Thursday, December 29, 2011

How Improving Your Cooking?

Cooking is more than just a chore. It can be a very fulfilling experience. When you make a meal you are putting your work and your concentration into something, and with just the right amount of experience, equipment, and ingredients can make something fairly magical.

Anybody can learn to make themselves at least a few nice meals and it is irrelevant whether you prefer to eat simple or have a complicated palette. The key to eating well is you knowing what to do with what you've got.

How can you expect to learn how food is supposed to taste when all you do is scarf it down? When you eat your meals, savor every bite. Just because something is hot off the grill or freshly baked from the oven doesn't mean it needs immediate ingestion. Observe it. See how it was prepared; look at the spices on it, the color, and the texture of the cut. Bite it and let the flavor stay for a bit before you wash it down with a drink. Take note the freshness of ingredients. Try and replicate this.

Make sure when you cook that your major kitchen appliances are working properly. Know how to use them or learn how to if you still feel worried. The better you can control things like heat on electric or gas ranges the better the results you will get. Become comfortable timing meals. Are you familiar with all the special features? Some of the more professional grade brands like Viking and Wolf kitchen appliances will have special settings for the type of meals you intend to make, and may make setting temperatures easier. While you're at it get yourself some good kitchenware: mixing bowls, measuring cups for both dry and liquids, whisks, cutting boards, stainless steel knives, etc. A better equipped kitchen will make cooking easier.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

How A Beginners Guide to Being a Vegetarian?

Technology is a sign of development and a symbol for modern prosperity, but because of these advancements, we cannot deny the fact that too much will also increase health risks such as cancer and other dangerous diseases. Like for example, the tendency for a free radical to initiate cancer increases because of the development of new cosmetics or food that is sprayed with some pesticides or supplements that can harm people when eaten.

Because of this reason, people tend to be more health conscious and they want knowledge about the new things that the human race developed. So, consumers looked for alternatives wherein they can reduce their exposure to these health risks and that they want something that could give them longer life. With this pursuit of looking for a better lifestyle, some people turned to being a vegetarian. They chose to be and more or less, you chose to be a vegetarian because of health benefits and vitamins that you could get. I myself loves vegetables and as a matter of fact, my meal isn't complete without it.

For a vegetarian, the heart of their diet is of course Vegetables. Some found these distasteful especially on the part of the kids. Kids surely loves meat! But parents, let's think of its health benefits and other betterment that it could give to us. Today, many culinary schools, restaurants and chefs made new and delicious vegetable dishes that some of which already tastes like meat!

There are a huge array of vegetables, and all of which are full of vitamins and nutrients that helps the body to become healthy. As a matter of fact, eating vegetables can also fight aging because it also contains anti-oxidants that protects your skin from UV light and radicals present in our surroundings. In addition, eating vegetables also helps you lose weight. Now, we're already talking about diet and aging! I knew it! People should love this piece of art created by our Holy God.

Vegetables does not only give you youth and great body but also boosts your immune system and improves your overall health. There are a number of health studies that show people who choose to be a vegetarian are likely to improve their health and longevity. Once study shows that, vegetarians experience a 30 per cent (30%) less heart disease, upto 40 per cent (40%) less prone to cancer and 20 per cent (20%) less premature mortality. It also shows that, people who have a good diet as a vegetarian have a decrease in blood pressure and circumstances of obtaining obesity and diabetes are reduced (Parragon Books Ltd, 2005).

While eating vegetables is good, having a balanced diet tops it all up. This includes eating fruits, eggs, dairy products,,nuts, seeds, lentils and pulses. A healthy diet can be achieved by careful planning and proper combination of foods. Though this method is quite difficult, you can get the hang of it through reading, practice and experience.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

In Home Wedding Cake Baker Vs Commercial Shop

My spouse and I owned a successful full service bakery in Cincinnati, Ohio fifteen years ago. We mass-produced cookies, cupcakes, coffee cakes, Danish pastry, donuts and even fresh-baked breads. It was among the last of the dying breed of old world style bakeries. And that is a shame. But now, bakeries specialize in only a few items and some, only cakes. Now my question to you is this: Are in-home-cake bakeries as good as commercial cake shops? Well let me give you some quick reasons why:

1) Cleanliness. Let me just say cleanliness depends on the person baking the cakes, not the location of the bakery. A meticulously clean person will be so whether at a commercial site or their home. I, for example am obsessively compulsive about the cleanliness of my work area and the cakes I produce. But that's how I am whether I produced cakes from a shop or from my home.

2) Quality. Anyone in business outside of their home has overhead costs for building space and commercial equipment. So naturally, they try to save on costs of goods and ingredients. Home bakers have an advantage of not having this extra expense. In addition, they often limit their number of cakes so they can focus on quality. As for me, I am fanatical about good taste and the best of the best ingredients. I know this sounds like a commercial, but its true. At our shop our passion is to make our brides and her guests fall in love with our cake!

