Sabtu, 22 September 2012

Looking At A Few Key Questions About Dinner Parties

As you grow older, it can become a bit difficult to keep up with your old friends - and for that matter, it can be difficult to find time to even hang out with your newer friends; most adult couples, in fact, end up discovering that the only people they really hang out with are each other (or, if they have children, of course, they are around them all the time as well), and it is for this reason that it is beneficial to come up with some things you can do to spend time with your friends. And when it comes to "things you can do to spend time with your friends," there is not much that is as productive or as much fun as a dinner party - but of course, when someone is planning to throw a dinner party for the first time (or for the first time in a long time), they tend to have plenty of questions.

One of the major questions people often end up wondering about, when they are planning to throw a dinner party, is how to handle appetizers; after all, you will want to make sure there are little things for people to snack on, but it can be difficult to determine how formal or informal you should make this ordeal. Even though different people handle things differently, most dinner hosts find that it is best to have light appetizers on trays around the house, so that people can pick on these before it is time for the actual meal.

Another big question people tend to have is how they should handle the seating arrangements. There is a pair of thoughts on this, and the approach you decide to take will be largely dependent on what you feel is best for the group in question: you can either assign the seating yourself, or can allow people to choose their own seats (in fact, you can even go casual, allowing people to sit on couches and in chairs throughout the house). The majority of people discover that assigned seating works best, as it eliminates confusion - but a fun way to do this can also be to draw for seats, for instance, putting everyone's names into a hat, and drawing for who sits where!

And lastly, "conversation" will be a big thing people end up having to figure out - that is, how to get everyone talking to one another. If all the people you invite know each other already, this will hopefully not be a problem, but if people do not know each other beforehand, starting the night out with a card game that gets everyone acclimated to one another is a great way to also stir up conversation!

In all, throwing a dinner party can be a great deal of fun, and can be a great way to get together and keep up with others; and of course, as long as you are taking the right approach, you will be able to throw dinner parties of your own that everyone enjoys!

~Mario Ruiz

Learn how to throw the best dinner parties!

Dinner Party Ideas - For Every Different Season

If you are the type of person who tends to throw parties on a somewhat regular basis, you are probably constantly on the lookout for new, creative dinner party ideas; and if, on the other hand, you are not the kind of person who throws dinner parties regularly, you should realize that dinner parties are a great way to keep up with your friends and to make memories together - and for that matter, they can just plain be a whole lot of fun!

One of the most fun times to have a dinner party is in the springtime, as this will enable you to throw a garden party (or better yet, to do a "full moon" garden party) - enjoying a beautiful evening outside, in a candle-lit garden, with all your friends; if you have a house that is conducive to one such party, you will be able to transform your garden into a magical escape for the night, creating a Gatsby-esque atmosphere and a bunch of great memories!

In the summer, a wonderful idea is to do a rustic-style party, underneath the stars. For this, you can even consider renting a cabin (or a similarly rustic setting), and can have all your friends come out to it for a night of hanging out, chatting, eating, and making wonderful summer memories.

When the cooler autumn weather rolls in, one of the great ways to take advantage of the natural ambiance is by having an urban rooftop party; of course, you may not have an available roof yourself that you can use, but if you happen to have friends who live in the city - at a place where there is access to the roof - this is a marvelous way to get everyone together. And in fact, even if you do not have a friend with one such home available to you, you will often find that hotels in the city will be happy to rent their roof out to you for the night!

And finally, when it is winter - and the main thing people want to do is stay inside and feel cozy and warm - you can throw a "fireside" dinner party; set up the house in such a way that it feels comfortable and cozy, and have a roaring fire going - complete with complementary food and drinks to match (such as hot chocolate, egg nog, cider, and so on).

In all, you should recognize that throwing a dinner party does not need to be a major hassle, and does not need to be a cause for stress; instead, a dinner party is something that can be a great deal of fun - and when you do it the right way, you will be able to actually enjoy it yourself, and will be able to enjoy all the memories that are made!

~Mario Ruiz

Learn how to throw the best dinner parties!

Looking At A Few Holiday Dinner Party Ideas

If you are always on the lookout for things you can do to have people over to your house, and for all of you to make memories together - regardless of whether these people are your friends, your extended family, your siblings, or your children - one thing you have probably discovered is that dinner parties provide a great opportunity to get everyone together and have a lot of fun making memories. And of course, one of the best excuses for a dinner party that brings everyone together is to throw them for different holidays!

