thus, the mangosteen is a fruit with some potentially amazing health benefits.

The-process-of-manufacturing-wine

The Process Of Manufacturing Wine

Wine, which is a drink we all know and love, is produced from fruits such as grapes and berries by drying and then fermenting them. Once the fruits ferment, the sugar within the fruit will turn into alcohol. The wine will display a different color, taste, and aroma depending on the type of fruit that it was made from.

Wine is divided into three main categories - fortified, sparkling, and table. Wine is known as fortified when a bit of brandy is added into it to enrich the alcohol. Wine is deemed as sparkling when it has the right level of C02. Table wine, the third category, is wine in it’s natural form - which is different from any other type of wine.

Normally, grapes are the preferred ingredients for making wine. They contain an equal amount of acid and sugar, which can’t be found in any other type of fruit. When drying the grapes, a high amount of heat is needed. To use grapes with wine though, you need to know the exact harvest season. If you don’t pick the grapes during the right time, your wine will suffer due to the level of increases in sugar and a lack of acidic extent.

During the beginning stages of wine making, the grapes or other fruit is crushed by a large cylindrical container that will deflate the juicy parts of the fruit into large bags that are attached to the machine. Next, the juicy part of the fruit is fermented through the use of heat. During this part of the process, present yeast will help to convert the sugar into alcohol. Once the sugars start to break down into alcohol, the wine will get a buttery flavor.

Next, is the settling. Settling involves the yeast cells or any other type of material flowing near the top of the wine. Once it is at the top, it is then filtered with all sediments being gathered on the filter. Aging is next, which is where the wine is tightly packed away in special contains that won’t allow any contact with air for months - sometimes even years. Once the wine has been aged, it is transferred into smaller bottlers then shipped out and sold.

When the wine is bottled, it is done in a way that makes it easy to distinguish the several types of wine. Colored bottles are preferred, as they will greatly reduce the risk of oxidation, damage, and several other possible risks. The bottles are also labeled according to their manufacturer and brand as well, which makes it easy for you to select the wine you are interested in.

Once you have bought a bottle fo wine, you should always make sure you store it in the right place. The most appropriate places to store wine is the basement, underground cellars, or anywhere else that is damp and cool. No matter where you store your wine at, you should always make sure that temperature stays around 55 degrees F.

Never store the wine in an area where the temperature fluctuates, as it can harm the wine. A humidity level of around 60% is also important, in order to keep the cork moist. If the temperature is too low, it can also harm the wine. When you buy your wine, you should always make sure that you store it in the right location. Wine that is properly stored and taken care of can be truly amazing once you drink it - making it more than worth the time and effort.

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More than just espresso at starbucks

In recent years the coffee culture in America has exploded, no doubt encouraged by TV programs such as Friends, where the coffee house is the central location for the characters to meet up. Whoever had the initial concept for coffee shop franchises such as Starbucks were onto an immediate winner. The coffee makers in these places are constantly in use and the queues that build up during the lunch break don’t seem to put anybody off. Coffee houses have become the new places to be seen, oh and to have a cup of coffee while you are there.

Starbucks, you either love it or you hate it, and if you love it you can’t possibly imagine any other reaction. Where else can you get such a selection of coffee and general hot drink varieties, along with a delectable range of sandwiches and sticky desserts at such reasonable prices? All in ultimate comfort too as Starbucks outlets are filled with comfy sofas and armchairs. Almost every town centre, shopping mall, highway service area or train station now has a handy Starbucks outlet, not just in the US, but all over Europe and a number of other parts of the world.

Perhaps herein lays the problem. The widespread success of Starbucks, and similar coffee shop franchises, has all but obliterated the small independent coffee shops that used to be the main venues for caffeine consumption. In many European cities, Starbucks have bought up smaller independent cafes, traded in them for a while until they have gained a monopoly in that area, and then closed some down, leaving open just the larger outlets, with a higher turnover. Your options for coffee drinking in many towns are now Starbucks or, well, Starbucks!

Some people find it frustrating that wherever you go in the world, you are confronted with the same coffee shop as you have in your local shopping mall or high street. When you visit another country, you want to spend some time soaking up the local culture, rather than the identikit dйcor of a Starbucks coffee shop which you can see every day at home.

Odd then, that so many who are openly hostile to the Starbucks concept can be caught sneaking a quick gingerbread latte at Christmastime or a double strength espresso to give them the necessary lift on the way to the office. Perhaps, like most of us they are unable to resist the decadent cheesecakes on offer, or maybe they really do value the convenience of being able to buy their favourite cup of coffee no matter where in the world they end up.

Healthy muffin recipe with yoghurt and oats

Sweet treats for kids that are also healthy can be hard to come by, healthy treats that the kids actually like even harder. This recipe has been tried and tested by a part of the blogging community all around the world and as far as I can tell has been universally a hit with kids and parents alike. The muffins are moist and keep for a few days, have a good crust and flavour and get devoured as soon as they have cooled down enough to eat. Mums like them because the yoghurt and oatmeal ingredients spell Nutrition with a capital N, kids like them because they taste good and they didn't actually see you putting that healthy stuff in, when you were baking them. If your kids are picky and recoil in horror from such things as plain yoghurt and oats, present them with the baked muffins without telling them what's in them!

You can experiment with your own flavours. I used banana and cinnamon for mine, as that was what I had in the house and because my kids pick raisins out of any baking, leaving a trail of crumbs around the house, or a heap of raisins and crumbs for me to eat in Hoovermum mode. I'd like to try with nuts too, but again only one child likes nuts so the same thing would happen…I do believe that chocolate chips would go down well though, if only I had some in the house!

Yoghurt and Oat Muffin Recipe

1 cup unsweetened plain yoghurt

1 cup rolled oats

1 egg

Ѕ cup vegetable oil

Ѕ cup sugar

1 ј cups self-raising flour

1 ripe banana mashed

Ѕ teaspoon cinnamon

Alternative flavour combinations:

instead of the banana and cinnamon try adding

1 teaspoon vanilla extract and Ѕ cup chocolate chips or

Ѕ cup mixed nuts and raisins

or make up your own variation with whatever berries and fruits are in season.

Mix together the yoghurt and oats and leave them to soak in the fridge for half and hour. After they have soaked, beat in the egg, sugar and the oil, and fold in the flour with ingredients for whichever flavour combination you have decided on.

Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin tray. You will get either 12 large muffins or 24 small ones. If you are baking them for lunch boxes it is a good idea to line the tins with paper muffin cases. Bake at 200C / 400F for 15 to 20 minutes, until the top is springy to the touch and golden brown.

Small muffins are excellent for school lunch boxes if there are any left over. They also solve that eternal dilemma of contributions to those school bake sales and class events when teachers ask for healthy foods only, but your child wants to take something delicious - if you tell the teacher what's in the muffins they're sure to count them as healthy, just use raisins and nuts rather than chocolate chips in this case!

Copyright 2007 Kit Heathcock

An insider s tip on the artisan kitchenaid stand mixer

This popular Artisan KitchenAid stand mixer is the standard mixer found in many kitchens around the United States.

This mixer is small, convenient, and has the ten-power speed, according to the manufacturer, to mix up to four loaves of bread at once, nine dozen cookies, or seven pounds of mashed potatoes. Originally, this mixer comes with a regular mixing head for baking and blending in general.

Also included is the kneading hook for when making bread and also the wire whip for egg whites or whipped cream.

In my kitchen, this mixer was my very first stand mixer.

From what I discovered, there were a lot of very well designed and thought-out aspects to this mixer.

One of the first things that I liked about this mixer was the convenient tilt-head. When I was trying to blend in flour or something messy, it was nice to have more room to work with - instead of the other mixers which have a bowl that comes down, the head doesn’t go up.

