No Fail Recipes

Month: December 2015

Dining Etiquette

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Dining EtiquetteIf you’ve been invited to an evening of dining at a private dinner party with promises of good conversation, good food and a whole lot of formalities then yes, yes you should have come to this page to learn more and get better. Even if you’re simply dining out at family friendly restaurants, there is certain dining etiquette that you should follow.

The thing about private and formal dinner parties is either you love them or hate them, there is no in between. If you want to make private dinner parties happen in your life then you’re going to want to follow the rules that go with them and we’re here to help you make sure your first fete won’t be your last.

Now, there can be any number of variations when it comes to small formal affairs but we’ve selected a best attack plan that will guide you through most intimate dinners – unless you’re in the Amazon Jungle getting ready for dinner with the tribe chief – then you’re on your own. Sorry.

Pre-Dinner

You must buy your host a gift. If you know your host well then it’s always worth it to go the extra mile and make it personal. However, if you aren’t very familiar with your host do not fret; you can’t go wrong with a beautiful bottle of wine (emphasis on beautiful and de-emphasis on screw tops).

Greeting

You ring or knock the giant brass knuckle and are greeted by someone unfamiliar, don’t panic, this unfamiliar person will likely take your coat for safekeeping. Just look past the shoulder of the unfamiliar person and your host should be waiting to greet you.

Greet according to your country’s custom or your host’s custom which could be a handshake, double-cheek kiss or a simple “hello, how do you do.”

You will move into the formal gathering area for cocktails and chit-chat with your fellow diners. Shortly after, guests will be invited to the dining room.

Dining

If there are place cards set out on the table then sit accordingly, otherwise you can wait for the host/hostess to signal where you should be sitting. The guest(s) of honor will be seated to the right of the hosts. The female guest of honor should be served first and then the service will go around the table until it returns to the hosts.

Men should pull out the chair for the lady designated to sit on their right-hand side, but should not seat themselves until the lady of the house is seated. The man sitting on the left of the lady of the house should be the one to seat her.

Place Settings

Each setting should have a charger plate on it at all times. The first course will be served in a separate dish and placed on the charger plate. The soup course requires the soup dish to be placed on the charger and then both are removed at the same time and replace by the main course plate.

Your plates should be served to you from your left side and will be picked up you’re your right so be aware of your movements. If crumbs need to be eliminated from the table, it will be done quietly and discreetly.

When beginning your dining experience remember you’re going to be eating from the outside in when it comes to your cutlery. So when partaking in the first course you’re going to want to start with the outside fork and then work your way inward for subsequent courses.

These tips are mainly when dining out, but everything can be more relaxed when you’re at home. If you want to start hosting dinner parties at home to invite friends and family, you could look into purchasing something like a dinner table from a site like furniture in fashion, to find modern and high quality dining table sets. You’ll become a natural at this in no time.

Dining Things

The fanciest of fancy dinners will have a six-course meal. The courses will include the following: Shellfish or Soup, Fish, Main Course, Salad, Dessert.

Your water glass will be filled shortly after it begins to run low, you should never have to ask for it. Speaking of glasses, hold your wine glass by the stem.

Your dessert will come in a bowl sitting on a plate or a plate with the knife and fork on it. If fresh fruit is part of the meal, it will be served shortly after the dessert.

Some party hosts will provide finger bowls. The finger bowls will be brought on a plate and set down after the last course. Once you are finished you should dip your fingers in the finger bowl and wipe them.

Pleasantries

Part of a lovely dining experience is the conversation that comes with. Sure you can have delicious food, but if the conversation is sour, this will upset the mood of things. If you’re the guy with the sour conversation, say goodbye to private dinners because no one will want to partake in sour conversation again.

Stick to general conversation topics and stay away from topics like religion and politics. Essentially if you show up dressed well, feeling pleasant and have a lovely smile on your face you’re going to be just fine.

Take these handy tips into consideration and you’ll knock the whole thing out of the park (or right past the butler anyways).

Coffees from Around the World

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Coffee from Around the World

A great cup of Java is what all good mornings should be made of. ALL. It shouldn`t surprise you to know that delicious coffee from around the world is enjoyed in a similar manner all over the globe.

For some of us coffee is serious business. There is no messing with our brand and the time we like to spend alone with our Jo is important. If you want to read some coffee machine reviews visit The Full Moon Cafe who will help you out, or Little Coffee Place who have a great guide on single serve coffee makers (which are my personal favorite).

Do you know that this little habit that you have is practiced in all four corners of the globe (technically the globe doesn’t have corners, but you know what I mean) in variations all day long. Some people prefer the comfort of having a coffee machine at home, with the Hamilton Beach 49980A being a popular choice. Coffee is a love undefined by borders, it seeps dark and pours deep into the hearts of people for its rich, earthy flavor, its caffeine buzz and that little sumthin-sumthin it’s got that has no name but puts a smile on your face.

Coffee comes from the coffee bean plant which is located in several regions around the world. Some of the largest coffee-producing countries include Ethiopia, Brazil and Vietnam. There are two major varieties produced. The Robusta bean is the standard bean while the Arabica bean is the premium version.

Let’s take a hop, skip and jump and tour across the globe to find out about world coffee consumptions that not only titillate the taste buds but also the mind buds.

Ethiopia

It is believed that the first beans for coffee were discovered in Ethiopia. From Ethiopia the beans made their way into the Middle East. To make coffee like it’s done in Ethiopia you are going to want to get yourself premium Arabica beans, which Ethiopia produces.