Easter: When you are throwing a "dinner party" for Easter, the best way to do this is actually to turn it into a "brunch party"; with an Easter party, you will hopefully be able to follow up brunch with decorating Easter eggs (hint: this is fun for adults as much as it is for children), and by then doing an Easter egg hunt (again: fun for adults as well!) while enjoying a lovely spring day!

Fourth of July: Fourth of July is a wonderful time to have a dinner party outside with your friends and family; when you throw an Independence Day party, you can barbecue outdoors and even make homemade ice cream, and you can spend the afternoon playing yard games, capping off the day with a fireworks display of your own!

Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving, of course, is usually the main holiday people think of when they think of food and holidays going together - but there can be a lot more to a Thanksgiving party than just the dinner itself; you can start the morning with a game of flag football, can wrap up the morning watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, can watch football in the afternoon, and can kick off the Christmas season by watching a favorite Christmas movie (such as Christmas Story, White Christmas, or Miracle on 34th Street) at night!

Christmas: And of course, Christmas is the other big "food holiday" - but what you may not have thought of is that you can do your big party on Christmas Eve, which will allow you to relax on Christmas; bust out the egg nog, have a big dinner, and maybe go see a local Christmas play or drive around and look at Christmas lights, and you will enter Christmas Day really feeling like you are in the Holiday spirit!

Throwing dinner parties for your family does not have to be a bland affair; all you actually need is a few ideas, and you will be able to throw a dinner party the right way - having lots of fun with it, and making plenty of memories!

~Mario Ruiz

Learn how to throw the best dinner parties!

Our LDS Food Storage, Ways To Manage Rotation

Before talking about LDS food storage, have you made sure you have a supply of water that will last you a minimum of 3 months? This is a crucial precaution that needs to be taken care of before even worrying about LDS storage. If you have, then continue to the article.

There are various types of food canneries that operate uniquely from each other. Although, most canning hubs can be organized into two divisions: Dry pack canneries (or dry canneries) or wet pack canneries (wet canneries).

There exist less wet canneries than there are dry packs. These facilities use pricey equipment for sealing various types of moist and wet food, such as pumpkin bread, carrot cake, fruits, stew, soups cooked vegetables, spaghetti sauce, salsa, meat, chili, tomatoes, and many others. All of these foods are items in which the LDS church has authorized.

If you want to can dry ingredients, such as wheat, rice, oats, beans, flour, dry milk, and other kinds of powders, you must go to a dry pack cannery. Storing dry ingredients in LDS food storage is much more common.

Dry canneries often provide ingredients that are already sealed and available to purchase right there. They commonly carry ingredients such as cocoa, flour, dried beans, and various other accessible items. The variety is pretty extensive. Dry packs will also can those ingredients you bring with you as well utilizing their gear. All edible is stored either in a #10 can or in a seven mil pouch made from thick Mylar. Any food that you can get canned in a Dry Pack cannery lasts for roughly 30 years, and at minimum twenty-five.

To reiterate, specific canning hubs might allow different food products and have different procedures. However, you can commonly purchase products like beans, wheat, and rice at dry canneries, or they can start you off with a "Starter Kit," which is 6 standard ingredients stored in number ten cans.

White rice is not suggested for your LDS food storage list due to having such little nutritional value. You'll end up burning more energy when you digest white rice than you'll receive from it. Consider brown and basmati rice instead.

You can also hire most of the sealing machines at LDS canning center for no cost, whether you need it for sealing the Mylar bags or for canning. The individuals that work at LDS food storage canning hubs are generally extremely friendly. Despite nearly working for zero profit, the workers are always willing to assist. The only thing you are expected to do is bring in all the food products you need to be canned, and they'll take care of the work for you.

Although, free as they may be, a handful of LDS food storage canneries are open only for members. In other words, you need to be a member of the LDS community to use the canning centers. Thus, you might be required to enlist in one of these "Congregational Units" before being allowed to utilize the gear. Even though it might seem convincing to take this arrangement, you may want to weigh any consequences before making your decision. Massive sacred organizations, such as the Latter Day Saints, seem to cover up their core beliefs using a fake persona. What usually happens with young religions like the Mormon Church, is that there is an infrastructure of leaders who are really making the decisions, usually unbeknownst to the great deal of the conglomerate.