Frequently there’s just not enough room to fit the item you’re trying to blend in into the bowl with the little bit of space provided. It can usually be quite messy and frankly I do not like a messy kitchen.

Another good thing about the Artisan KitchenAid mixer is that it has a locking head to keep it from bouncing and such on the tougher dough.

If the head bounces, like it does on some other mixers, then how do you plan on mixing the dough thoroughly? With that strategy, all you’re going to end up with is a lightly mixed mess… and no one likes that. This Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer is a real work horse!

This mixer’s ten-speed controls are capable of mixing nearly anything you can think of. Any faster than the speeds which are offered on the mixer and the mixer might take off like a plane. The lowest speed is just right for the mixes which are very liquid-based or those which can spill out onto the counter easily.

My primary negative comment about this mixer is that, for some jobs, it’s just not large enough. It says that you can mix nine dozen cookies - but not if you want anything in those cookies. For about 4 dozen chocolate chip cookies, the mixer really has to work.

Even when it can mix all the ingredients, by the time you are done filling up the bowl, the mix is really high on the sides and it can spill easily. So I always shoot for smaller recipes or make the larger ones in two batches.

Overall, this is a great mixer for everyday chefs who are just starting out or even for those who have many years of experience under their apron but are looking to purchase a basic stand mixer.

This Artisan KitchenAid mixer is perfect for nearly any occasion and for any baker or chef, in the family kitchen!

Pick the color that is right for you and then enjoy your new KitchenAid Stand Mixer.

Make eating healthy foods fun

Children everywhere in the world have an on-going love affair with junk food such as hamburgers, pizza, candy, soda and salty foods like potato chips and french fries. Unfortunately, it's hard to find a single child who has these same strong feeling for the healthy food that they need such as grains, vegetables, fruits and foods reach in nutrients such as meat, beans, fish and nuts.

Fortunately, there is one tied and tested strategy to make kids eat the kind of healthy food that some of them may not want -- that's by making it fun.

That's right, make eating healthy food fun. And how do you do that? Here are some tips:

(1) The Sneak Attack. Try sneaking in some of those fruits and vegetables along with the kind of food they like, say, making muffins out of bananas or apples. There are lots of vegetables the you can throw in when you're serving the kids pizza. You could also make them look funny by arranging them creatively on a plate or making them stand up like people. Sure, some people don't want their kids playing with food, but if it will help them get healthier, it may be worth the effort.

(2) Funny Name Game. If your kids are below the age of four, here's a nifty trick that gets them every time. Give the fruits and vegetables funny names and concoct elaborate stories. Some stories will end with these funny-named vegetables getting swallowed alive by the giant child. In another version, the vegetables run for cover and hide from their enemies by entering a big cave that happens to be your child's mouth where they quickly get gulped down.

(3) The Taste Test. Kids dislike vegetables because they don't like the taste. Therefore, make the healthy foods taste better and your child will love them. For instance, put peanut butter on celery or add a dash of flavor to broccoli with ranch dressing. I'm sure you can think of dozens of ways to spruce up healthy food.

The key is to find creative ways to make your children enjoy eating healthy food. And once they've acquired a taste for it, eating healthy foods will be second nature to them.

How to make your own dehydrated bananas

Dehydrating any types of fruit and especially dehydrating bananas can be a very difficult task. Do you really want to have your oven on for 15 hours at a temperature of 130 Degrees Fahrenheit may dry them fine, but they just do not taste very nice? Unfortunately when dehydrating bananas they lose a lot of their flavour and you are often left with a faintly sweet, spongy feeling disc of fruit.

But those bananas which have been dehydrated commercially are beautifully crunchy and taste great. However, the way they are produced is not good for those who are extremely conscience about what they eat as they are deep fried. What happens is that the slices of banana are deep fried in coconut oil and then dipped into sugar water to provide that glistening sheen to them.

So as you can see producing dehydrated bananas takes more than just using high temperatures and lots of patience and surely there is a much healthier way of cooking them that does not involve us using fat.

Well hopefully the recipe shown below will produce the ideal dehydrated banana without removing any of the fruit’s flavour and nutrients.

Firstly cut the bananas into equal sized slices and place them on a mesh sheet.

Now soak them in some fresh lemon juice for about 5 minutes (however, any citrus juice will do so if you want use any time of unsweented juice that you like).

To dehydrate them place them in an oven set at 125 Degrees Fahrenheit for 18 hours and take them out of oven as soon as they have become pliable and are not crunchy. Remember the ones that you purchase in stores which are crunchy are dehydrated by deep frying them rather than actually drying them.

Now that you have dehydrated your own bananas why not try using them in alternative ways for example add them to your banana bread to produce a pleasant zing taste your recipe. Or why don’t you just throw them in to your next bowl of porridge or oatmeal in the morning to add a pleasant crunch and some natural sweetness, why not add some honey as well.

But as you can see making a sweet alternative healthy snack for yourself is simple and won’t taste like bits of bricks.

Coffee - the addictive stimulant

Coffee is one of the important commodities in the world. It is consumed by many people around the world and plays a major part in some economies of the world. It is traded through some major commodities board around the world, e. g. New York Board of Trade (NYBOT). Currently, Brazil is the worlds largest coffee producer which constitutes about 32% (year 2006) of the total world production.

Coffee is an "addictive" beverage made from grounded roasted coffee beans. The pleasant aroma and taste makes it irresistible to coffee lovers. There are many ways to consume this concoction. Some like it hot and some like it cold. It can be consumed with or without sweetener, cream, milk or any other combination you can think of. Its very versatile and creative people can create new taste and flavor. Many businesses have built an empire around coffee, like Starbucks.

The Origin Of Coffee

According to legend, coffee was first discovered in the highlands of Ethiopia during the 9th Century by a shepherd called Kaldi. While tending to his herd, he was intrigued by the strange behavior of his goat. They were happily dancing and leaping after eating strange red berries. He plucked those berries and brought them to a neighboring convent and relates his observation to the priests there. They decided to boil those berries and after drinking the brew, found an extra boost of energy. From there on, the beverage starts to spread to other areas in that region from Egypt to Yemen before reaching Turkey, Persia and some parts of Africa.

Coffee eventually reached Europe in 1690 when the Dutch managed to smuggle coffee plants out from the Arabian land. It was first introduced into Moka (Mauritius), Sri Lanka, India and finally the island of Java in Indonesia before finally brought home to Europe. It was later introduced to the French Caribbean colonies. The coffee plant eventually spreads throughout the American Latin and soon the coffee beans become a major export commodity of some countries here.

Major Coffee Species

There are two major species of coffee plants cultivated for consumption, namely Coffea Arabica Linnaeus (commonly referred to as Arabica) and Coffea canephora (commonly called Robusta). The Arabica variety has a better taste compare to Robusta which is much bitter but less aroma. Sometimes, Robusta is used in the coffee blend to reduce cost. There are also other species of coffee plant like Coffea liberica and Coffea esliaca which is indigenous to Liberia and Sudan respectively.

The Art Of Roasting Coffee

The coffee beans have to be roasted before it can be consumed. After the coffee berries are harvested, the berries are stripped off their flesh leaving only the seed or beans. It is left aside to ferment in order to remove the slimy layer present on the coffee bean. When this process is completed, the fermented coffee bean is washed to remove fermented residue before being dried and graded.

There are several ways to roast coffee, such as traditional roasting, 10 minute quick roast, 90 second flash roast and many others. Different methods will give rise to different taste and aroma. As heat is applied, the coffee beans will loose moisture and turn dark. This is due to the natural occurrence of caramelized sucrose. When there is no more water in the coffee beans, the sugar and acid will begin to release their aroma. This is called the Maillard reactions. The roasting process is then halted and beans cooled and stored. Grinding can be performed and stored in an air tight container to maintain freshness.