These bean need to be roasted in a pan, you’ll know their ready when they darken. In a separate pot bring water to boil. Once the water is boiling, add a spoon of sugar and a spoon of coffee into the pot. The stronger you want your coffee, the longer you want to leave it covered in the pot.

Turkey

Coffee made its way into the Ottoman courts after the movement of the bean up from Africa into the Middle East. Turkey has a special coffee culture that revolves not only on the dark liquid but also the ritual itself.

To make Turkish coffee you need ground Turkish coffee or espresso will if you can’t find Turkish brands. The traditional way to make Turkish coffee is to cook the coffee in water over a gas flame. The coffee along with the grinds is poured into little cups that are the size of espresso cups. Sugar is added as per the drinker’s liking.

Coffee drinker’s carefully drink the last drop so as to not swallow the grinds nor to spill the grinds. The coffee story isn’t finished after that last sip of coffee. The coffee cups will have the residue of the coffee grinds at the bottom of the cups. The cups are covered with a saucer and the cups are then turned upside down. The coffee cup is turned over on the saucer for 10 mins. Then one of your fellow coffee drinkers will read your fortune.

The coffeehouse tradition is believed to have started in Istanbul sometime between the 15th and 16th centuries.

Italian

From the Middle East, over to Turkey and into Italy was the journey of the coffee bean. The Italian love for coffee is well known around the world, in particular the express form of coffee also known as espresso. Italy has a culture that surrounds the sipping of the daily brew with many people popping into their local coffee houses several times for an espresso, an Americano, a café au lait or perhaps an aperitif closer to the evening.

Although large contraptions for preparing the various coffees are popular in coffee houses, many homes still use a traditional percolator to get the perfect cup of coffee.

Brazil

Brazil is the largest producer of coffee in the world, given that stat it comes as no particular shock that coffee is big in Brazil. One of the most popular ways to drink coffee is with hot milk and sprinklings of sugar with a double-strength coffee base.

Cuba

A cup of Cuban coffee in hand and a smile on your face as you chat with friends is the way Cubans like to start the day (certainly not a bad way to start the day). Cubans enjoy lots of sugar in their coffee, alternatively you can also start your day with a milky version.

American

None of those tiny Turkish or Italian cups can cut it for an American cup of Jo. Coffee in the U.S. comes in a large cup and is meant to be sipped, not tossed back like an Italian espresso. A cup of coffee to the lips is a popular way to start the day. Milk or cream and sugar are popular additions to coffee. Additionally, mixed coffee drinks that contain less coffee and more whipped cream have also become particularly popular.

Beloved coffee is loved for numerous reasons and ultimately gives us a chance to break up the day and take a nice hot sip. There`s a lot of difference around the world but one thing we all can come together over is coffee from around the world.

How to Make the Best Ice Cream Ever

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Best Ice Cream Ever

I think that when it comes to ice cream we all think the same way, but no one put it more eloquently than Ginger Rogers. She said, “My love for ice cream emerged at an early age – and has never left!” What could be more delightful than eating an ice cream? I think it is one’s ability to make the best ice cream ever and that too at their home. Speaking of which, my friend recently got the best refrigerator under 15000 to make all the ice cream he can manage.

However, making ice cream at home is not everyone’s cup of tea. First of all, it requires all the necessary equipment, so you’ll probably have to think about buying an ice cream maker; secondly and most importantly it demands you to be one hell of an ice cream chef to make the best ice cream at home. Yet, with these easy tips, we assure that you can make the best ice cream ever.

  1. Rejuvenate your love for vanilla – A survey by the International Ice Cream Association reveals that the most popular ice cream favor in the USA is vanilla. It is the most popular ice cream flavor in the world too. So in this article, you will learn how to make the best vanilla ice cream at home, and here is the first tip; fall in love with vanilla again.
  2. Ingredients – You need to get all the required ingredients to make the best vanilla ice cream ever. You need 1-1/4 full fat milk. ½ cup golden caster sugar, 1 vanilla pod, 3 large free-range egg yolks and ice.
  3. Get ready to make the best ice cream – The day before you want to impress your friends and family with your master cookery, get the canister from your machine and put it into the freezer to adjust the temperature.
  4. Vanilla day – The next day wake up with the will and wish to make the best vanilla ice cream ever. You need to mix the milk and cream into a medium sized pan, and then mix half the sugar. The vanilla pod you have is the fruit of vanilla plant and you will use it to add the arousing vanilla flavor to your ice cream. Get a small kitchen knife and slice the vanilla pod vertically (I used my best japanese knife). Then extract as many of the black seeds as possible and put those black seeds into the cream mixture. After you have done this, cut the pod into small bits and drop those bits into the cream mixture.
  5. Heat up the temptation – Now that you are done with mixing milk with cream and adding vanilla pod to the mixture, it is the time to heat up the temptation to make the best ice cream ever. You should remember that heating the cream and milk is the most important part and you can either ruin it or do masterfully. Let the mixture boil on a mild heat. Stir the mixture from time to time and take care of it until it almost boils. Then you need to take the pan off of the heat for 30 minutes.
  6. Eggs are not to be taken for granted – Take only the egg yolks into a bowl, put some sugar and beat it with egg beater until the mixture thickens. Now is the time to get some cream mixture and put it into the egg yolks and stir it until the yolks are slacken. Then you need to reheat the cream until it is boiled and then mix the egg yolks mixture into the cream.
  7. Low heat time – Now you need to keep low heat and keep stirring until you see that the mixture in your pan is thickening. You need to make sure that there are no bubbles on the surface – if there are any, it is the sign that you should take the pan off the heat.
  8. Make it or ruin it – Now comes the hardest part. You need to put all the custard into a small bowl and place that bowl into a bigger bowl one third full of cold water. Give it some time and keep stirring to avoid the formation of any skin on the surface. Then put the small bowl in a freezer for 4 to 5 hours.
  9. Ice cream machine time – Now you need to switch on your ice cream machine, get the vanilla pod pieces out of the custard and slowly pour the custard into the machine. Let it churn for about 20 minutes and see if the cream is too soft to eat. Put the cream into a plastic bowl and put it in a freezer for around 4 hours. After 4 hours, it is ready to serve. Congratulations! You have made the best vanilla ice cream ever.