3) Focus. In home bakers can focus on the business of cake baking and designing. They have none of the trappings that come with running a commercial shop. These things are not a distraction for the home baker. They usually limit the number of cakes they do in a given week in order to perfect each one and they tend to handcraft their cakes and forgo shortcuts that lend to mass production.

So if your in the market for a wedding cake, think twice before you shy away from a baker who works out of their home. Don't hesitate to interview them at their home. Sample their product and get a feel for their working environment. Believe me when I say, an in home bakery can compete with any commercial shop or grocery store producing wedding cakes, and I'm pretty sure we'd win by a long distance!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Who Thought White Was The Best Colour To Wear In A Kitchen?

There are thousands of chefs throughout the land cooking many different dishes from their own cuisine in various different countries, all of which have their own way of doing certain tasks. One thing remains the same however and that is the white chef uniform, but why white?

Have you ever asked the question that I always think when I see a chef? "Why do they wear white"? That is the one colour of clothing I try to avoid wearing if I am cooking in the kitchen. This may be a rare occasion as I only tend to bake, but still, how can it be a practical colour? Chefs do have good reasons for wearing white and one of those reasons is the same as why you should wear it on holiday, it reflects! White is the best colour for reflecting heat and kitchens get extremely hot with all the pans, ovens, body heat and tempers around!

Wearing long sleeves in a kitchen also sounds like it would be a bit of a nightmare but the white material allows your skin to breathe so you can still let out your body heat and prevent yourself from getting burnt which would really hurt and be a lot worse than being hot for a few hours a day. Chef's clothing has a lot more secrets behind it than just being a white jacket and hat and it is interesting to learn about. Without these jackets, cooking could be a lot harder and hold potentially a certain element of danger. Chef's hats also have a hidden message behind them. The different height of the chefs hats determine what rank they hold in the kitchen, so even if you feel silly wearing a hat, the higher it stands the hat the more authority they hold!

If white is not your colour and washes you out, you may not be keen on the standard uniform, although your bright red face from the heat of the kitchen may actually off-set it! A chef's uniform is one of the most easily and well-recognized uniforms in the world and has been around for many, many years. Recent chefs have decided to jazz up their outfits by wearing bright coloured trousers and coloured kerchiefs in their pockets, but one thing that will always remain is the style as it is created to make sure that you are as hygienic as possible.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Where Do You Get Your Pizza?

Pizza is a popular dish that is enjoyed by nearly every American at one time or another. Some families feast on it weekly, while others save it as a special treat for birthdays and other celebrations. Since it is not particularly expensive, many families opt to make it at home and customize it to their liking. No matter where you live, you can get your pizza from a few different types of places.

Pizzas can be purchased at your local grocery store. Some carry fresh ones that can be baked at home. Most carry frozen pizzas, and you may be surprised at how tasty these can be. If you are up for making your own pizza, you can purchase the necessary ingredients and head home to use your own oven.

Most people choose to get their pizzas from restaurants, but even these can vary quite a bit. Pizzerias vary dramatically, from the mom and pop shop to the gourmet pizzeria and just about everything in between. Family-owned pizzerias feature tried and true recipes that have been passed down for years from one family member to the next. It is highly likely that all the members of the family are working there on the weekends and that the pizzas taste like a slice of heaven. Gourmet pizzerias offer a little more "class" and upper-scale flare to their pies. Here you are likely to find unusual ingredients and a heftier price tag as well.

Another popular type of pizzeria is the buffet. Buffets are great when you are feeding a big family or sports team, because everyone can get something they like without the fuss. Another benefit to a buffet is that they are usually "all you can eat" so no one goes away hungry. Pizza buffets often offer unusual combinations in conjunction with traditional favorites. If you have someone with you that prefers a salad or pasta instead, that is usually available as well.

Regardless of where you choose to get your pizzas, do not be afraid to try something different once in a while. If a new topping or sauce is featured, give it a try and see if you like it. In the mid-1990's, one pizza chain started stuffing the crust with mozzarella cheese. This fad caught on because so many people enjoyed it. Some restaurants add chicken and BBQ sauce to their pies while still others feature flavored crusts and dipping sauces.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Food Storage Tips for Beginners

Storing provisions in times of excess is a smart way to plan for the future and protect your family in the event of a food shortage or crisis. There are different methods of storage available, and each have their own advantages. Research each type of food storage method and decide what's best for your family.

The first type of food storage is freezing. Freezing simply involves carefully wrapping the victuals or sealing them in a freezer-safe container and freezing it. Food stored in the freezer lasts variable amounts of time, and all different types of sustenance can be frozen. Some items, such as celery and lettuce, don't retain their taste or texture after being frozen. Storing food in the freezer requires energy to run the freezer, and is impractical as an emergency food supply.