Conclusion

Coffee is a favorite beverage of many people. It is now available in convenient forms like instant coffee granules. Some creative coffee companies have introduced pre-mixed sachets so that coffee can be consumed at any time, any place. Just add hot water and your coffee is ready. Canned coffee has also started selling in parts of Asia especially Japan and South Korea.

Life after dairy

My friend Katy has recently cut dairy products out of her diet, but it's not because she has "trendy food intolerance". These are her thoughts and feelings.

It's lunchtime again, and here I am on campus trying to decide what to eat - again. The University boasts numerous eating establishments, but even so the choice usually boils down to a filled baguette or chips. It's for this reason, despite the 'canteen' tray rail and the polystyrene cups, I end up in 'The Downs', the slightly healthier (but still serving chips) caf? on Sussex campus.

Mmm, what lovely treats are in store for me today? Well, the pasta is out, so is the korma, the selection of flans and all of the desserts.

You may be wondering what all the fuss is about and why I don't shut up now and order some chips. Well as it happens I don't eat dairy products. I'm not a vegan, I don't have radical ethics and I won't breakout in blotches, or have a seizure. It's just, for reasons that will be explained, I don't do dairy.

To be fair I could just gobble down a portion of chips, a jacket spud with beans or a salad but I like food, and good food at that. I like to eat a healthy and varied diet and I want a choice of more than 2-3 dishes, one of which is always chips.

So I wander over to the soups to see today's line-up: vegetable, carrot and coriander, courgette and cream of chicken. Nearly every day I come in here and nearly every day I ask if any of the soups are 'dairy free', and every time I get the same grumpy response, "Huh, I'll just go and check for you," says the canteen worker, as she trundles off to ask the chef. I don't really understand why they don't label the soups with those handy little 'V's or green ticks. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one in the university's population of 10,000 who avoids dairy products.

She returns. Apparently the only soup without dairy is the vegetable. The cream of chicken was blatantly out of the question from the start and the courgette did have a distinctively 'milky' look to it. As for the carrot and coriander that was definitely dairy-free last week I remember, because I asked.

For as long as I can remember I've suffered from a constant runny nose, regular colds, sore throats and catarrh. As a child I had eczema and at the age of 15 I came down with glandular fever, which knocked me out for a good two weeks and continued to tire me for several years after that. My immune system has taken quite a battering, and since starting university the constant drinking and lack of sleep hasn't helped.

So when I decided to spend the summer in Brighton, I wasn't very surprised when severe hay fever took hold, making me sneezy, runny, itchy and generally pretty miserable.

Having suffered a similar fate for many of her young years, my grandmother decided enough was enough, and sent me off to a top allergy specialist residing on Harley Street, London. As I was used to being fobbed off by NHS doctors who'd tell me I had been suffering an unlucky number of colds, on one occasion tonsillitis, and having being prescribed nasal spray after nasal spray (which just make you sneeze even more) I was quite looking forward to my 'private health' experience.

I wasn't disappointed. Dr X was very interested in my case, which was very refreshing. (It's amazing what money can do). I explained my troubles, my symptoms and past prescriptions, and for Dr. X it all fell into place. Apparently, already prone to a runny nose and hay fever, my immune system had never really recovered from the glandular fever, and something in my diet had been suppressing my recovery. I was to have a blood test that would hopefully highlight the 'problem' foods. I would then cut them out of my diet and with luck reap the benefits.

That brings us more or less up to date. Nothing was extremely conclusive, but I was encouraged to stop eating all dairy products, including whole egg. So I did. Four months down the line and I've only suffered one cold so far this winter, avoiding the annual 'freshers' flu' that knocked out all my friends. I'm definitely less runny and sneezy, hardly itchy at all, oh yes, and I've lost two stone. This is obviously an added bonus for someone who has been on a diet since learning the meaning of the word.

What's the catch I hear you cry! Well, quite obviously a dairy free diet rules out milk, cheese, butter, eggs, yoghurt and all the foods that contain them. Yes that means chocolate, cakes, creamy sauces and dressings, selected pastas, breads and biscuits. But there are a large number of foods that one would never imagine contain dairy and an even larger amount that quite frankly shouldn't. For instance, many canned soups, pastas and sauces contain milk or egg pasta and practically all pre-packed sandwiches are made with butter or mayonnaise. What has shocked me the most since carefully studying the ingredients list of everything I eat is that some processed meats contain milk or milk powder.

Ah well, I'm not complaining. There are plenty of foods I can eat and for the first time I am enjoying guilt free consumption of those traditionally 'sinful' foods. Yes, chips are back the menu, along with those richer fruits such as olives and avocados. I enjoy the odd packet of sweets, quite a lot of dried fruit and if I ate any more houmus I would turn into a chickpea.

I feel healthier and fitter that ever before and I have never been so comfortable with my size and shape. I've definitely got used to black coffee, butterless toast and mustard instead of mayo. It's true that many shops and restaurants are yet to catch up, a drag to have to check every label and, often, say no to old favourites. As for all the people who assume I just have another 'trendy' food intolerance, that I've gone all 'Geri Halliwell' on them, well I have to explain that it's all I the name of health and that it really is working.

As for all the cynics who can't understand how on earth I could do it I can only say there is life beyond dairy.

How to make an espresso

Coffee drinks are the taste of many tongues. Indeed coffee lovers need coffee anywhere and everywhere — whether at home or at work or for that matter when out for shopping. And espresso is among the best flavors of coffees. The credit for their popularity goes much to their easy availability. Yes, the cup of espresso is easy-to-make (via espresso machine) and too-delicious-to-drink. You can have your favorite sip at a local coffee house. But if you want a unique flavor, make it yourself. So, wanna learn how to make an espresso? It is too simple, just read on to learn!

Literally “espresso” is an extraction of coffee with high pressure from a special espresso machine. You might need some special instructions if your type of espresso machine is different from the other types of machines. But, the basics of making an espresso coffee are indeed the same.

Some foolproof instructions to go about

First of all, get a good quality espresso machine. In case, you are a “real” coffee lover, look for the best espresso machine available in the market. One feature to get in a quality espresso machine is to be sure that it has built-in grinder. I presume you know that the finest grind of beans is the key to make a good coffee.

Take cold and clear water and pour it in your machine’s water chamber. You should make it sure that the boiler cap is secure. Give one shot of espresso that is a propos one ounce. To give a double shot, you should give two ounces. In few machines you can also give as much as four shots in one go.

Then, place the basket of coffee in filter holder. You can place a little pack in ground coffee. The filter has a measure for the amount of espresso you are preparing.

Brush off the grounds if any on the top or sides of the filter. Place the filter holder inside the espresso machine.

Keep the present glass carafe of your machine under the spout. You should then turn on the machine. The espresso machine will make the water warm to a proper temperature. Force the water up to the coffee grounds. You can use a cup, if the machine you have doesn’t have a carafe.

The brewing of your espresso should take just 15 or 20 seconds. As the coffee starts flowing in the cup, the foam starts forming on the top. The foam has a brown color and is known as Crema. As the foam takes an almost white color, your best tasting liquid is not flowing any longer. It is time to stop now. Remove the cup immediately. Your hot cup of espresso coffee is now in your hands.

A few tips to get the best results

Select and roast the beans particularly for espresso. The beans are available on most of the coffee specialty shops or grocery stores.

To get the best espresso, better buy an espresso grinder. When grinding the beans for espresso, make it sure your grinding machine is efficient enough to give a fine grind.

Use filtered water or bottled spring water. Do not use your tap water if it is hard.

Bbq from the carolinas

Everyone loves barbecue! Despite its popularity, one question remains: where does barbecue come from? Most Americans are not aware of it, but there is a great deal of history behind the barbecue sauces of the Carolinas. In fact, when the average American talks about one of the four favorite types of barbecue sauce (vinegar & pepper, mustard, light tomato, and heavy tomato) he or she is referring to a sauce that comes from the Carolinas. North Carolinians use three of these sauces, and South Carolinians use all four.