Here are some general tips to take things to the master chef level.

Add some sweetness – People who make ice cream at home make a common mistake. They use simple table sugar in the ice cream and they expect their ice cream’s texture, body and creaminess to be just as good as any master chef’s ice cream. However, it is a mistake. If you do not want to make any but the best ice cream ever, we suggest you to use alternate sugars like invert sugar or glucose syrup. The alternate sugar like glucose sugar will give a tremendous texture and creaminess to your ice cream.

Make it scoop worthy – At restaurants and ice cream parlors, they keep the temperature of their freezers from 0 to 10 Fahrenheit in order to keep the ice cream scoopable. If you want to give your guests a pleasant surprise and you want them to be in awe of your homemade ice cream, make sure that it is neither melt nor too cold.

Use some stabilizers – If you want to make the master chef level ice cream at home, you should remember that making an ice cream is easy but keeping it in good form is very difficult. This miracle can be made possible by using some good stabilizers like gelatin and milk powder. From texture to chewiness, there is a lot that stabilizers can do for your ice cream.

If you take care of all these steps carefully, perhaps not at the first attempt but at the second or third attempt, you will make a flawless vanilla ice cream that will make any good chef envious of you. The beauty of vanilla ice cream is its creaminess and texture, not only the taste. Take care of the special tips in the end and you will make an ice cream that will not only taste good, but also feel and look as good as any master chef’s ice cream. So, now that you know how to make the best ice cream in the world, go make it and make your family scream for ice cream every Sunday!

How to Make the Best Pasta Ever

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Best Pasta Recipe Ever

A twirl of the fork, a scooping of spaghetti sauce and a little sip of wine make for the best pasta ever, bordering on divine.

Pasta is comfort food, good food, hearty stick-to-your ribs, anytime-is-a-good-time food. It’s hard to believe that this dish that is so ubiquitous in North America has its beginnings in the old World. In order to learn how to make the best pasta ever you`re going to need to know a little bit about where it came from.

Pasta came to America via the kitchens of mamas and grandmamas that immigrated to the good old United States from Italy. Pasta enjoyed its heyday in the later part of the 1900s and spread across North America and with it spread the secrets to a great pasta every time.

Moving to present day, pasta has been incorporated into the weekly dining routine of numerous households. In fact, head to a grocery store in almost any corner of North America and you’ll find at least part of an aisle dedicated to the various shapes of pasta.

So what is the trick to whipping up the perfect pasta? Well let’s tell you all about it. Here we go.

Step 1

Make sure you’ve got a nice large pot for boiling water. Your pasta should be able to easily float around without the noodles getting stuck to one another. An 8 quart pasta pot is ideal. You should fill the pot approximately 75 percent of the way up with water.

Step 2

Once you’ve selected the ideal pot, fill it up with cold water. Filling it up with cold water will allow it to slowly reach the boiling temperature. Once it hits boiling, you’lll know that all of the bad gunk is being eliminated.  and that will then give you time to spill ou the excess water.

Step 3

It is important that you salt your water so that your pasta will have some flavor.

Step 4

Add some extra virgin olive oil to your pot to ensure your pasta doesn’t stick together. The addition of the oil will also help the water from boiling up and over the pot.

Step 5

Bring your pasta up to a rolling boil before tossing the pasta in. This will help the pasta cook evenly. Once the water is boiling, toss your pasta in and make sure to give it a stir so you don’t have any pasta clumping together.

Step 6

Now comes the patient part. You must wait without fiddling with the cooking pasta, just let it do its thing. You should cook it for several minutes less than the package instructions. Before completely removing the pasta from the water, give your pasta the chewability test. If you like the consistency take the pot of water off the stove and drain your pasta.

Step 7

You should have already cooked up a sauce, so the best thing you can do right now is plate your pasta. You will need to top the best pasta ever with your delicious basil garlic pasta sauce and enjoy. There is nothing worse than a plate full of cold, sticky pasta after you’ve spent hours on the sauce. So enjoy both the sauce and pasta together when they’re at their flavor optimal best.

Preserving an Open Bottle of Wine

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Open Wine BottlesA big question many people have about wine is how to preserve an open bottle for future drinking.  Typically, they’re wonder- ing if they should invest in a system that replaces the air in the bottle with an inert gas, or in a vacuum system that removes the air from the bottle entirely. They are surprised when I suggest that they just cork the bottle and put it in their fridge. The reality is though, most people don’t even know that wine fridges exist. These are fridges that are specifically designed to help keep your wine at optimal taste levels. We’d advise reading more about wine fridges through a website such as Materialist, found here.

To understand why, it’s helpful to know what is happening to a wine once a bottle is opened and oxygen allowed in. This oxygen initiates a complex series of chemical reactions, first by combining with phenols (flavor components) to form hydrogen peroxide, and then with the hydrogen peroxide interacting with ethanol (the alcohol in wine) to form acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde has a cidery aroma and a flat texture. The taste that distinguishes intentionally oxidized wines like sherry and madeira from traditional wine is their elevated level of acetaldehyde.