Another method of food storage is canning. Canning is simply the process of packing items into cans or jars and heating the contents until all potential bacteria is killed. The jars are sealed to keep the food fresh. Canned foods last for years before spoiling, though the quality of the edible items declines after several years. The downside is that it can be costly to buy the necessary equipment and canned foods take up a lot of storage space.

Finally, there is a method of food storage called freeze-drying. Freeze-dried food is simply food that has had most of it's water removed. Removing the water makes the food more compact and lightweight, making freeze-dried food highly portable. Many people are unfamiliar with freeze-dried food and the benefits it offers.

Freeze-dried food can last up to 25 years. This is far longer than canned foods and frozen foods last, even under ideal conditions. The freeze-dried items can be stored away and forgotten abut until it is needed.

Freeze-dried items retain their taste better than with other methods of food storage. The quality of the freeze-dried morsels depends on the quality before the water was removed.

Unlike heavy jars or frozen containers, freeze-dried cuisine is lightweight and easy to move. This method of food storage produces such light weight fare that you can even backpack easily with a days supply of food. Water gives food most of its weight and freeze-drying removes the water from edible items, making it lighter.

Freeze-dried food is easy to prepare compared to other methods of food-storage. Most foods can be prepared in just a matter of minutes, and the process is so simple, even a child can do it!

Monday, December 12, 2011

How The Truth About Alkaline Water?

The cliché says water is essential to life, but apparently not all types of water are good. According to modern knowledge, much of the water people drink today is acidic. Bottled water sold is said to be acidic or just neutral. Now, there are certain types of organizations and companies that specify a certain type of water is most recommended. They call it alkaline water, or alkaline H2O, which has been causing some buzz lately due to some effective promotional methods. But what exactly is alkaline water?

A Product of Electrolysis

According to a company that produces the "miracle" water; plain water can be converted to alkaline H2O through electrolysis. They have machines that pass electric currents through the water to separate it to its component ions: hydrogen ions and hydroxide ions. This results in two kinds of water, one is acidic and the other one alkaline.

Healing Benefits

Producers of the "healthy" water do not promise to cure your illnesses with their water, but they do assert that alkaline H2O is good for your health. Surveys in different communities discovered that tap water's pH is around 7.2, which is neutral. This is good, but they say that water with higher pH is the better alternative.

There are no specific health benefit claims. If you check out websites of alkaline H2O health benefits, you may come across sites that state alkaline H2O has antioxidant properties. There are even videos on the Internet that demonstrate the antioxidant properties of alkaline water. Some people dismiss these demos as promotional gimmicks. Then again, there are alkaline water drinkers who testify that their arthritis or diabetes was gone after months and years of drinking the miracle water.

Cost of Ionizers

One drawback of the so-called miracle water is that it is expensive to produce. Although you can buy alkaline H2O, as it is available in different stores, many people opt for ionizers. These are machines that transform ordinary water to alkaline water. The cost of the machine is more than a thousand dollars.

The good thing about ionizers is they can provide a homeowner with a steady supply of alkaline H2O. There is no need to buy alkaline water from suppliers. The main inconvenience is the cost of the machine, which also need to be maintained.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Various Benefits of Portable Ice Makers

Summers are quite fun but they can be extremely exhausting at times and you need help to survive them by the help of juices, ice cream etc. Many people find that the refrigerator, where they store all their drinks and confectioneries at a cold temperature, is their savior in the summer months. In a similar fashion, people have freezers where they keep their drink and other materials chilled and use them to make ice which can be used as a coolant for drinks. They believe that they can easily beat the summer heat with a simple freezer of refrigerator but they do not know what they are missing.

Freezers are pretty handy as a device but they are large bulky and heavy and pretty much stationary. To overcome the limitation of a normal conventional freezer, portable ice makers were developed so that ice could be produced separately and easily. These devices while not very convenient to carry around do offer some mobility in the form of being smaller and more compact when compared to freezers. Portable ice makers are not very heavy and just require a flat surface to be placed on, and an electrical connection but not of the same voltage as a full size freezer.

These machines need to be provided with water and the machine should be turned on once the electrical power supply connection is deemed safe. After the machine has been running for a few minutes it will start producing ice. The ice produced by these machines is not as compact as the one produced by a full size freezer but is serves the purpose. Unfortunately the ice once made has to be used or it will melt again. However, many portable ice makers have the ability to use the water produced by the melted ice to make more ice.