The first, and simplest, of the sauces is vinegar and pepper. All that this sauce is made of is vinegar that has had red pepper flakes soaked in it. No one really knows where this particular sauce came from, but thousands of people up and down the Carolina coastline love it.

The second sauce is the mustard sauce. It is unique to South Carolina and has come to be identified as the definitive barbecue sauce of South Carolina. The credit for this sauce goes to the German settlers who called South Carolina home in the 18th century. Even today, this mustard sauce is associated with family names like Bessinger, Shealy, Hite, Sweatman, Sikes, Price, Lever, Meyer, Kiser, and Zeigler.

The light tomato sauce is a simple sauce made by adding vinegar and pepper to ketchup. It was first prepared around the early 1900s, and quickly became a favorite with those who wanted a bit of sweetness in their sauce.

The heavy tomato sauce is hardly a half a century old, but has been embraced with gusto across the United States. It is available in the supermarket under such brand names as Kraft Foods and KC Masterpiece. Americans love this particular type of sauce and slather it over all their barbecued foods. Barbecue would not be the same without this delicious type of sauce!

True paella from spain

Paella is a traditional recipe of Spain, but there are almost as many variations as there are regions in Spain. And one is more delicious than the next. Paella is made with either seafood, chicken or rabbit, and there is even a vegetarian version. The one unchanging, underlying ingredient is rice.

It is important to make the right rice for Paella. Short grained rice that is cooked slowly is the traditional basic for Paella. The other ingredients can be a combination of all sorts of things, but the rice must be the same. Whole grain or wild rice may be used, but the key is that it cannot be quick cook or minute rice, since the rice must cook slowly to absorb all of the flavors of the dish. When cooking Paella, you know it is done when the stock is all absorbed, but the rice is neither soggy nor dry.

Paella is the perfect dish for a large crowd, even if you have unexpected guests. You can increase the dish by increasing the rice, and almost any ingredients you obtain will work to make a good Paella.

That is part of the magic of Paella: it can be made with any interesting variety of ingredients, as long as you have the right kind of rice and good stock. The stock, imbued with saffron (azafran in Spanish), gives the dish its unique flavor and coloring that is the signature of good Paella.

Here is a recipe for the traditional seafood Paella: Ingredients: 4 cups of rice, 8 cups of fish stock, 8 large langoustino, 8 mussels, 1/2 lb. shrimp, 8 oz. peas (fresh or frozen), 2 skinned and chopped tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, and 3 strands of crumbled saffron, and olive oil for sauteing. (If you want to make it easy on yourself to peel the tomatoes, dip them in boiling water for seconds, then run cold water over them. The skin will come off the tomatoes easily.

Saute the garlic in olive oil; add tomatoes, peas, shrimp and saffron. Cook until the garlic is just golden but be careful not to burn it. (That can happen quickly, so stir and watch.) Add the rice and the stock and let the dish simmer for 20 minutes or until rice has absorbed liquid and is a moist but not soggy consistency. Quickly poach the seafood ingredients and add to the dish just before serving.

Purchasing espresso beans

A short guide to purchasing chocolate covered espresso beans wholesale

So you know you want to purchase chocolate covered espresso beans wholesale and going online will give you the best selection and the best prices. The only thing is you aren’t sure how to do this and keep your credit card safe. Well, no problem this will show you how to get your product and keep your identity safe from thieves. We’ve all heard bad stores about people who’ve had their bank accounts plundered and their identity stolen. If you follow a few simple tips you can keep safe when shopping for espresso beans, coffee, or even an espresso maker!

Buying espresso beans or any other coffee product on the internet doesn’t have to be as hard as you think, you just need to make sure you know what you are doing when you want to use your credit card to shop on the internet.

You need to always be sure of what you are purchasing. Even though a web site says it has the best product on the market, make sure you read the description of the product carefully and study the photographs as well. You want to pour over the fine print and see if there are any clues that might indicate that what you are about to order is not the same as what you are seeing online. You need to keep in mind that if you think you are getting a great deal that seems to be too good to be true, than it probably is too good to be true!

You also need to take care with how you buy your products online. Before you punch in a single number online you should carefully read the website and see all the options they accept for payment and how they will ship your brand new espresso maker or yummy espresso beans to you! If your site asks you for private information like your Social Security number, driver’s license number, or your bank account number then you should stay away. No one should be asking you for this kind of information to buy espresso beans or an espresso maker.

Keeping excellent records of your online purchases can keep you safe too. You will want to keep hard copies of all email correspondence, shipping information, and payment transactions. Make sure you have all the details of your business dealings with the company to make sure you get what you paid for.

If you still don’t feel safe ordering things online, then you can always use a trusted 1-800 number to order over the phone. You could also request a wholesale catalog, the old fashioned way — through the mail!

How to buy cinnamon

Upgrading to a quality cinnamon may be the easiest improvement you can make in your baking and often, the quality of the cinnamon makes a dramatic difference in the quality of your product. But how do you know what cinnamon to buy?

There are three types of cinnamon to consider. Korintje cassia cinnamon comes from Indonesia, usually Sumatra. It comes from the cassia tree, not the true cinnamon tree, and is the cinnamon we are most familiar with.

Good quality Korintje cassia is sweet and mellow. Lower quality cinnamon, the B and C grades commonly sold in the stores, is often bitter and astringent. You can tell the difference by tasting it. Dab a little on your finger and put it in your mouth. Premium Korintje cassia cinnamon will be smooth with an almost citrus tone.

Chinese and Vietnamese cinnamons also come from the cassia tree. Botanically, Chinese and Vietnamese cassia cinnamons are the same but they are harvested and processed differently resulting in a little different flavor. They tend to be stronger and spicier than Korintje.

Ceylon cinnamon is true cinnamon coming from the cinnamon tree. In some parts of the world, it is preferred over cassia cinnamons. It is less flavorful and has a more citrus overtone.

So which do you buy? Korintje cassia is less expensive and can be very good. Be certain that you buy premium or grade A cinnamon. Look for the volatile oil content; that’s what gives cinnamon its flavor. It should have at least 2% volatile oil. (The cinnamon that we sell does.)

You have probably noticed that you can buy spices in bulk for much less than in small quantities. Handling and packaging is expensive. If you are confident in the quality of the cinnamon you are purchasing, buy it in quantity. However, keep in mind that cinnamon will lose its potency. As it becomes older, you may have to use more of it to get the same flavor in your goods. We recommend buying what you can use in a year.

Copyright 2003-2007, The Prepared Pantry (http://www. prepraredpantry. com ). Published by permission

Where to buy quality tea

For over 5,000 years tea drinkers have enjoyed the taste and health benefits of high quality loose leaf tea. Those individuals that included tea in a lifestyle of exercise and diet have come to learn that teapot only tastes good, but tea also creates a feeling of well being and life satisfaction.

No product has had more false starts than that of loose leaf tea however. Nor has any product had a more devoted, patient following than the proponents of loose leaf tea. These long suffering supporters were waiting for the day that loose leaf tea would come into its own. Now, it seems, even tea vendors and tea connoisseurs will finally have their wish.

The irony, of course, is that tea, next to water is still the most popular beverage in the world but that in much of North America, Western Europe and the U. K., loose leaf tea has had little more than a cult following

But all that is changing now as new tea rooms are emerging and selling more and more tea and tea-based beverages and they are expanding their tea lines and selling more expensive teas.

Tea, from green to black, has been getting great notices on its health-giving attributes and people have been reading these headlines and basing buying decisions on them.

There are well over 1,000 tea rooms in the U. S. today, and the number is probably closer to 1,500. More and more tea-related products are being developed and sold. Better tea brewers are being placed on the market and more grocery store shelf space is being devoted to tea.