Many wines benefit from exposure to oxygen, within reason. This is particularly true with young red wines, which receive a high level of reductive compounds from the skins of grapes. Adding some oxygen to these wines, either by decanting a wine or just by letting it sit in a glass after having been poured, will often liberate flavor compounds that are at first tied up by the reductive elements. But eventually, all those reductive compounds are combined with oxygen, and even a young red wine will begin to oxidize and show the acetaldehyde in sherried,flat flavors. And older red wines, and most white wines, have much lower tolerances for oxygen before beginning to show symptoms.

How long after opening do you have before a wine becomes unpleasantly oxidized? For the most delicate older wines, it may only be a few hours. Most younger wines will give you several hours safely, and some robust red wines will last happily for a few days. But eventually, all of them will start to show oxidation’s undesirable effects.

Key to knowing how to slow down these symptoms is recognizing that oxidation is a chemical reaction. Like most chemical reactions, the rate of oxidation is temperature- dependent. Combine oxygen and wine at room temperature and oxidation happens relatively quickly. At 40°, you slow the process dramatically. This is why the most effective way of slowing the process of oxidation once a wine has been exposed to oxygen is to chill it down. When you’re ready to drink it, the next day or later in the week, if it’s a red or a richer white, just take it out 20 minutes or so before you want to pour it and let it warm up a bit.

Note that you’re not buying an indefinite amount of time by chilling down an opened bottle; cooler temperatures slow down the chemical reactions but don’t stop them. But if you get a week of drinkability rather than a day, as has been my general experience, you’ve made real progress.

Will the various systems that exchange the air in a partly-empty bottle for an inert gas (typically argon or nitrogen) help? If the gas is being inserted into the bottle as the wine is removed absolutely. But if, like most at-home wine preservation kits, the inert gas is applied only after the bottle is partly emptied, they likely only help at the margins. Each time the wine is poured, oxygen is absorbed by the wine as it is sloshed around the emptying bottle, and after several pours, there’s enough oxygen dissolved in the wine that the process of oxidation will continue even if there’s a layer of inert gas applied to the surface.

Similarly, the vacuum pumps that remove oxygen from a bottle don’t eliminate the oxygen that has already dissolved in the wine, and they have the added complication that they do cause the wine to respire carbon dioxide, which is typically in solution in wine as a by-product of fermentation. This CO2 provides acidity in the wine, and removing it can make a wine taste as flat as oxidation would have.

One great technique, if you know or suspect you’ll only finish half a bottle, is to have an empty half- bottle available, which you ll and cork right when you open your original bottle. Because that wine has had only minimal exposure to oxygen and can’t absorb any more because of the bottle’s seal, you can typically preserve it for a week or more safely. But it does take some planning. If you find yourself with a partial bottle at the end of a leisurely dinner, don’t stress. Just reclose the wine bottle, and stick it in the fridge.

Healthy Berries

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Berries - Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, HuckleberriesTheir not just juicy little globules of utter perfection, berries are filled of all sorts of super antioxidants and vitamins that do your body good.

Thе соnѕumрtіоn оf bеrrу fruіtѕ аnd their соntrіbutіоn tо іmрrоvіng саrdіоvаѕсulаr hеаlth іѕ a ѕubjесt оf соnѕіdеrаblе іntеrеѕt. Thе соmmоnlу соnѕumеd bеrrіеѕ іn thе Unіtеd Stаtеѕ іnсludе blасkbеrrу, blасk rаѕрbеrrу, bluеbеrrу, сrаnbеrrу, red rаѕрbеrrу, ѕtrаwbеrrіеѕ, аnd оlаllіеbеrrу. Lеѕѕ соmmоnlу соnѕumеd berries include асаі, black сurrаnt, сhоkеbеrrу, аnd mulbеrrіеѕ. Bеrrіеѕ аrе lоw іn саlоrіеѕ аnd аrе hіgh іn mоіѕturе аnd fіbеr. Thеу соntаіn nаturаl аntіоxіdаntѕ ѕuсh аѕ vіtаmіnѕ C аnd E, аndmісrоnutrіеntѕ such аѕ fоlіс асіd, саlсіum, ѕеlеnіum, аlрhа аnd bеtа саrоtеnе, аnd lutein. A berry іѕ a ѕmаll, рulру аnd оftеn еdіblе fruіt. Bеrrіеѕ аrе uѕuаllу juісу, rоundеd, brіghtlу соlоrеd, ѕwееt оr ѕоur, аnd dо nоt hаvе a ѕtоnе оr ріt, although mаnу ѕееdѕ mау bе рrеѕеnt.

Some of the most popular berries include:

Blueberries

Blueberries аrе реrеnnіаl flоwеrіng рlаntѕ wіth іndіgо-соlоrеd berries frоm thе ѕесtіоn Cуаnососсuѕ wіthіn thе gеnuѕ Vассіnіum

Bluеbеrrіеѕ аrе unԛuеѕtіоnаblу lоw іn саlоrіеѕ аnd аrе a gооd ѕоurсе оf vіtаmіn E аnd C, soluble fіbеr, manganese, іrоn, аnd роtаѕѕіum. Mаngаnеѕе іѕ a trасе mіnеrаl crucial іn thе grоwth оf уоur bоnеѕ

Mаіntаіn a hеаlthу heart: Bluеbеrrіеѕ trу tо kеер оnеѕ blood vessels ѕtrоng. Mаnу rероrtѕ аlѕо ѕuggеѕt thаt thеу rеduсе сhоlеѕtеrоl lеvеlѕ. Bluеbеrrіеѕ еnсоurаgе thе рrоduсtіоn оf соllаgеn, thе buіldіng blосk оf сеllulаr mаtеrіаl, that wіll hеlр rеіnfоrсе the саріllаrу system. There іѕ аlѕо an аѕріrіn-lіkе еffесt оn thе fоrmаtіоn оf blооd сlоtѕ.