Several of these "core leaders" have converted and revealed several secrets the Mormons were keeping, even from their own members. Also, the Mormon image of Jesus doesn't match the scriptures of Christianity. In conclusion, if you are approached with a choice in joining the LDS community or not, I would recommend not doing it.

One other alternative is to become a pioneer for your area and work to organize your own community canning hub. Presently, there are Bible Fixit Hubs that are helping to fortify this idea, and will assist you with the information and resources to get a scheme like this on its feet in your area.

If you would like to find out more about LDS Food Storage, check out the linked website that follows. But before checking it out, could you please take a moment to discuss your opinions? Your comments are appreciated greatly. Thank you for your input!

Learn the best plan for disaster survival gradually evolved by people, who have the most experience. Visit

Why You Should Drink Filtered Water

Water. It is the primary source of fluid intake for most people. Drinking water is very important for everyone's health and holds many benefits towards a healthy lifestyle; that is if you are drinking healthy water.

That's right. With clean healthy water, you could be doing your body a favor. These benefits include digestion health, which prevents the over absorption of sugars and harmful chemicals, thus promoting metabolism, which also aids in weight control. It's also a great detoxification which promotes urinary tract health, and healthy water promotes kidney health.

So what is healthy water? As you may, or may not have noticed, many people have become very adamant about drinking filtered water. Tap water is not an option for these people and although many of us don't think that tap water is harmful, it really is. But why?

Did you know there are a series of bacteria's, pathogens, chlorine and pesticides that can make their way into our tap water? These things can be very harmful to our health. They soak into underground aquifers and enter rivers and streams from runoff when it rains which is how they enter into our tap water system. This can in turn lead to headaches, rashes, organ failure and even cancer. This can affect an entire family.

Here are a few signs that your water is not filtered:

1. The distinguishing differences in taste between tap and filtered. Although every part of the United States has different sources for this liquid, most people find tap water to have an unpleasant taste. There are several different reasons your tap water can have a strange taste, due to what type of cause has contaminated your water.

2. In some places the water has an odor to it, which is an obvious sign that it is not pure drinking water and has been exposed to a number of different things, as previously discussed.

3. Some may find their tap water to have a foul taste, along with particles when they go to get a glass at their faucet. Pure drinking water however, should not have a taste, especially an unpleasant one. It should be clear showing no particles in the liquid, and have no odor.

There are drinking water systems that can be purchased that will filter out a variety of contaminants to ensure you are consuming healthy water. Water filters provide better tasting and better smelling drinking water by removing chlorine and bacterial contaminants. So before you have a drink the toxins, bacteria, lead, rust and odors, or whatever happens to be in your tap, is removed.

Purchasing a water filter is a cheaper alternative to spending money on bottled water. Many people use only bottled water, but for those on a budget, it's much more convenient to own a filter. You can purchase an under the sink filtration application, a faucet filter, or just a pitcher to put in your refrigerator.

Everyone wants to provide a safe and healthy environment for their families. So, it is important to know about the risks of tap water, and the benefits of filtered water.

What Is Demi Glace?

It's only the most indispensable ingredient for making brown sauces. Professional chefs know that the secret to making rich and flavorful gravies for beef, veal, lamb or game lies in the few simple steps needed to make their sauces pop.

Demi Glace uses one of the mother sauces called "Espagnole". The brown sauce is combined with brown stock and reduced by half. This means that the two ingredients are combined and softly simmered until half the moisture evaporates, intensifying the flavor and reducing the volume.

The resulting ingredient is intensely flavored and extremely rich, with a full bodied texture. Espagnole sauce is already packed with flavor, but when you eliminate half the liquid in the sauce, it really packs a serious meaty punch.

This is an important food staple in the commercial kitchen, and can be in your home as well. It takes only a small bit of skill, but a lot of patience as you wait for the sauce to condense. However, the real key is to start with an excellent brown stock.

A quality brown stock is made from beef bones that have been caramelized along with carrots, onion and celery in the oven. Ingredients that are nicely browned give the flavor and color to a great stock. While these two elements are important, it's the marrow of the bones, cartilage, and connective tissues that turn to gelatin when cooked in a moist environment.

The toasted bones and veggies are then added to a stock pot with enough COLD water to cover all the items entirely. This should then be gently simmered for at least 5 hours to achieve a brown stock that when cooled and skimmed of fat will jiggle like Jello.