Loose leaf tea is seeping through a surprising number of packaging formats and distribution channels and enlivening a rapidly growing and receptive customer base.

Historical examination of comparable “natural” consumer products industries shows the emerging loose leaf tea segment exhibiting many of the same characteristics that existed within natural food and specialty coffee channels as they climbed from niche to mainstream markets.

Of special note is the predominance of small, entrepreneurial companies opening up the category, while larger players playing it ultra-cautious as they test ‘niche’ markets. Fueling this growth is the media’s huge appetite for positive tea stories.

The latest development in the distribution of high quality loose leaf tea is e-commerce and the potential is enormous. E-commerce leverages the power of the internet to reach a broad audience and allows smaller players the ability to penetrate new markets and expand their customer base.

The benefit of e-commerce is the convenience offered to the consumer. Orders can be placed at the customer’s convenience, the e-commerce site describes the product and advises availability and delivery schedule and deliveries are mad to the customer’s home or office.

With the advent of search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN, tea producers and distributors can broaden their retail selling activities and reach a vastly larger market of tea drinking prospects. Accessing this market through e-commerce techniques is the wave of the future.

List of high protein foods

High protein foods are great for packing on extra muscle. To make sure that your diet is filled with muscle-building proteins, it is extremely important to consider which high protein foods you should consume during your daily eating routine. To help you select the best high protein foods for your diet, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most protein-packed foods that you can find in your average grocery store.

You will notice that the list covers a broad variety of high protein foods. This was done intentionally so that you can compare food types and have more options to add to your daily meals.

The list:

(all nutrition estimates are based on standard single servings)

Peanut butter (2 tbsp)

Protein - 8 g

Calories - 188

Fat - 16 g

Raw almonds (19 pieces)

Protein - 7 g

Calories - 180

Fat - 14 g

Almond butter (1 tbsp)

Protein - 2 g

Calories - 101

Fat - 9 g

Skinless chicken breast (1 cup)

Protein - 38 g

Calories - 258

Fat - 10.4

Ground beef (90% lean, 3 oz)

Protein - 23 g

Calories - 182

Fat - 9 g

Ground turkey (3 oz)

Protein - 22 g

Calories - 193

Fat - 11 g

Salmon (half fillet)

Protein - 39 g

Calories - 367

Fat - 22 g

Tuna (canned, 1 cup)

Protein - 39 g

Calories - 179

Fat - 1 g

Deli turkey (1 oz)

Protein - 4 g

Calories - 31

Fat - 1 g

Findings:

High protein foods vary substantially in protein, fat, and calorie content per serving. Some of the best high protein foods have high fat counts; however, it is important to consider that not all fats are bad for you, and some can be very beneficial to your diet - even if weight loss is your top priority. Almonds, for example, are rich in omega three fatty acids but low in saturated fats.

In general, if you are looking for an efficient way to increase your protein count but keep your calorie and fat intakes minimal, than fish and lean meats are an effective option. Canned tuna (hold the mayo) tops the list as the most efficient protein source. Skinless chicken breasts, deli turkey, ground turkey, and lean ground beef are also highly efficient high protein foods.

Are you sick of bars move the tavern to your house

Are you tired of always having to go out to a bar for a couple of cold beers when you really just want to take it easy and relax a bit? Have you ever thought about how much money you spend when drinking out in public? For anyone who’s had to put off their car payment for another week just because of last Saturday night, the solution is simple; beer taps right in your own home!

Buying draft beer by the keg not only costs much less but the quality and experience goes up as well. A draft beer system is a fairly simple way to enjoy great beer without going anywhere. A draft system uses gas (usually CO2 or a blend of nitrogen and CO2) to push beer from the keg right out of the beer tap handles and into your glass. Beer must remain in between 38-40 degrees Fahrenheit for two reasons: for proper pouring and to maintain the freshness of the beer, as it is not pasteurized. It can be a bit more complicated with multiple beer taps, but the basics remain; consistent temperature and a proper pressure level of gas.

At home beer taps are fairly simple in design. A small tank of CO2 attaches to a regulator, which reduces the pressure down to 10-12 psi. A hose goes from the beer tap handles to the keg. There are a variety of beer tap handles that go along with certain kinds of beers. All beer tap handles have a screwing or keyed fitting that hooks up to the keg and another hose that runs to the faucet where the beer is poured out. Tap handles usually run anywhere from $15-$150, depending on what style and brand you choose.

Most of the domestic keg coolers are designed to hold a pony keg, or about ј of a regular sized keg. Some larger coolers are made for restaurants that hold Ѕ of a keg. There are also conversion kits where you can actually turn your old refrigerator into a keg cooler. It is a good idea to test out the size of the keg you’ll be using with the fridge before building it to completion. Local beer distributors will more than likely loan you one for a small deposit down. After that, it’s as simple as measuring a frame around the keg to make sure your cooler is big enough to hold the size keg you want.

A five-pound tank of gas is usually enough for about 5-7 half kegs and is relatively inexpensive (between $7-$12) to refill. Regular cleaning should be done to maintain proper flow through the system and to keep the taste of the beer great. This can be done by regularly running clean and hot water through the lines every couple of weeks or so. Whatever system you go with, there’s a lot to be said about being able to stay in your own home and still being able to enjoy your favorite draft beer just like at the bar.

Christmas cookie recipe chocolatey church windows

When it comes to the holiday season, there are just certain things we can’t live without. Or at least, there are certain things we think we can’t live without. One of those items for me is a family Christmas cookie recipe that has been handed down for at least three generations. It’s called Church Windows.

Now, this nifty little cookie gets its name because it resembles a stained glass “church” window. The chocolate will form the frame and the marshmallows are the colored “glass” inside. Take my word for it, because if you see a plate of these cookies go by, grab one. I’ve never seen anyone sit and study the design, only devour the cookie.

Even though this cookie doesn’t have any decoration on it that resembles Christmas, like a tree or Santa Claus, it is only made near the holidays. Why? I’ll never know, nor will I ever make it during a “non-holiday” time of year! Family tradition says so!

So, what makes this little cookie so great, you ask. First, it is simple to make. The kids can play a large role in making them, however they need supervision since it involves use of the stove. Second, they are very colorful and brighten up any holiday dessert table. Last, they have chocolate in them! What else needs to be said? Without further ado, here is the recipe for Church Windows.

Church Windows

1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips (milk chocolate won’t work, I’ve tried)

1 stick margarine (NOT butter)

Ѕ c walnuts, optional

1 10 oz bag of colored marshmallows

2 c coconut

Wax paper

In a large saucepan, melt the margarine and the chocolate chips over medium heat. Stir often and watch closely so the chocolate does not scorch. When the mixture is completely smooth, set aside to cool slightly, for about five to ten minutes.

While you are waiting, prepare the wax paper. Tear off two sheets that are both approximately 18” in length. Lay on a flat surface. Cover each sheet evenly with 1 cup of the coconut.

When the chocolate mixture is slightly cooled, stir in the walnuts and the marshmallows just until coated. Stirring too long will make the marshmallows melt (and that’s bad!)

Pour half of the mixture on the prepared wax paper lengthwise, in order to form a log. Pour the second half on the second sheet of wax paper. Using the extra coconut on the wax paper, cover the top of the chocolate mixture. The coconut will prevent the wax paper from sticking in the future. Take one side and roll over the mix, and keep rolling to form a log. Shape it so it makes a nice circle. Twist the edges so they are secure and to keep coconut from escaping! Immediately place in the fridge or freezer until they harden, at least 6 hours. When hardened, slice off Ѕ to 1” thick slices.

Church Windows can be stored in the refrigerator or the freezer one month. Keep in an air-tight container or bag to keep it from drying out.

