Category Archives: Food & Drinks

TRADITIONAL DISHES & THE PERFECT WINE

Have you heard about Hard to Find Wines? I think it’s the most reliable food and wine pairing source on the web. Hard to find wines have gotten thousands of ideas, tips and techniques to make wonderful pairing and make your meals taste amazing. Did you ever steer yourself to the best wine and food pairings?Or tried to enhance a wonderful dining experience? In many cultures, wines has had a long history of being stapled at the dinner table.

Many people fret about matching right food with the exact wine to complement it. So, that they can make a good wine match with just about any food. Most wines go very suitably with most dishes.The people at Hard to Find Wines, understand the importance of expert wine pairing. They have excellent knowledge of traditional dishes, featuring an interactive map of the world, with a wide range of countries all around the world.

With an information points, you can discover the name of the dish by clicking on any of the following countries information points, a tremendous and marvelous recipe to try yourself and details accompanied by perfect wine. Apron on and empty wine glasses? You can start finally, if you are well conscious about selecting wines to match with Food rather than trying to make one bottle fit every dish on the table.Concocting the perfect marriage is simple with the wine and food pairing tool. Select your dish or select your traditional dishes from the world map below, then a recipe, and see the list of suggested pairings. The tool of pairing is the best match of traditional dishes and perfect wine.

 Interactive Wine Map from HTF Wines

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Building A Better Cup Of Coffee

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While coffee may be one of the most popular drinks around, millions are forced to do without it because of heartburn, acid reflux, chronic stomach discomfort and other gastrointestinal issues. The problem, it seems, has to do with the very thing that gives coffee so much flavor: the roasting. But that may soon change.

Joseph Schmer, M.D., a gastrointestinal medical specialist and former co-chief of gastroenterology for Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, NY, has seen for years just how large of a problem stomach issues are for coffee drinkers. “During the coffee-roasting process, natural acids form which can lead to heartburn, indigestion and upset stomach,” he explains. “Reducing these irritants allows coffee drinkers with sensitive stomachs to enjoy coffee.”

People with sensitive stomachs may want to check out brews such as Coffee Legends’ Gentle Java, a new coffee designed specifically for coffee drinkers who say coffee upsets their stomachs. The java is made from an all-natural steam process-popular in Europe for about 60 years-that reduces around 70 percent of all impurities and irritants. The steaming leaves the coffee aroma, flavor and caffeine completely intact-meaning coffee drinkers without sensitive stomachs can enjoy the brew, too.

Gentle Java is good news for those who rely on coffee to help focus or for anyone who wants to benefit from coffee’s antioxidant qualities.

While caffeine has long been known to help asthmatics prevent attacks, recent studies have shown coffee consumption can have several other health benefits.

Drinking coffee has been associated with a lower risk of gallstone disease in men, reduced risk of kidney stone formation and a reduced risk of colon cancer.

Other studies have found coffee to be a good source of potassium, helpful in promoting the effectiveness of migraine medications, and a way of protecting against free-radical damage to tissues. One study found it had more antioxidant activity than red wine, green or black tea or orange juice.

Amaretto Flavored Tea

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Amaretto flavored tea is great for experiencing the smooth almond taste connected with amaretto but without the effects of the alcohol. It has a velvety feel in the mouth and makes a great after dinner tea. This amber-red liqueur is enjoyable in all its many forms including tea drinks.

If you enjoy learning about the history of things, you might find one story of how amaretto came about a little interesting.

Amaretto means “a little bitter” in Italian. Now, would you believe the first bottle of amaretto made was because of a love affair? It’s certainly colorful and as rumors go, entertaining. The painter, Bernardino Luini, who created the Madonna fresco in the Santa Maria delle Grazie Church located in Saronno, Italy, received the handmade gift from the innkeeper. Not unusual, except that the innkeeper’s romantic interest, which inspired the creation of the liqueur, had grown while posing as a model for Bernardino.

You might also be interested to know that the almond flavor associated with amaretto comes from apricot stones, or pits. The original drink was probably made from grape brandy in which apricot stones were left to soak, or infuse. Accidents have been the catalyst for many of the beautiful and functional things we have today, but whether amaretto came about by accident, or intentional, we have no idea.