So, what is demi glace if you try to use stock versus broth? It's a thin and blandly flavored beef soup. It's absolutely imperative to use stock rather than broth because the stock has the gelatin that gives the texture and richness to all the small brown sauces that come from Espagnole.

Since great sauces always start with roux, the next step is to make a brown roux by melting butter in a sauce pan, adding flour to a paste-like consistency and cooking until it reaches a deep brown color and emits a toasted nutty smell. This will become the thickening agent for the brown stock you made and the first part of demi glace.

Once you've made a flavorful brown sauce with brown roux and brown stock, you're almost there. Since demi glace is half brown sauce, half brown stock, reduced by half, all that is needed is an equal amount of stock added to the sauce and some patience as you watch it release moisture and reduce.

The finished product can be used immediately to make a long list of "Small Sauces" that derive from Espagnole. Small sauces are the ones that utilize Mother Sauces as a blank canvas and continue adding ingredients for additional levels of flavor.

If you're still asking "what is demi glace" you're missing out. It might take some time to complete, but you'll be using a richly flavored, silky textured ingredient that will add a professional level of flavor to all the foods you cook. Plus, you made it, you created it, and it didn't come from a jar with mystery ingredients and binders. It's real, it's wholesome, it's natural and it's coming to your kitchen soon!

See Chef Todd's live culinary class on What is Demi Glace?.

Chef Todd Mohr has a passion for helping people improve their cooking with simple cooking techniques that work! His FREE Easy Sauces Webcast can transform home cooks into confident home chefs. Great sauces make great chefs and great chefs make great sauces. Become one of them!

Malaysian Food - An Experience

On buying a guide book my first port of call is always the "F" section of the index. On a recent trip to Malaysia I followed this same rule. Whereas before I would then make a list of all the dishes I was to try, all the time salivating with anticipation, I became extremely confused and frustrated at the ambiguity and random nature of the food described. I needed more information, more research in order to fully understand and appreciate what was to become such a massive part of my trip.

So, the venue - the world famous hawker stalls of Malaysia are a perfect way to sample local culinary delights. Their friendly family atmosphere and freshly cooked snacks usually entertain both locals and tourists alike. Learning a few local customs beforehand however goes a long way.

I decided to start with the basics - eating etiquette. As a six foot, red haired trekker with a huge rucksack and zinc cream smothered over my face, being inconspicuous is never going to be an easy task, especially in Malaysian hawker stalls. However, in order to avoid offending the locals in the hawker stalls I sought to learn a few simple Malaysian rules of thumb.

As with many Asian countries, one of the most important rules is the use of the right hand to eat. It is a massive faux-pas to use the left as this is used for other, very different things. It's quite simple to get the hang of really, even for a left-hander, especially when you consider how many forks are used to eat the wrong courses in England every day!

So, simple eating etiquette is sorted. We are almost ready to dig in, guns blazing, raring to consume something you just cannot find in Tescos. This brings me back to my original dilemma - what exactly is 'Malaysian Cuisine'. Many dishes in Malaysia have been derived from multiple ethnic influences from Indian curries to Chinese noodles. The combination of these influences have created some bizarre yet delightful, weird yet wonderful dishes where the only restriction is the chefs imagination. The question is, what to try and arguably what not to.

I've decided to concentrate on 'Nasi Lemak'. It has been dubbed, 'The Unofficial National Dish Of Malaysia', and the name is translated in English as - "rice in fat". I don't know about you, but that certainly does not scream "DEVOUR ME"! The basic dish consists of rice cooked in coconut milk served with cucumber slices, dried anchovies, roasted peanuts, hard boiled egg, pickled vegetables or 'achar', and a hot spicy sauce - arguably a pretty random mix. It makes our once long-standing national dish in the UK of fish and chips sound slightly bland I think you'll agree. As bizarre a combination it sounds, I found it delicious. It demonstrates the essence of Malaysian cuisine and the unusual combinations involved.

Malaysian cuisine is proof for me that the food of a nation really can represent the diversity of its people. We hear so much in the media about 'fusion cooking' and the art of combining different elements to create a 'crazy' and 'never-been-done' dish, especially using Asian cuisine. My guess is that the dishes we see as "odd combinations" and "innovative styles" in the West have probably been sold as standard fare for decades in a Malaysian hawker stall somewhere!