How to make smores from the purist s point of view

S'mores are one of the best campfire treats in the world (right after pudgie pies) with gooey toasted marshmallow melting smooth and luscious milk chocolate that’s nestled between two crisp pieces of graham cracker. Yummmm……I want one (okay, two or three) right now (even though as I am writing this it is snowing outside and there is already more than 2 feet of snow on the ground.)

But, although I have been brave and adventurous about trying many variations of s'mores I am still a purist at heart. To me there is only one way to make them and the choice of the three ingredients needed (marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers) is as important as the preparation process.

Marshmallows – First of all, the marshmallows need to be fresh. Don't try to use up the half bag of marshmallows leftover from last year that are as hard as a rock. Crack open your wallet and spend a dollar or two on a fresh bag. Campfire brand marshmallows are best if you can find them, but Kraft's are pretty good too. Buy the big ones. Don’t mess around with the miniature marshmallows.

Chocolate - There’s only once choice and that is a Hershey’s milk chocolate candy bar - 3 pieces per s’more.

Graham crackers - Honeymaid honey grahams are the best. Don’t try to get creative and use the cinnamon flavored ones - they’re just yucky with s’mores.

Preparing the s’more is as important as the ingredients. But let's talk about equipment first. In the "good old days," before restrictions on disturbing anything in nature at campgrounds and parks, if you wanted to toast marshmallows you went to a tree and broke off a long skinny branch. You pushed your marshmallow on the branch and started toasting. That's what I did as a kid (I didn't go camping as a child but we often toasted marshmallows over the hot coals of our charcoal grill at home). It didn't matter that the marshmallow often tasted faintly of tree sap nor did we ever stop to consider how many bugs or birds had touched that piece of wood and left things on it that are better left unsaid.

There are now roasting forks available at any large discount store or sporting goods store with an outdoor/camping section. Buy a hot dog fork instead of a marshmallow fork and skip the fancy retractable or folding ones. They have a tendency to retract or fold when you don't want them to. A hot dog fork works better than a marshmallow fork because the two prongs are farther apart which makes it easy to roast two marshmallows at once and because they are usually longer than marshmallow forks. Plus, then you'll have a fork that can do double duty, roast marshmallows and cook hot dogs or sausages. You can get a good quality hot dog fork for under $10 and sometimes for less than $5.

Okay, let's get back to making that s'more. Place one or two marshmallows on the hot dog fork. Toast the marshmallow to a golden brown over the campfire, remembering to turn the marshmallow so it’s toasted on all sides, not just on the third of it that’s closest to the fire. Notice that I didn’t say to start it on fire and char it to unrecognizable blackness. Marshmallows are not meant to be ignited and charred to a crisp. If your campfire is shooting up 3 foot flames, wait. Marshmallow roasting is best done with the wood is ashy and has glowing embers, which means you will have a hot fire with very little flame.

Immediately transfer the marshmallow to a graham cracker half that has 3 pieces of Hershey’s milk chocolate on it (or both marshmallows if you managed to get them both toasted without losing one to the campfire and if you like a really gooey s'more; otherwise be a "sharer" and give the extra marshmallow to someone else). Using the other graham cracker half, squish the marshmallow so that it covers all the chocolate to start melting it. Stop squishing when the marshmallow starts oozing out the sides of the graham crackers.

Then quickly eat it before someone steals it from you and enjoys the perfect s’more you have made. Share the secrets of making smores with everyone you know and encourage them to practice; otherwise you'll be spending all your campfire time making s'mores for everyone else and what fun is it to make them if you don't get to eat them?

And if someone tells you that you can make a smore in the microwave that tastes just as good as one made over a campfire, they are a liar or they have never had s'more made over a campfire.

Oh and I forgot one last thing you will need and that is wipes to clean up your sticky and gooey hands after eating your masterpiece!

Quercetin- a flavonol

Quercetin is one of the flavonoids groups. It is in fact a flavonol. It is found in apples, onions, tea, red grapes, leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, broccoli, cherries, raspberries, prickly pear cactus, and some varieties of honey. Especially, those made from the Eucalyptus flower.

Quercetin is a very active form of flavonoid. It is present in many medicine plants that have been used since ancient times, like the Aloe Vere. It is also found in many fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

It is anti inflammatory, which helps to promote healing and boosts the body's immune system. It also helps in preventing certain ailments and diseases.

It slows down the release and manufacture of histamine, and as such, is good for the relief of allergies and insect bites. It does this by blocking the secretion of histamine. It is also anti inflammatory, and as such, can help with certain types of arthritis and prostate inflammation. It increases the manufacture of fibronectin and collagen, which help to keep joints and skin in good condition. It promotes the healing of wounds and abrasions and aids in repairing nerve damage.

Quercetin is a phytoestrogen which works like estrogen, and is helpful in inhibiting the growth of breast cancer. It binds to estrogen receptors and stops the breast cancer cells from getting estrogen. This will stop their growth. It has also been found to be very useful in prevention of hardening of the arteries. It prevents build up of macrophages. Quercetin also strengthens capillaries helping with blood flow and circulation.

It is also an antioxidant. In fact it is known to be one of the most powerful ones available today. This means that it protects the body from free radicals. The liver produces these free radicals as part of the metabolic process. The free radicals can cause damage and aging to the body's cells.

Research is being done to possibly help with cancer, respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cataracts. Research with Quercetin has shown that it helps to prevent cancer by preventing the flow of oxygen and nutrients to cells with cancer.

As you can see, Quercetin is a very powerful substance and has multiple uses in the body. It can also be taken in the form of diet supplements. These are available in health food stores or through distributors. It is very wise to consult with your doctor before you take any diet supplements. Although natural products like Quercetin, rarely have side effects.

Preparing the freshest cup of the brew

The Coffee Roaster, which is a mechanical device, comes in all type of shapes and sizes. This particular machine can also range in a few hundred dollars to nearly a thousand in prices. However, in this case a high priced product does not usually guarantee that it will be a high quality machine. This article will help you to choose the perfect coffee roaster by giving you helpful tips on what machine to choose.

How much involvement do you want?

When you decide to buy a coffee roaster you should also think about how much you will be involved in roasting the beans. There are many of us who like to experiment by mixing, stirring and measuring the roast. If you are like one of these people then you should go for the special roasters. Most roasters are just stovetop models that have a saucepan with a tight lid and a special handle.

This model also has a crank in the handle that lets the roaster to kindle the beans at some point in the process of roasting. One of the most important processes in roasting is stirring. This helps by preventing the coffee beans at the bottom from burning and by keeping the air inside hot by circulating it evenly.

In roasting, temperature control is extremely important. So, when you go to buy a roaster, be sure to look for one that has a thermometer in it. Even if you buy a simple model, look for one that has a thermometer in it.

Another type of roasters is the ones that do all the work for you. All you have to do is pop in a pre-determined volume of green beans from the bag and then let the machine do all the work.

In-built thermometers, thermostat control heating mechanisms, rotating canisters, clever airflow control and a timer to shut off the device at the appropriate time, are all present in the deluxe models of the coffee roaster.

The rocket-ship roasters that are present on the upper-end of the price range do all the work for you, but eliminate the smoke that is often accompanied in the process.

How effectively do they heat and circulate air?

One of the most important aspects of a coffee roaster is its effectiveness in heating and then circulating the air. Almost all the common roasters work on the same principles as a popcorn popper machine. In these machines, while the beans are being agitated the hot air is circulated throughout the inside of the machine. This process helps to give a uniform roast to the beans. There are also many machines that filter out the chaff that are produced when the skin burst due to the expansion of the coffee beans.

There are also many machines that allow to you watch the roasting process. This can help you to judge how much of the roast do you want for the beans. These machines often have pre-set amounts, ranging from light to dark, on the dials.

One critical point for the machines is the ability to circulate hot air evenly. Most of the machines and their design vary extensively in the degree of roasting. For instance, if a machine has the heating source in the bottom then it will give out an uneven roast to the beans.