Amaretto flavored tea is made in different forms. You can, for instance, add the syrup directly to the teapot, for an ultra-fresh and delicious tea. You can also buy green and black teas with amaretto flavoring. This comes in handy if you sometimes like to disguise the grassy flavor of green tea. We like to mix things up sometimes so we frequently buy syrups to add flavors to our usual teas.

Being creative with your tea is a lot of fun and drinking amaretto flavored tea is a great new alternative to the usual tastes and flavors of traditional teas. Make sure to try this tea and remember that teas like this can be enjoyed year around, and any time of day.

A Look At Coconut Oil

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Coconut butter, which is also commonly referred to as Coconut oil, is a fat that consists of more than 90% saturated fat. As it’s name implies, this oil is obtained from coconuts and is commonly used for cosmetics, baking ingredients and cooking oil. The world’s largest exporter of Coconut oil, which is the Philippines, receives 7% of it’s total export income from this product alone.

Coconut oil is rich in a fatty acid and is among the more stable of all vegetable oils. Many consider it to be a healthy product, which may increase metabolism and improve the body’s ability to fight sickness by strengthening the immune system. Once an immune system becomes weakened for any reason, the body becomes susceptible to an array of illnesses. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, one’s immune system must remain strong. If it ever becomes weakened, it is essential to rebuild the immune system in order to protect the body against harmful sickness and/or disease. On the downside, because coconut oil is also high in saturated fat, some believe that it may increase the likelihood of cardiovascular and/or heart disease and possibly even diabetes. On the other hand, some international populations who consume large quantities of coconut oil have been shown to have lower rates of heart disease.

In addition to concerns surrounding the health effects, both good and bad, Coconut oil has been tested as a fuel, but has been faced with difficult obstacles due to it’s high melting point. Coconut oil is also used for hairstyling in India, while other individuals find it to be useful as a skin moisturizer. Coconut oil is believed to be both effective and safe when used in connection with skin care. And best of all, it is not believed to carry any adverse reactions to the skin. In fact, some users have actually reported improvements in specific skin conditions after using Coconut oil. Among them, eczema, which is a very uncomfortable rash that develops in the form of small blister-like lesions. These are both painful and may result in scarring.

The information in this article is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered as, or used in place of, medical advice or professional recommendations for any type of treatment, cure or remedy to certain skin conditions and/or other illnesses. Prior to beginning any treatment regimen, including that which consists of coconut oil, individuals are urged to consult with their physician and/or dermatologist for proper diagnosis and/or treatment recommendation.

A Healthy Breakfast: Not An Impossible Mission

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It’s a trite but true refrain that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For most of us, it’s been about 12 hours since our last meal and our bodies need a good refueling. Yet, statistics show that as many at 50% of us don’t eat breakfast.

We’re too busy. We don’t like breakfast foods. We’re not hungry. We’re trying to lose weight.

Sad to say, none of those reasons are valid. There are many healthy breakfasts that can either be bought or made that are fast and even portable. There’s no law that says you have to eat breakfast foods for breakfast. You legitimately might not feel hungry in the morning, particularly if you aren’t accustomed to eating breakfast. But you should eat something, even if you make a fairly light choice, like fruit and yogurt. Trying to lose weight is the worst excuse of all. Study after study shows that people who skip breakfast end up eating more the rest of the day than people who eat a solid breakfast every morning.

So how do you get the magical mix of the right nutrients that will give you energy and send you healthfully into your day?

It’s not that hard, really. Spend a little bit of time thinking about what you like and then plan some healthy breakfasts. Here are some ideas to get you started:

* If you need something portable, the ever-popular smoothie is a good choice. Be careful when you purchase a smoothie at a shop, however, as some can have as many as 600 calories. You can purchase a good blender or smoothie maker to have at home and whip up your own smoothie in less time than it takes to stop at a smoothie store, and you’ll know exactly what’s in it.

* For an even faster breakfast, try making some breakfast burritos and keeping them in the freezer. You can use regular or whole-wheat tortillas, scrambled eggs (either whole, all whites, a mix, or an egg product), some veggies like peppers and onions, and soy sausage. These freeze beautifully. Pull one out, and while you’re pouring your coffee, it can be heating in the microwave. Add a banana or apple for on-the-go dining.