Protect аgаіnѕt cancer: Bluеbеrrіеѕ mіght іnсrеаѕе аntі-саnсеr funсtіоnѕ іnѕіdе уоur body’s сеllѕ аnd соuld аѕѕіѕt іn рrеvеntіng ovarian аnd colon саnсеr. Elevated аmоuntѕ of аntіоxіdаntѕ were аlѕо ѕhоwn tо сut down іnсіdеntѕ оf brеаѕt саnсеrѕ.

Blackberries

Blackberries are соnѕіdеrеd tо bе an аggrеgаtе fruіt knоwn аѕ a реrеnnіаl рlаnt bearing bіеnnіаl ѕtеmѕ. Hаvіng a nutrіtіоnаl соntеnt соntаіnіng dіеtаrу fіbеr, vіtаmіn C аnd vіtаmіn K, thе fruіt іѕ hіghlу recommended bу аll. Blасkbеrrіеѕ аrе аlѕо knоwn tо bе gооd ѕоurсеѕ оf manganese, bеtа саrоtеnе аnd lutеіn. Add to аll thеѕе bеnеfіtѕ thе fасt that thіѕ fruіt соntаіnѕ ѕеvеrаl еѕѕеntіаl аntіоxіdаntѕ thаt аrе hеlрful in fіghtіng оff ѕеvеrаl dіѕеаѕеѕ. They provide the following health benefits:

  1. Prеvеntѕ brеаѕt аnd сеrvісаl саnсеr – Anу саnсеr whісh іѕ рrеvеntеd іѕ a gооd thіng. Brеаѕt саnсеr аnd сеrvісаl саnсеr іѕ аlwауѕ a fеаr оf wоmеn ѕіnсе thеrе іѕ always a bіg risk tо thеm. Bу еаtіng blасkbеrrіеѕ, you саn prevent thіѕ happening. Cаnсеr іѕ a dеаdlу disease іf nоt treated will kіll.
  2. Strеngthеnіng оf blооd vеѕѕеlѕ – Thеrе are mаnу blооd vеѕѕеlѕ іn уоur bоdу. Thе mоrе сеntеrеd blооd vеѕѕеlѕ whісh аrе thе mоѕt соnсеrnеd аrоund thе hеаrt. Wіth hеаlthу blооd vеѕѕеlѕ, уоu саn рrеvеnt heart dіѕеаѕе аnd ѕtrеngthеn уоur еуеѕіght. Evеrуоnе саn improve thеіr еуеѕіght.
  3. Rеlіеf frоm intestinal іnflаmmаtіоn and dіаrrhеа – This іѕ thе ԛuісk rеlіеf strategy thаt blасkbеrrіеѕ offer. For thаt Mеxісаn dіnnеr thаt уоu аtе аnd nоw rеgrеttіng, tаkе ѕоmе blасkbеrrіеѕ аnd rеlіеvе уоur іntеѕtіnаl раіn аnd dіаrrhеа. You will fееl bеttеr for dоіng ѕuсh a ѕіmрlе task.

Strawberries

Strаwbеrrіеѕ аrе thе numbеr оnе fruіt сrор fоr hоmе рlаnt­іngѕ. Strаwbеrrіеѕ may аlѕо bе grown аѕ a саѕh сrор іn lаrgе hоmе рlаntіngѕ.

Strаwbеrrіеѕ аrе nоt оnlу dеlісіоuѕ but аlѕо vеrу vеrѕаtіlе, аnd thеrе аrе mаnу wауѕ in whісh you саn аdd ѕtrаwbеrrіеѕ tо уоur dаіlу dіеt

Hеаlth Bеnеfіt оf ѕtrаwbеrrу

Rісh ѕоurсе оf роlурhеnоlѕ (аnthосуаnіnѕ)

Hеlр рrоtесt аgаіnѕt саnсеr

Help рrоtесt аgаіnѕt hеаrt dіѕеаѕе

Nаturаl аntі-іnflаmmаtоrу рrореrtіеѕ

Prоtесtіоn аgаіnѕt rhеumаtоіd аrthrіtіѕ

Raspberries

Raspberries аrе some оf nаturе’ѕ mоѕt реrfесt fооdѕ. Whеthеr уоu еаt thеm frеѕh оr tаkе bеrrу-bаѕеd ѕuррlеmеntѕ, do уоurѕеlf аnd уоur bоdу a fаvоr ‘kеер еаtіng mоrе оf them.