Eating different foods and trying local specialties in different countries is an all-embracing experience. The interaction we encounter with the vendor and fellow customers whilst sampling one of the few things we can all relate to can be one of the most rewarding and daring episodes of travel! Food can be a means of bridging any perceived cultural divide. For me, food is exactly this and more - a perfect excuse to explore the culinary and social delights of a country. It's an experience in itself. Perhaps that's the real culture shock we could perhaps feel. Not that the food isn't what we're used to at home, but the fact that we're not used to eating as a social event, too used to TV dinners inside our warm houses, insulated from our communities outside.

Family Dinner Saves Lives!

There is a simple key to help keep your family healthy and happy. Can you guess what it is? Oh right... I put it in the title already. The fact is that numerous studies show that the decision to eat at least one meal a day as a family can have a significant impact on you and your kids.

Family dinner can be a unique time in otherwise hectic lives. I have 4 kids who participate in soccer, piano, karate, school, plays, etc. I run a chiropractic practice, am involved with my church and do personal training in the mornings. My wife is the glue that holds us all together taking care of the kids, the house and keeping track of the finances of our business. If it weren't for text messaging we might go most of our day without ever touching base in some cases. But we always come together for family dinner. It's the best time to catch up with each member of my family even if it's between telling my boys to stop spitting food and the girls to clean their plates.

Beyond this studies have shown that family meals can make your family healthier as well. Families that eat together tend to have lower rates of obesity. This is especially true when the meals are prepared at home rather than sitting down to take-out. A family meal is a great time for parents to model healthy dietary habits for kids. Other studies show that family meals lower your child or adolescent's chances of engaging in "at risk" behaviors such as: teen pregnancy, drugs, depression, suicide, violence and sexual activity. It's not just the simple act of sitting down together.

Family meals require some level of engagement to be successful. Research shows that having the TV on during dinner can negate the positive effects of a family meal. Although I'm unaware of any specific studies I imagine the same is true of firing up the smart phone or similar devices, which I'm often guilty of. (I know my wife is ecstatic to read that last sentence and I will probably hear it over and over again).

Unfortunately, statistics show that family meals are becoming less and less common since the days when we were kids. That doesn't have to be the case for your family though. Commit to at least one family meal a day and you will wind up happier and healthier.


Dr. Jason Young, DC is the founder and chiropractor of Body of Health Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Corvallils, OR. Dr. Young is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and enjoys treating and training athletes of all sports and skill levels.

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(c) Copyright - Jason J. Young. All Rights Reserved Worldwide

The American Sacred Fruit

From the beginning of time people have deemed certain plants and fruits as having extraordinary characteristics and as sacred. Generally it is accepted that anything of a religious nature is sacred, when not connected to religion sacred is anything possessing special properties. In Christianity we hear mention of the tree of good and evil (the forbidden fruit) and of the tree of life; which was guarded by cherubim with flaming swords.

The Bible makes several other references. For example Rachel believed that mandrake would make her fertile and thus enable her to conceive the child she longed for. It is alluded that King Solomon used mandrake as well to cast out demons. Although it is possible that the mandrake could not and can not eradicate infertility and that Rachel's usage of it was an act of personal belief; King Solomon's use of it speaks of mandrake as the go to plant. Likewise, during the Middle Ages mandrake was used as a cure, as an anesthetic; in magical terms it made flying possible.

"Mediterranean gold" also known as olive oil, was used by Mythical gods. Olive oil played an important role in the Greek economy as it was used as a light source. The Greeks also valued it for its nutritional value and curative properties, but beyond this they accredit it with a quality of purity, and a vehicle of purification. It was used religiously as a healing balm.

In the Americas the native peoples also had their sacred plants and fruits. The Mayas had the Ceiba or Yaxche tree which they taught was the doorway to the underworld and the sky. Undoubtedly the earth provides nutritional plants and trees necessary for the sustenance of men; in like manner the earth provides for the other necessities of men.

The Mapuches credited the food of the earth for their great strength. Particularly the maqui berry, which was said to give warriors supernatural powers bordering on the magical. The Mapuches go down in history as one of the native American peoples who conquistadors were unable to conquer. Inca warriors and Spanish conquistadors were no match for the people of the land. Maqui berry has been used for centuries as a symbol of strength, in sacred ceremonies, for its curative properties and highly regarded for it nutritional content.