* Cereal is a fine breakfast, as long as it’s not the only thing you eat. Consider adding some banana or blueberries on top, or fixing it with soy milk for a healthy dairy addition. Otherwise, stick to skim milk.

* If you don’t like breakfast, consider making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on wheat bread. Grab a banana on the way out the door. Have some leftover vegetarian pizza from dinner? That’s a fine breakfast, though you will want to add a glass of milk or some fruit to round it out.

* Trying to lose weight? Breakfast might be the easiest meal to fill up without using a lot of calories or fat. Have oatmeal with soy milk, or a high-fiber cold cereal. Consider a homemade version of a fast-food sandwich. You can fry up an egg, add a slice of bacon and put the two into a toasted English muffin for a 200-calorie, filling breakfast.

A Brief History of Chocolate

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Chocolate has been a favorite of man for thousands of years. Ancient people brewing the seeds of the cacao tree into a yummy beverage was the beginning of the wide assortment of chocolates that we enjoy today.

Once chocolate was discovered by European conquests, it became a treat only the wealthiest could afford. Not only was chocolate expensive, but it was bitter. Sugar and spices used to sweeten it were expensive too and out of the common man’s reach. It was in the 1800’s that the industrial age and mass production made chocolate candy affordable for everyone.

Chocolate candy became a big hit in stores in the form of the candy bar. It took its place proudly on the general store shelf next to the gum drop, hard candy and candy cane bins of the day. From that meager beginning, the varieties available today are mind boggling. Chocolate candy is available in many different flavors, shapes and with limitless ingredients. Some ingredients such as nuts and fruits are complimentary to the flavor and texture of the chocolate and left whole or diced inside the candy bar. Spices and other flavorings are also added to enhance the chocolate or add interesting flavor notes. Some people can taste a story in their chocolate candy. The flavor medley tells them through their tongue what region of the world each ingredient came from. Travel by chocolate!

Chocolate can also be enjoyed either inside a candy coating or as a coating itself over other yummy treats such as ice cream.

Today many people buy candy online. With the invention of the World Wide Web, you can snack on exotic chocolate candy delicacies made anywhere in the world. Innovations in chocolate recipes and shipping ensure you receive your chocolate candy in perfect condition.

There is also a wide variety of chocolate molds and candy making accessories for you to try your hand at making your own chocolate candy. It’s a fun way to get children involved in the kitchen and also a great way to make personalized gifts. The possibilities are endless in the flavors and ingredients to test. A lot of very successful candy companies started this way, as a hobby in a home kitchen.

Who knows, perhaps one day when that chocolate connoisseur boots up his pc and logs on to buy candy online, the website with the interesting flavors to sample that he chooses to order from may be your own!

6 Tips For A Healthy Dinner Out

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Ever wonder how you can possibly lose weight when the average dinner out contains over 1,000 calories? Well, don’t fret! Keeping yourself in shape when dining out is simply a matter of ordering the right menu.

Below are 6 tips for having a healthy dinner out (while still enjoying your meal like normal!):

– Watch Your Drinks – By not ordering an alcoholic beverage, you’ve saved yourself a considerable number of calories. Try sipping iced tea sweetened with a noncaloric sweetener, a diet soft drink, or water with lemon. You’ll be glad you did when you consider the calorie savings.

– Have A Salad – One of the best menus to have is salad. Not only will it fill you up so you’ll consume fewer calories overall, but it will also give you a hefty dose of antioxidants which are heart healthy. Be sure to ask your waitress to hold the croutons and cheese which will further reduce your caloric load. Also, choose your dressing wisely. Avoid cream based dressings and go for the vinegar based ones. You also have the option of using vinegar and olive oil which is heart healthy.

– Don’t Order An Appetizer Unless Necessary – Do you know that some appetizers have more calories and fat than the main course? Plus, many appetizers are fried and served with heavy sauces which will add to your intake of saturated fat as well as trans fats and calories. It’s not a healthy way to start your meal.

– Choose The Right Kind Of Foods – Go for broiled and grilled rather than fried. Not only will you save calories and fat grams, you’ll also avoid trans fats which are so prevalent in fried foods. Instead, consider asking for a doubles order of vegetables with your entree. Very few Americans are getting the 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables recommended for optimal health. Plus, by avoiding the starch, you’ll be reducing your caloric and carbohydrate load. Also, stick to tomato based sauces rather than cream based and you’ll enjoy a considerable calorie savings. Lastly, ask for the sauce to be served in a separate dish on the side so you can control the amount you eat.