You will not face this problem in a Drum roaster machine. Rather than relying on a stirrer at the bottom, this machine has a drum that uses the forces of gravity to move the beans around in the machine.

Coffee roasters, which were once just confined to professional use, have evolved extensively and can be used for kitchen purposes also. These cappuccino makers also have the added benefit of roasting large quantities of beans, which can be very useful during large dinner parties. With the help of these machines you will also be able to serve the freshest cup of the brew to your friends and for your self.

Home brew steam generator helpful yet dangerous

Raising the temperature of mash can be a slow, yet necessary process and using a home brew steam generator can cut the time. However, using steam to heat the mash can also be dangerous as steam can cause sever burns, quickly. While water heated to boiling at 212-degrees Fahrenheit is hot, steam heated to the same temperature will do more damage simply because boiling water begins to cool as soon as it touches your skin. Steam, on the other hand, will need to condense to water before beginning to cool off, giving it more time to inflict more damage and pain.

With that in mind, a home brew steam generator can decrease the time it takes to heat the mash by considering the same principal. Essentially, steam can be generated in a pressure cooker and then piped into the container holding the mash. As the steam enters, it maintains its temperature longer than boiling water will and increases the temperature of the mash at a rate of about one degree centigrade, 33.8 degrees Fahrenheit, per minute.

There are some precautions to be used for making your own home brew steam generator and having the right heat source is needed, or else the heat of the steam may lack enough power to produce the sustained release of steam that is needed to achieve consistent heat exchange.

Ease Of Construction For Steam Generator

To build your own home brew steam generator you will need an electric hot plate capable of about 2100 watt, along with a pressure cooker, copper tubing, the pressure weight for the cooker and a shut-off valve. The copper tubing is attached to the lid of the pressure cooker by drilling and threading the hole and using a copper connector available at most hardware stores.

The other end of the first copper tube is connected to the input of the shut-off valve. Another tube, connected to the output of the valve goes into the top of the container of mash and extends to the bottom with at least 13-inches lying near the floor of the container.

The end of this tube is pinched closed and a series of small holes, about one-sixteenth of an inch are drilled a half-inch apart to complete the home brew steam generator. Fill the pressure cooker about three-fourths full of clean water and turn on the heat source, leaving the pressure weight off for now. When steam begins to rise from the top tube, clearing any air from the cooker, place the weight in position and the steam will be forced through the tube, in the bottom of the mash, beginning the heating process.

Stir the mash occasionally during heating to keep the temperature uniform. To stop the heating process, turn off the heat source and remove the pressure weight. You can also at this time close the shut-off valve.

The chianti wine regions

The region of Chianti is a tiny area in the heart of Tuscany between Siena and Florence and overlooks the Elsa Valley. The land is fertile with olive groves, green forests, and those delicious grapes just waiting to be picked off the vine and smashed into the most heavenly of drinks-Chianti wine.

For many years, Italians have enjoyed the prestige of being recognized for having the largest harvest of grapes and the finest vintages of wine in the Mediterranean. The present day farmers can thank the Phoenicians for bringing vines to this area. They named the area, ‘Oenotria’, the ‘land of wine.’ The ripe fields, combined with the sun and Tuscan air led many others to this area to cultivate the grapes including, the Greeks, Etruscans, and Roman. In many cases, these cultures brought their own vines to mingle with the originals.

A plague of insects, called phylloxera, swept through Europe in the18th century effectively halting wine production in the area. The insects were known to feed on the roots and leaves, destroying the vines. Eventually Italian vintners triumphed over the insect and recovered from the loss.

In the late 1960’s the land of the Chianti area was in a down cycle and parcels of land were sold for very little. Visionaries, seeing the obvious advantages of such beautiful countryside and fertile soil, rebuilt the vineyards to become some of the most credited vines in the world.

What makes the land unique in the area is the climate of the region. The warmth which is constant, lasts much of the year with little rain fall. The soil is dry and full of stones infused with limestone providing many nutrients and minerals for the grapes. In addition, the clever vintners of the area only allow a limited amount of irrigation through the fields; therefore the vines have to delve deep into the ground to acquire water and nutrients.

The Italian government has its own classification for wine making with specific requirements for growing and making the wine. DOCG, which stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata, and is similar to the French AOC. These government standards control the techniques from each of the eight regions of Chianti, keeping the regions wine making unique. The regions of Chianti are Chianti Classico, Colli Arentini, Colli Fiorentini, Coli Senesi, Colli Pisane, Montalbano, Rufina, and Montispertoli.

Chianti Classico is the most widely known wine of the region, not only for its name, but also for the superb quality. This wine comes from the vines species called vitis vinifera, which is the starting point for 99% of the wines in the world. Of this vine, Italy grows more than 100 official varieties.

In the Chianti region, of which there are roughly 25,000 acres, two thirds of the land is given to the production of the Chianti Classico, and uses at least 80% of the Sangiovese grape. In the other 20% of the region other wines are made using Sangiovese blended with Canaiolo and Colorino. For the white wines a Trebbiano or Malvasia are used. Again, the government controls the yields to nine tons in order to maintain a premium wine.

The lush red wine of the Chianti that pours into a glass like pooling velvet grows darker when aged. The flavors that wash across the tongue are dry, slightly tannic, with an intense aroma, sometimes hinting of violet. The vintners have no requirements mandated by the government regarding the aging process, but most use aged oak casks for their most savory bottles of wine called Riserva wines. They are 12% alcohol content by volume.

Like the Romans, the Chianti has stormed the land making it known to all points of the world. Yet it is the humble vintner creating this amazing wine under strict regulations that has the wine world at their feet.

How to make a chocolate gift basket - the ideal gift for any occasion

Everybody loves chocolate and chocolate gift baskets filled with luxurious, gourmet goodies are a particularly lovely and thoughtful present. However, buying a chocolate gift basket from a shop can be expensive and you may be restricted in your choice of the chocolate that is included. Not everybody likes gourmet chocolate. Some people may have dietary requirements such as diabetic, low or no sugar, low fat or dairy-free chocolate. Making your own chocolate gift basket allows you to create a very personalised gift - you can include only their favourites.

Tips For Making A Chocolate Gift Basket

So how easy is it to make your own chocolate gift basket? Very easy following these simple steps.

1) You will need a basket - remember it will need to be deep enough to hold filler as well as the chocolates.

2) The basket can be left plain, especially if it a beautiful wicker or willow basket, or if you want a rustic or country look. You could also decorate the basket. Here are a few decorating suggestions;

a) To paint the basket, use a spray acrylic paint so that coverage is even. Depending on the type of basket, stencilling can look very effective.

b) Find some napkins with images that you like. Cut out several images and peel away the plys so you are left with just the top layer. Using either PVA glue or specialised decoupage glue, stick the images in position. When dry, cover the pictures with several thin layers of PVA or decoupage finish. You can choose the napkins to match the holiday season. For example, for an Easter gift for Grandma, use cute little chicks and bright spring colours.

c) The same method can be used with fabric. This is particularly effective if you intend to line the basket with the same fabric.

d) Silk flowers, bows and ribbons can be stiffened by dipping into fabric stiffener. Allow to dryand stiffen, then glue onto the basket with a hot glue gun.

3) Add filler (shredded tissue paper or coloured paper) to coordinate with both the basket and the wrappings of the chocolates.

4) As an alternative to filler, line the basket with fabric.

5) Arrange your selection of chocolate goodies and wrap with cellophane

Gift baskets can also include chocolate themed articles like chocolate scented candles, soap, and bubble bath. For winter gifts add some hot chocolate, chocolate sprinkles and marshmallows. Some shops will put the recipients name on the chocolate (especially Easter Eggs) or the wrappings to make a truly personalised gift.