It wasn't until recently that the Orac (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) deemed maquiberry as the best super fruit, better than acai, mangosteen, and noni, whereas the Mapuches have treasured the maqui berry for centuries; including it in religious ceremonies. Thus this fruit has been used ceremoniously as a symbol of power, good health, energy, strength and courage for the Mapuche warriors. The maqui berry use in religious worship cemented the belief that the earth, when revered, will unleash rare powers for the deliverance and protection of man.

Partaking of Maqui berry Mapuche traditionally links you to ancestral guardians and reconnects you to mother earth.

Rogelio H Lepillan from Winkul LLC. Visit us today at

Dehydrating Eggplants

This past Saturday I was fortunate enough to acquire a few eggplants and did not want them to go to waste so I decided my best course of action would be to dehydrate them. Eggplants are a healthy vegetable alternative which is very high in vitamins C as well as potassium. They are generally in season from around the beginning of July to late October so it is best to grab them up when they are available. I could have canned or froze them but I chose to dehydrate them for a longer shelf life.

When dehydrating your eggplant you will need to blanch it first in order to stop the enzymes which continually break down the vegetable. The downside of bleaching is that it will often cause the eggplant to lose a bit of its nutritional value but it also ensures that your eggplant will remain fresh and preserved or a good period of time.

The things you will need to accomplish this dehydrating project are:

A mandolin or a sharp knife
Large pot

When selecting your eggplant choose the ripest vegetables that you can find to dehydrate. A ripe eggplant will have a shiny but firm skin with a series of bright green caps. When looking, select eggplants which lack any sort of cuts or bruises.

Begin by washing the eggplant thoroughly and next slice it into ¼ to ½-inch slices. After slicing it is time to blanch them. Fill a large pot of water 2/3 full of water and bring it to a full boil. Place the eggplants into the water and process for 4 minutes. Immediately place the eggplants in either a container of cold water or one filled with ice. This will shock the vegetable and stop all cooking action. Now dry the eggplant off with a paper towel.

You can now place the slices of eggplant on your dehydrator tray. Place the pieces on your drying tray in a single layer. Do not allow the pieces to touch each other but ensure that they are separated by a fraction of an inch. Set the dehydrator to between 100 and 135 degrees and dehydrate for 12 hours. According to the machine used this time may vary slightly.

When the eggplants are hard and brittle they are finished. If you can shatter the eggplant with a small hammer they are sufficiently done. Store your dehydrated eggplant in a clean, airtight container. These will last a good ten years if stored in a dry, dark location. The blanching water can be used up to five times prior to having to replace it.

Copyright @2012 Joseph Parish

Bring Back the Memories With Popcorn and Candyfloss

We all love the fun of the fair, no matter what age we are. When we smell that gorgeous melted sugar fragrance wafting through the air we are almost immediately transported back to our childhood. Remembering golden days which seemed to last forever. Going on rides and eating hotdogs. For many people however candyfloss and popcorn are the true reminders of yesterday.

Candyfloss is a type of spun sugar which looks like a big cloud on a stick and which is usually pink in colour. However candyfloss can technically be any colour considering that it is white in its natural state and it gets its characteristic pink hue through the use of food colouring.

Candyfloss is loved the world over by young kids and big kids alike. Various different countries have their own versions of the sweet treat which is called Pashmak by the Persians and Pismaniye by the Turkish. It must be noted that the Turkish version is made with both sugar and flour.

The machine spun candyfloss which we know and love was invented in the late 1800's and was first marketed as Fairy Floss. Immediately the idea and business took off but it was not until the 1970s that the candyfloss machines which we know and love were created and sold to shops and fairs.

Candyfloss is so loved and enjoyed that there is even a full day dedicated to it in the United States. National Cotton Candy Day is held every December 7.

Another sweet treat which we all know and love is popcorn. Nowadays you can buy home candyfloss and popcorn makers however nothing tastes as good as the ones bought from the cinema or the fair. A visit to the cinema is never complete without a big bag of popcorn. Usually popcorn comes in two different varieties, sweet or salted. Many people have very strong preferences with regards to which is their favourite and it is rare for an individual to enjoy both.

Popcorn can actually be a very healthy snack even though you might not expect this to be the case. Being high in fibre and very low in fat, popcorn is the snack of choice for the health conscious individual.