– Don’t Overeat – Today, many restaurants are serving larger quantities of food than in the past. If this is the case, put aside a portion of your entree at the beginning of the meal to take home with you. If you remove it from your plate before you start eating, you’ll be less tempted to overeat.

– Say “No” To Sugary, Fatty Desserts – Instead, go for a low fat or low carbohydrate dessert selection such as a low carb cheesecake. These are wise choices for the health conscious eater and still allow you to end the meal on a sweet note. If a healthy dessert option isn’t available, try a cup of coffee with skim milk to help satiate your desire for something sweet.

The next time you go out for dinner, keep the above tips in mind. You will be surprised how many calories you are able to slash out of your meal just by ordering the right menus! Happy healthy eating!

5 Ways to Save Money On Organic Food

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Grow your own

The cheapest method has got to be to grow your own. The great thing is that it doesn’t require you to have much garden space, or even a garden at all!

We grow tomatoes, and strawberries in containers and the extra benefit is that you get total control over the growing conditions.

The best combination is to have organic soil together with organically produced seeds or plants, that way you ensure you get the full flavour and benefit.

Containers can be placed anywhere that receives a reasonable amount of daylight, which means that you can use them on balconies or other hard surfaces.

Look for your local suppliers

One of the most satisfying things to do is to buy organic food locally. That way you get the freshest ingredients for your kitchen and also get to support local businesses. With no transportation costs for the supplier too you should get very competitive prices.

Don’t forget that these same businesses will be employing local staff so you are also helping the local economy, everybody wins in this scenario.

Local markets

We visit a big monthly market held on a disused airstrip. Organic food is just one of the variety of items sold there but the prices are very, very good indeed. Of course they are all local suppliers and with several of them in one place we benefit from healthy competition and get to sample a lot of fruit!

Local box schemes

If you are unable to get out of your house or are too busy working to select your groceries by hand then why not subscribe to an organic box scheme?

You will receive, delivered to your door, a weekly selection of fruit and vegetables in season.

Farm shops

Finally, investigate whether any farms near you are operating an organic farm shop. Our local one is operated on an open farm so that you can go and see where the animals are being kept and take a look at the crops being grown.

They actually have a well-designed walking route around the farm which makes a nice day out for the kids too.

 

5 Ways To Better enjoy a Barbecue

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Since Americans in the South began publicly roasting pigs at parties and get togethers, Barbecues have been a common item in the lives of North Americans.
For most of the population using a grill is a essential part of cooking and for the hard core barbecuers once the summer comes in it’s barbecues all the way.

Every barbecue is always a good fun family event. Here are 5 ways to make your routine evening barbecue a more unique experience:

1) Who said you have to only barbecue meat? There is quite a lot that can be done with bread or fruit and veg over a naked grill. One way to make barbecues and grilling more fun to the whole family is to use pastry cutters for what ever it is you are grilling. It is up to you or your kids what design and type of food you use.

2) Try some of those foil packed recipes which cook in less than 20 minutes which are very handy and clean and kids will also love the surprise element. Combos can be great fun as you can mix it up any way you want and it makes a great game for the kids mixing different items of bread, fruit and veg.

3) They say variety is the spice of life so if you only ever cook the same old sausages and steaks why not try something different like a nice bit of cod or a juicy bit of venison. Similarly, try to mix it up with condiments and seasoning.

4) Barbecues should not be rushed, they are supposed to be fun, many of the die hard barbecue fans out there will state that broiling is an insult to the barbecuing criteria. Barbecues should represent a process of slow cooking on low to high heat and while you wait for the food to grill its a great opportunity to have a good laugh with who ever is in your party be it friends and family.

5) When we were all small children are moms told us never to play are food, well there is an except to every rule isn’t there? Barbecue games are a great way to have really good fun while cooking. In the game Glutton, every player gets either mashed potatoes, turnip or mac cheese, then they must pick at random a utensil from the kitchen and eat and the first person to eat all of their dish wins

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