Wіth ѕо mаnу hеаlth bеnеfіtѕ, bеrrіеѕ mау bе оnе оf thе tаѕtіеѕt wауѕ tо еаt wеll. But before hеаdіng tо thе ѕtоrе, kеер thеѕе роіntѕ іn mіnd. Thе fresher thе bеrrіеѕ, thе bеttеr thеу’ll tаѕtе, ѕо buу them lосаllу grоwn оr рісk thеm уоurѕеlf аt a fаrm. And сhооѕе оrgаnісаllу grоwn іf роѕѕіblе, раrtісulаrlу rаѕрbеrrіеѕ аnd ѕtrаwbеrrіеѕ (59 реrсеnt of raspberries аnd 90 реrсеnt of strawberries hаvе tеѕtеd роѕіtіvе fоr pesticide rеѕіduеѕ in соmmеrсіаl ѕаmрlеѕ)

Vіtаmіn C thаt is found іn rаѕрbеrrіеѕ hеlрѕ tо іmрrоvе our іmmunе ѕуѕtеm bу аttасkіng mаnу mісrо-оrgаnіѕmѕ. Rаѕрbеrrіеѕ, bluеbеrrіеѕ, ѕtrаwbеrrіеѕ, аnd сrаnbеrrіеѕ соntаіn аn еnоrmоuѕ аmоunt оf vіtаmіn C.

Boysenberries

Boysenberries mау lооk lіkе a bіg, blоwzу, undеrrіре blасkbеrrу, but іt іѕ іn fact a noble fruіt, аѕ dіѕtіnсt frоm a соmmоn blасkbеrrу аѕ a thоrоughbrеd іѕ frоm a mulе.

Lаrgе, dаrk purple, juісу аnd іntеnѕе, іt dеrіvеѕ іtѕ unіԛuе flavor frоm іtѕ соmрlеx аnсеѕtrу: sweetness аnd flоrаl аrоmа frоm іtѕ rаѕрbеrrу grаndmоthеr, аnd a wіnу, fеrаl tаng frоm thrее nаtіvе blасkbеrrу ѕресіеѕ.

It’s a California сlаѕѕіс, emblematic of thе jоуѕ оf growing uр іn thе Sоuthlаnd bеfоrе іt ѕuссumbеd соmрlеtеlу tо ѕрrаwl. And іt’ѕ аll the mоrе рrесіоuѕ, dеѕріtе іtѕ nеаr еxtіnсtіоn іn thіѕ ѕtаtе, bесаuѕе іt еvоkеѕ whу реорlе mоvеd hеrе іn thе fіrѕt рlасе. 

Olallieberry

“Olаllіе” is a word fоr berry thаt was used bу Nаtіvе Amеrісаnѕ оf thе Pасіfіс Nоrthwеѕt. Sо you’re actually saying “bеrrу bеrrу”

Gеnеtісаllу, іt is аррrоxіmаtеlу two-thirds Blасkbеrrу аnd оnе-thіrd Eurореаn Rеd Raspberry. Thе Olаllіеbеrrу wаѕ dеvеlореd іn 1949 by the U.S. Dераrtmеnt оf Agrісulturе аt Orеgоn State University bу сrоѕѕіng a Loganberry wіth a Yоungbеrrу. Whіlе рrіmаrіlу developed іn Orеgоn, іt hаѕ nеvеr bееn very рrоduсtіvе there аnd is primarily grоwn in California. Because thе оlаllіеbеrrу hаѕ blackberry оn bоth ѕіdеѕ of its раrеntаgе, it еxhіbіtѕ many оf thе ѕаmе flаvоr characteristics оf thе blасkbеrrу. However, оlаllіеbеrrіеѕ аrе muсh lаrgеr in ѕіzе and gеnеrаllу are sweeter than blасkbеrrіеѕ grоwn undеr thе same соndіtіоnѕ.

Huckleberries

Huckleberries аrе ѕmаll аnd rоund bеrrіеѕ thаt саn be ѕоmеtіmеѕ mistaken for bluеbеrrіеѕ. Thе соlоr оf thеѕе berries rаngе frоm dеер rеd tо bluе tо еggрlаnt рurрlе. Thе dіffеrеnt varieties оf thіѕ berry grow wіld thrоughоut North Amеrіса. Thе rеd соlоrеd ones grow in thе wеѕtеrn раrt оf Nоrth Amеrіса whіlе thе dаrk-bluе/blасk оnеѕ grоw іn thе mіd аnd еаѕtеrn rеgіоn оf thе соntіnеnt.

Huсklеbеrrіеѕ аrе nаtіvе tо Cаnаdа аnd Nоrthwеѕtеrn Unіtеd States. Thеу grоw wеll іn hіghеr аltіtudе whеrе thе mоuntаіn ѕоіl іѕ асіdіс.

Huсklеbеrrіеѕ аrе rісh іn аntіоxіdаntѕ. Inсludіng thеm іn уоur dіеt whеn thеу аrе іn ѕеаѕоn саn рrеvеnt terminal dіѕеаѕеѕ, diabetes, glаuсоmа аnd hеаrt dіѕеаѕеѕ.

Thіѕ berry іѕ еnrісhеd wіth vіtаmіn B аnd C. Vіtаmіn B ѕрееdѕ uр thе mеtаbоlіѕm аnd еnhаnсеѕ сеll grоwth. Whіlе vitamin C hеlрѕ іn bооѕtіng уоur іmmunе ѕуѕtеm.

It is clear that little berries pack a true health and flavor punch. So include berries into yourn diet whenever you can. Enjoy them for a snack with yogurt or pop them into a salad or enjoy them in a healthy dessert.

Tips for Making the Best Cake Ever

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most perfect cake everCake is a celebratory dessert isn’t it? Cakes almost always enter the scene when the crowd is mid-party. There is something about cake that feels so indulgent and special. Most of us can remember our favorite cakes we’ve ever had. Usually those memories are so strong because they took place around a special or important event, but sometimes it’s because the cake itself was so moist, so decadent, and so perfect that it stayed with us as the infamous never beatable cake.