Cake decorating supplies - a complete review

I remember my first experience to really good (handy) cake decorating supplies was when I was a kid and at that time used to enjoy watching my grandmother baking and decorating. My grandmother would bake as well as cool a set of cakes, ice the layers and the cake in completion, subsequently – it was time for the greatest delight for me – when she would reach out to a special cabinet and take out cake decorating supplies in a package that looked like a gift box: the cake decorating supplies were kept stored in parts, each part fitting into its own cardboard cutout form. One by one Gram would slowly pull out the metal barrel, the plunger, the washer, and one or more of the tips…these tips were used to make leaves, or flowers, or perhaps to do tubing, to set stars.

Gram would put together the pieces and spoon one color frosting at a time into the cool metal tube, screw back on the plunger, and begin to work on decorating, which at times would take hours that were probably arduous, despite the fact that she never expressed a single complaint and neither did I move, fascinated as I was by the process, till she was done completely. Years later, when I had my own home, my grandmother had sent me a set of cake decorating supplies that were similar to her set. At times I practiced, and found these decorators to be incredible things of beauty - in form and function (and durability).

Though at some point later, I lost or loaned and never got back my cake decorating supplies, and changed them with the ultra-professional frosting bags and decorating tips, which were just as lovely (though if you have hot hands, the canvas bags transfer the heat—faster than it would with the metal set--to the frosting and it will puddle, so hold the bag by the top where you have twisted or folded it).

Last Christmas, I wanted to give a friend who had just gotten into gourmet baking a set of those cake decorating supplies of yore. Since I didn’t find the time to go online, I found, rather stupidly, a discounted cake decorator at a local department store. Actually the thing doesn’t stay closed (at the plunger and cap), and it is plastic and stays greasy after washing. Ugh. Despite the fact twenty years ago I would have had an excuse, however today, I should know better…and use a site like eBay, where we not only find cake decorating supplies but those of the quality of the originals: A good tip is to either look for the brand name Wilton or use keywords like "vintage" or "original" or "aluminum"…for the kind of cake-decorating supplies Gram had.

Functionality vs. style with wine racks

Have you ever been in a home with a massive iron wine rack that didn't quite fit the decor? How about an iron wine rack that is poorly designed but fits in beautifully with the decor? Iron wine racks come in literally thousands of styles and the better ones can be quite functional while still maintaining the room's "feng-shui". Iron wine racks are usually black classic wrought iron that hold from a few bottles of wine to many bottles. Some come with places for the glasses and assorted wine accessories. This makes it easy as with this type of iron wine rack, you know where everything is. Have you ever been frustrated at not being able to find your corkscrew or the wine charms that mark specific glasses? This is no longer a problem should you get the correct wine rack.

Iron wine racks can be short and wide or tall and thin. The short ones can be stacked on top of each other, creating a little wine corner that can be built onto like a Lego set. There are lots of options with such wine racks. They can have individual bottle containers or various shaped compartments to hold multiple bottles. This version may be perfect for the person who collects different wines as they give you lots of space for different types of wine.

The tall and thin iron wine racks are frequently called wine jails because they have individual cells and usually a cage door on the front. Find the right spot for one of these long, thin iron wine racks and it can make a lot of difference in a room's style. Although the wine jails are not designed to be stacked, they can be added onto against a single wall if you have enough space. They can hold 40 or 50 bottles of your favorite wine each. Being as compartmentalized as they are lends them well to an inventory system. When a cell is empty, providing you store them with a sequence, you will know right away which one you need to purchase to keep the rack full.

Types of Wine Racks

There are many types of wine racks available. One of the most sought after types of racks are the designer wine racks. They come in wood, wrought iron, plastic, and concrete. They look sharp and hold your collection securely. There are over 20 different designer racks on display at http://www. wineenthusiast. com. They come in all shapes and sizes and are priced quite reasonably. On the site, they have categorized the racks as to price, bottle count, height, width and depth.

Decorative wine racks are supposed to complete a room. They lend themselves to being a focal point in some rooms. They also come in a myriad of shapes, sizes and bottle count. At http://www. wineenthusiast. com, they have over 60 very sharp looking wine racks. Price ranges from 19.95 to almost 1,000 dollars so there is something for every budget. The most expensive model, the Bamboo Bar Cart is an example of functionality. It has wheels and space for everything you need to serve wine or other drinks. It has compartments for wine glasses and wine bottles. It has a butcher block parquet top for drink preparation, along with shelves and drawers for all your supplies. This is a quality unit made from bamboo and some stainless steel for things like towel dispensers and handles.

Functionality of wine racks isn't limited to just bottles and wine accessories. Some wine racks also double as furniture. While not cheap, these units combine style, functionality and multiple uses. They range up from 200 dollars to almost 8,000 dollars.

VintageView wine racks are quite distinctive and are generally a showplace for your most prized wine bottles. They display the bottles with a minimum of coverage but a sturdy support system. This model is perfect for the serious wine collector who wants their guests to go ooh and ahhh. These are really quite reasonable starting at 10 bucks for a one bottle display unit to 80 dollars for a 30 bottle unit. They usually have a distinct support system for the bottles such as just holding the bottles by the neck or the base, displaying the bottle very prominently.

These are just a few of the models available. There are many more types and sizes and price ranges for wine racks at http://www. wineenthusiast. com. With all the choices available, you have a myriad of possibilities and styles. From oak cabinets to wrought iron wine racks to new age materials, you can make a room very stylish just with the addition of one of these beauties.

The good and bad of coffee

There have been so many studies over the last twenty-five years about the effects of coffee that many people are confused about the real results.

For a few decades, we were told that coffee drinking was unhealthy, and now more recent studies tell us that is not true. Over 400 million cups of coffee are consumed per day in the world, so of course, this is an important issue.

The main problem is the caffeine in coffee. Caffeine is a mild stimulant, and therefore raises blood pressure and can increase heart rate. This was of concern to earlier researchers; today, researchers think the effect is so mild and short lived as to be negligible.

In fact, we are actually hearing about the benefits of coffee consumption. Some studies have even shown that the consumption of coffee reduces the incidence of colon cancer, but at such high levels that the negative effects of coffee may once again be an issue. But moderate levels of coffee drinking may actually be good for us. We know that it helps keep us alert. It has been discovered that wine contains certain antioxidants that help prevent heart disease and some cancers by removing free radicals from the blood system. The same may be true of coffee. Studies have shown that the concentration of antioxidants in coffee is greater than in cranberries, apples or tomatoes. Of course, those other fruits and vegetables also give us many other benefits such as vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Chinese studies have shown that coffee consumption reduces the effects of Parkinson's disease. Some studies in both America and Scandanavia indicate that coffee may reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes. And there is growing evidence that coffee can reduce the incidence of kidney stones and gallstones. Benefits have been noted in the degistive system, since caffeine stimulates the production of stomach acid, aiding in digestion. In moderation, the consumption of coffee has been shown to reduce the constriction of the airways in asthma sufferers. A bronchodilator called theophylline contained in coffee, helps this effect.

But, of course there are always negatives. Excess coffee consumption has been linked with infertility or reduced fertility. Higher blood levels of homocysteine and LDL cholesterol have been associated with coffee drinking; these are both factors in coronory heart disease. Since coffee contains cafestol, which raises blood cholesterol, this is one of the main reasons it has been indicted in the heart disease debate. However, the European method of making coffee, which is to boil the ground beans, is the real culprit in cafestol; the American method of percolating or filtering coffee, removes it.

Another issue that has been raised regarding coffee drinking is that coffee contributes to loss of bone density among women. In addition, women who drink four or more cups of coffee a day are prone to incontinence.

The bottom line? As always, moderation. The many benefits of drinking coffee are available, and the risks avoided, if coffee is drunk moderately. Get a one cup coffee maker and enjoy one good cup a day, or splurge on your cappucinno instead of endless cups from the coffee vending machine.

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