Popcorn has been eaten for thousands of years which has been proven by the discovery of some popcorn in caves in New Mexico and which is believed to be over 5,000 years old! In fact the Native American peoples have a long history of eating the stuff and it is said that they believed that in each and every kernel there lived a spirit. The Native American tribes flavoured their popcorn a little differently than we do today. They used dried spices, herbs and some historians believe that they also used chilli which must have made for an amazing taste. Native Americans also used popcorn in their clothing to make elaborate headdresses and used popping corn to make beer and soup amongst other things.

It is widely believed that Christopher Columbus should be taking the credit for introducing popcorn to us in Europe as long ago as the 15th century. Thank goodness that he did or our fast food society would look very different indeed!

The Art of Healthy Eating

It's a fragrant, lemony scented afternoon in Florence. Having come far from distant lands, the hot, dry wind has settled in my garden for a long-awaited rest. Yawning in a sweet slumber, little puffs of breath escape him, lingering in scents of rosemary and mint. Nestled under a summer hat and tickled by the light that is playfully drawing on the canvas of my face, I am thinking about dinner. A fast-cooked macaroni and cheese certainly will not do! Because amidst the magnificence and glory of all that surrounds me, I feel compelled to believe that the food we have here should also be a joyful feast for all the senses. I have never spent so much time thinking about food. I have a dazzling couple of friends coming over for dinner. Like a film reel, pieces of a story are drifting through my mind: her tender footsteps will echo faintly on the warmed stone pavement of my front yard. She will step inside and the house will blossom to embrace her. The wind will proudly carry the edges of her dress as she steps into my garden and her smile makes all the trees blush. She will lean towards the man beside her and whisper words that caress his ears like rose petals. Indeed! A proper dinner must be fashioned out!

Love you food!

In my lunatic, fast-paced, crazy-flavored life, I don't have time to think about food, barely have time to eat it and surely never have time to love it! Who does? I always felt society made you feel guilty if you spend too much time thinking about food, or making it or eating it. Enjoying your food is a "me" time that was simply not permitted! And now, gazing at yellow, round moons and listening to the songs of ancients stones, I felt like Time had pinned my blue-laced dress to the floor and my frantic whirlpool had come to a halt. I was breathing, and thinking about food, and the most important thing to think about seemed to be the sheer perfection of the statues' god-like shapes.The time has come to love my food!

Food for the Mind

There is an ancient saying that the food we eat affects our mind: our perception, observation, and expression of the world in and around us. I had been reading lately much about the Science of Life, the ancient knowledge of the book of Ayurveda. A science born in the mystic soul of India that helps us understand the nature of our body, what kind of food and lifestyle is suitable for us so that we can have a healthy body and a mind free from distortions and disharmony. As a woman, this was like tinker bells resounding sweetly in my ears. Is there a woman in this world who does not yearn for that? So there was a book that teaches you about how to eat beautifully, how to turn your table into a symphony of ethereal flutes and harps and all the music instruments of gods. Yeah, I'd really like to tell that to the hot dog vendor on the grey street outside my office. Now, in the violet beauty of the rolling hills over Florence, the memories of these pages came swooshing back to me and there was nothing but thoughts of beautiful food on my mind.

The Science of Life

Ayurveda does not only apply to Indian food, it applies to all food! According to the Vedas, the oldest scriptures in the world, our body is a gift from God, an opportunity for the captured soul to set itself free from the bondage of the life and death circle. A healthy lifestyle is of great physical importance: bad eating habits like over eating, eating in a state of tension or worry, and consuming unhealthy foods can lead to bad digestion and that is the "root of all disease". More than that, a healthy life style can help you tame your senses and emotions so that you become their mistress, not the other way around.

Food should firstly be a pleasant sight for the eyes, then it should capture your sense of scent and lastly - it should be a delight for your tongue. Food is not only destined to sustain life and give energy, it also helps to purify the mind and consciousness. Foods such as milk products /mind you, the ancient books did not mean the ones we get at the local supermarket that come from stressed, ill-treated animals/, grains, fruits and vegetables prolong the length of life and bring satisfaction, health, strength and happiness. Foods that are too bitter, sour, salty, spicy, dry or hot can cause suffering and discomfort. So here are a few things to know when we decide that we deserve to turn our eating habits into a rhapsody of bliss:

Try to eat every day at the same time

Always try to take your main meal for the day in the hours around noon, when the sun is at its highest, because that is the time when your stomach works most actively. After a light breakfast, wait at least 3 hours before you eat again, and after a bountiful lunch - wait at least 5 hours.