Home cooks make the mistake of relying on boxed cake mixes when they feel like making a cake in their own kitchen. These mixes never come close to living up to the dream cakes of our memories. And of course they can’t; those mixes are full of unnecessary additives that help them stay fresh on the shelf. They also require tons of oil, and not a lot of creativity. Anyone can make great, from-scratch cake at home. Pay heed to the following tips, and your home cooked cake will eventually be one of those few, great, unforgettable cakes.

Follow a Few Good Recipes

If you are looking to create your own custom from-scratch cake, the first thing you need to do is follow a few really well written and tested recipes. Source your recipes from large reputable sources such as America’s Test Kitchen, anything by Barefoot Contessa, or a large magazine like Bon Appetit. The kitchens and food professionals who wrote these recipes put the ratios and ingredients through the ringer, so you know that the end-result will be a great cake. If you’re really serious about baking, you could attend some Start a Bakery classes to improve your skills.

When you’re following these recipes pay close attention to every detail. Recipes, specifically baking recipes are precise for a reason. Every step, the order of the steps, and the amount of ingredients used is chosen for a for specific reason. After following a few cake recipes you will begin to see patterns: cream sugar and butter first, add eggs, whisk dry ingredients, add dry to wet slowly. These patterns that you notice will begin to teach you something important: how cake works. This is the first step to making wonderful cake.

Stay Organized & Clean

Whether you’re cooking or baking, having a clean and organized work environment is essential. Keeping your area neat means there is less of a chance of you making a mistake. Baking is a delicate act; you do not want to be hurried or flustered by a messy environment. There is a French term for cooking & baking in a clean, organized environment: mise en place!

Accuracy is Important

One of the things that make baking so different than cooking is the importance of accuracy. When you’re baking your cake do not “guess” on the ingredient amounts. Be very accurate. You may consider buying a kitchen scale. They are not expensive, and they will make your baking process much simpler.

Think About Temperature

If your recipes call for cold eggs and room temperature butter, make sure that is what you have. Baking a cake is all about chemistry and how those ingredients reach to one another. Temperature plays an important role in that interaction. You might consider buying a thermometer for your oven, as often the built-in temperature gauge on standard ovens is not very accurate.

When Baking, Don’t Peek!

It can be really tempting to open the oven to peek in on your masterpiece, but try not to. The rush of cool air into the oven can cause your cake to fall, which would be a huge shame. It’s tough, but just wait until it’s done to take a look.

Do Not Frost Until Cool

Baking a cake is not a “last minute dessert”. If you need to have a totally finished cake within a couple of hours, you might as well just go buy one from a bakery. After the cake is done cooking it needs to be completely cool before you frost it. What happens if you don’t wait? Well your frosting will melt into pure liquid, which will be not only sad but totally unappetizing.

Tips for Making the Best Apple Pie Ever

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Best Ever Apple Pie

The humble apple has all sorts of uses from sweet to savory. It can be cooked, raw, stewed, used as an accompaninet or bitten right into for a dose of raw goodness. addition to being a good addition to lunch boxes, apples are good ingredients found in cobblers, muffins, salads, and apple pies.

You might have heard people saying, “Easy as apple pie” many times, but do you know how to really make an apple pie? Perhaps, you have been wondering how to do that for a long time. If so, we are going to explain step by step how to make delicious apple pie like a pro and not have a nervous breakdown in the process. Yes, you can do it. It is easy!

Things to bear in mind to make the best apple pie

The Apple is the Main Thing

When making apple pie, what you need the most is apple itself. But, you need the right types of apples. If you are living in an area with apple groves, then selecting a combination of tart and sweet apples will be great. But, if you are not living anywhere near an apple grove, it is best to get Granny Smith apples for your pie. It is a good one to get started. The combination of the tartness and the sweetness of the sugar/cinnamon mixture make an amazing taste.  You may also consider another combination that works great which is McIntosh and Cortland apples. However, they must be fresh

Pre-Cook without Sugar

When you have selected the right apples, do not drown the apples in sugar. Rather, cook down a portion of the apples for the filling. This is very beneficial as we shall see. Pre-cooking helps the crust not to collapse and crack while it is baking. Also, the filling is not likely to shrink as much if some of the apples are already precooked. Besides, it concentrates the natural flavors and sugar, so you do not need to add as much sugar to your filling. To get this done, just cook about half the filling mixture in an oven over medium heat. Keep stirring until the apples become tender and start to break down. Thereafter, get the apple off the heat. Now, add the remaining uncooked apple and stir the mixture. Let it cool before adding it to your crust.

Avoid Burning the Crust

Do not burn the crust when preparing your apple pie. When some people are baking an apple pie, they usually burn edges of the crust. This is a problem you should avoid. To prevent this from happening, cover the edges of the pie with tin foil. Ensure you do not scrunch it down around the sides. If this happened, the pastry edges may be under baked. It is advisable to buy edge guard from local store that will be placed over the edges of the pie to protect them from burning