Portable ice makers are especially handy if you are planning to have a picnic or an outdoor event where an electrical supply will be available. Similarly, if there is a sports event with many people participating such as soccer, then a portable ice maker is ideal and bound to be the most valuable and popular thing on the ground. These machines also make the perfect addition to an annex or a summer home.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Is Drinking Olive Oil Healthy For You?

Olive oil is an integral part of the Mediterranean diet which has been recognized as one of the healthiest in the world. No self-respecting Spaniard, Greek or Italian table would be complete without olive oil for salads and chunks of fresh bread.

Why anyone would simply want to drink olive oil when it enhances the taste of salads and improves the flavour of any dish is a mystery, but if you want to you can drink it. However you should only have one or two tablespoons of it a day as it has a laxative effect.

Research has shown that the best type of olive oil is the extra virgin oil which comes from the first pressing. Others from later pressings are healthy, but the extra virgin is by far the healthiest. You should buy it in a dark glass bottle as it deteriorates in sunlight so should be stored in a relatively cool dark place. You can store it in the fridge too as this doesn't detract from its taste or medicinal value. Extra virgin olive oil may be a luscious dark green or even a pale yellow; it depends on where the oil originated, the soil the olive tree grew in, and the particular climate of its area of origin.

There have been many research studies into olive oil and its health benefits, because of its importance in the Mediterranean diet, and it has been found to have heart protective properties as it can lower cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, and prevent hardening of the arteries. Olive oil consists of 75 per cent oleic acid which is an Omega-9 fatty acid and it now seems that this is able to decrease high blood pressure. With a decreased blood pressure rate you will lessen the risks of strokes and help lower your risk of heart disease.

Also, according to the Diabetes Care scientific journal, a diet rich in olive oil can reduce the risk of Type II diabetes which is becoming more prevalent today. Monounsaturated fats such as those found in olive oil may benefit insulin levels and help control blood sugar levels it is believed.

Having olive oil in your diet can also help with depression, (as can the herb, borage) as polyunsaturated fats such as those found in it, fatty fish and some vegetables, are associated with a lower risk of suffering from depression.

A phytonutrient in this oil, oleocanthal, has been found to imitate the effects of the pain-relieving drug, Ibuprofen, on inflammation. This can in turn reduce the risks of contracting breast cancer and its recurrence.

Squalene and lignans (such as those found in flax seeds) also found in this Mediterranean oil are currently being studied to find their possible effects on cancer; for example, vitamin E which is found in this is known to lower cancer risks.

Perhaps the group which benefits most from consumption of olive oil is that of post-menopausal women, as they are at risk from osteoporosis, which is basically a decrease in bone mass leading to having brittle bones which break easily if you have a fall. When tested on rats in the laboratory it was found that their bone mass improved when they were given daily doses of the oil.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

What a Juicing Diet Can Do?

eing overweight can lead to a number of medical conditions and illnesses. If you want to reduce your health problems, you have to find a way to stay fit. Do this by learning vegetable and fruit juice recipes. A juicing diet can make you feel more energized and motivated.

It is important to consult a nutritionist or a health professional before attempting to undergo major changes in your diet. While it is true that vegetables and fruits are good for the health, not all of them would suit your health condition. For example, if you have diabetes, you want to lessen your intake of bananas, mango, watermelon, strawberries as well as sapodilla and pineapple. These fruits are still beneficial for the health but you should minimize eating or drinking them if you have high blood sugar.

In your juicing diet, it is best to incorporate fruits and vegetables that are low in sugar and carbohydrates like celery, carrots, spinach, beets as well as apple and coconut. You can also try tomato juice but avoid it if you are acidic or if you are on fasting. Remember to drink lots of water to help you through the juicing diet. In order to make the juices more flavorful, you can try adding ginger, garlic, bits of salt, honey and other spices in order to make it taste better.

When on a diet, it would be best to replace carbonated drinks including coffee or tea and turn to fruit juices and vegetable juices instead. This will help you lose weight because they can rid the body of toxins and wastes.

You can try this vegetable broth recipe as a part of your juicing diet:

2 to 3 liters of water 
3 potatoes 
2 onions 
4 carrots 
4 garlic cloves

Chop all of the ingredients and then add them to water. Make sure to cover and let it simmer for 30 minutes and then drain the vegetables. You can also add cayenne pepper or Worcestershire sauce to taste.

This recipe is good to eat before or after a work out because it provides energy and can help brain function better.

You can also try these super juicing diet recipes:

Ingredients: 1 lime, peeled 
3 apples 
1/2 pineapples 
1 cucumber 
1 ripe avocado 
1 oz. of fresh wheatgrass or wheatgrass powder 
Add 1 level of tablespoon of spirulina

Another great recipe that you can share with family and friends:

1/2 pineapples 
1 stick of celery 
1 cucumber 
Some spinach leaves 
1 peeled lime 
3 apples 
1/4 avocado