Follow these steps to make the best apple pie

  • Take the desired amount of flour and add butter. Rub them together with your hands until the pieces are smaller.
  • After the pieces have become smaller, but still visible, add water to the mixture. You may also add any other liquid ingredients of your choice into the flour mixture. Now, stir with a fork until evenly moist. Then, knead the dough in the bowl a few times. It is likely that the mixture will still be a little crumbly at this stage.
  • The next step is to turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead again until it holds together. After this, divide the dough by half and shape it into 5-inch-wide disks. When you are done, wrap each of them in plastic and refrigerate them for at least an hour.
  • Now, the next important task is the one we described earlier about making the apple filling. Cook about half the filling mixture in an oven over medium heat. Keep stirring until the apples become tender and start to break down. Thereafter, get the apple off the heat. Now, add the remaining uncooked apple and stir the mixture. Let it cool before adding it to your crust.
  • Go and remove the dough from the refrigerator. Put it down on a table for about 5 minutes to warm a little. Proceed to roll one portion between sheets of wax paper into a 13-inch circle. It is best to peel off the top sheet and put the dough into a deep-dish pie pan. After peel off the remaining paper, bring the crust and scrape the filling into it. Repeat these steps with the remaining dough. Roll the dough between sheets of parchment paper into another 13-inch circle. Then, peel off the top of sheet and invert the dough onto the apple fruit.
  • Lastly, trim the crust so that it overhangs evenly. Then, tuck the top crust under the bottom crust. Then, seal the two together and make a plump edge. When you have completed all these steps and bake the apple, it is ready for consumption.

These are good steps to follow to make a perfect apple pie. You can enjoy your apple throughout the year, but summer present greater opportunity to enjoy varieties of apples because they become abundance during the summer.

 

Top American Cocktails

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Great American Cocktails

A sweet little thing in an even sweeter glass on a warm summer’s day is what you’ll see at backyards across the US as backyard aficienados experiement with Top American Cocktails.

Cocktails have been around for ages and they come in different forms, flavour and conceptions. A cocktail is a blending of two or more ingedients and can be non-alcoholic, but for the most part those that are looking to partake in a little cocktail are usually looking for a smattering of the alcohol kind.

Traditionally, cocktails entail the art of blending and the science of mixing, with the aim of achieving smoothness, elegance, precision and ultimately satisfaction.

All through antiquity, people have consistently indulged in the act of drink mixing, but we are at a stage where it has become a profession for most and as such, it is now a multi-million dollars industry, where there is a fierce competition amongst all players.

These days, cocktails are no longer made just to quench the desire for a drink; they are now a symbol for class, social standing, taste, and affluence etc.

It is with this understanding and our profound appreciation for the unknown inventor of cocktails, that we present to you some of the best cocktails on offer in America;

 

The Manhattan

This is a classic cocktail that tastes the best at the bars and hotels in manhattan where it was originally make. The drink is mostly referred to as the godfather of all cocktails. A drink of such distinction must be matched with a rich blend of history and as such, the story goes that the Manhattan was first blended at the Manhattan Club in 1870, by Lady Randolf Churchill, the mother of Winston Churchill.

If the Churchill story is true, then Lady Randolf did not give birth to a president alone; she is also the mother of the godfather cocktail. Unfortunately, this version of the Manhattan history has been disputed by many and another version says it was originally part of the five borough cocktails that were blended as a pledge to different parts of the city of New York, including; Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx.

The Manhattan cocktail has a masculine feel to it and this comes about as a result of the presence of a combination of bourbon whiskey, Vermouth, and bitters. It is well balanced and leaves a great feel in the mouth.

As far as the Manhattan is concerned, there are quite a few variations with regards to its recipe and this gives bartenders the opportunity to showcase their skills and levels of innovation. Basically, the items needed for a Manhattan cocktail include; whiskey, angostura bitters, red vermouth, maraschino cherry and a cocktail glass.

The actual preparation involves; combining whiskey, bitters and vermouth with about two ice cubes in a cocktail glass. After that, maraschino cherry should be placed in a cocktail glass and combined with the whiskey mixture. This is how the godfather is made

 

Martini

Martini is one of the most famous cocktail drinks in America and it is also the favorite of one of Hollywood’s leading fictioutious men – Jasmes Bond. This masterpiece which was referred to as “the elixir of quietude” by E.B. White is shrouded with an uncertain past and this has led to the postulation of differing versions with regards to its origin.

There is a version that says that Martinez, as it is also called, was invented by Julio Richelieu, a bartender in a town called Martinez in California. The other version is of the view that Martini was first blended in the 19th century by Jerry Thomas, a trendy bartender, while a relatively unheralded version posits that a bartender named Martini di Taggia of Knickerbocker Hotel in New York made the first blend in the 20th century.

The Martini cocktail is a combination of gin, vermouth and olive or lemon. The preparation process is straightforward and involves pouring all ingredients into a mixing glass that contains ice cubes. After that, lemon oil is squeezed into the content.

Even with all that has been said, it should be noted that there is a variety of recipes for Martini e.g. Chocolate Martini, Apple Martini, and Expresso Martini etc. The shape of the Martini glass makes it one of the trendiest cocktail drinks around.

 

The Long Island Iced Tea

The Long Island Iced Tea contains no tea, it is rather made up of different blends of alcohol, including; light rum, tequila, gin, vodka and a splash of coke. This is one cocktail that leaves a very smooth taste in the mouth, but as a rule, it must not be rushed. The drink was invented by Robert Butt, a bartender at Oak Beach Inn in 1972. According to Butt, the drink was invented at a cocktail contest he attended and a few years after, it became known all over the world.

The recipe for Long Island Iced Tea include 1 part vodka, 2 cups of ice cubes, 1 part gin, 1 part white tequila, 1 part white rum, half part sour mix and half part triple sec.

As per preparation, all ingredients are mixed in a highball glass, stirred and garnished with a lemon spiral. It is super impressive.

Cocktails have been around for a long time and only seem to be getting more elaborate. In fact the aforementioned drinks alone have all sorts of versions with differing flavors and alcohol types.

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