A good mood can help your digestion

Eat in a pleasant environment and peaceful surroundings; the bench near the busy, noisy intersection outside your office does not count. Try to uplift your mood with your favorite velvet melodies while you cook and serve the food. Your food will love it when your heart sings to it and it will come out incredibly delicious!

Combine your foods wisely

Eat combinations of foods that are similar in taste and are easily digested together. Rice and other grains are well combined with vegetables. Yogurt is well combined with grains, boiled food and veggies but milk is incompatible with vegetables. A light, hearty and nutritious lunch would be a combination of rice, boiled food, vegetable and a light bread. Avoid eating vegetables with raw fruits. Fruits are best consumed separately or with a glass of warm milk. Do not mix sour with sweet fruits, and milk with yogurt.

Share your food with others

An ancient Bulgarian tradition believes that if you have stomach problems, you should share your food with 10 people for a period of 10 days. So use that as an excuse to stage a lovely garden party or candle-lit dinner and surround yourself with friends and loved ones. While you listen to the jingle of their words that echoes off the crystal glasses in their hands, your heart will know true happiness!

Eat with measure

Our energy and strength depend not on how much we eat but to a what degree we assimilate the food. For its proper functioning, the stomach needs empty space, so do not stuff it all the way. Eat only half of what you think you are capable of eating. One quarter of the stomach fill up liquids that you can consume before or during eating, and leave one quarter of it empty. This will ease your digestion and will let you enjoy the food. When you eat with measure, this keeps your mind serene and your body in harmony. Overeating excites your mind, making it frantic, or leads it to the other extreme-make it feel withered, heavy and tired.

Do not put out your digestion fire with water

We often speak of "burning" fats and calories, and the word calorie itself is related to heat, released by the burning of food. The ancient Vedas say that our food is digested by a fire in the stomach. And because we often drink liquids while eating, we should notice their effect on our digestive fire.

Drinking liquids before eating quenches your appetite and stops you from overeating. Drinking moderately while eating helps the stomach function properly, but drinking right after eating dilutes the stomach juices and reduces the strength of your digestive fire.Wait at least an hour after food before drinking anything, and after that you can drink at ever hour before your next meal.

Waste not food

Try to put on your plate only as much as you intend on eating. if you cannot eat it all, save the rest for your next meal. When reheating, do so in a covered pot, add a bit of water and stir frequently. If for some reason you have to throw away food, do give it to an animal, put it in the earth or throw it in a river or a lake.


Fasting strengthens your will and your physical health. It gives a much needed break to your digestion system and freshens up the mind and senses. In most cases, it is advisable to fast only with water. In the West, people drink juices when fasting because Western medicine prescribes long periods of diets. But according to Ayurveda, fasting should be short-from 1 to 3 days. During this time, you should not drink more water than needed to quench your thirst. Your digestion fire is not busy digesting of food and instead of that it absorbs the byproducts that have accumulated in your body. The unduly quantity of water will only hinder its work.

The blissful remains of the day

So, the time came for the wind to set back on the dusty roads to worlds unknown, and for me to start working magic. For every woman is indeed enchantress of the kind that never tires of the world. My dazzling movie couple was soon to walk through my stony-arched pavement and time was of the essence. I was not in ancient India, but I was in tender, vibrant Italy; a country that can teach you much about life and how to live it right. And the art of beautiful food is universal and all-permeating. Just like the essence of us. So, I lick my lemonade-scented lips, I calm my heart that runs with the beat of eternal Florence and step into the dusk of my basil-scented magic workshop.

Growth in Fruit As an Ingredient Though Advances in Unique Processing Technology

In today's food market there is a growing demand for the use of fruit as an ingredient, and the use of 100% fruit in particular is seeing a rapid growth in many food categories.

In general people like to eat fruit as a snack and for the most part understand the health benefits of eating a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables. However, messy handling, limited portability and perishability of fresh fruit means many people don't include enough fresh fruit and vegetables in their diet. This is especially true for increasingly large percentage of the population who live in urban areas and lead busy modern lives.

Consequently, demand for healthy and convenient food is on the rise. In today's global market there are increasingly more consumers seeking nutritionally balanced foods that offer real health benefits such as fruit-rich snacks, breakfast cereals, baked goods and confectionery, to achieve a healthy diet.

Consumers on the whole are becoming increasingly savvy in regards to food formulation, production techniques and their expectations of value is changing. A noticeable shift is the demand for cleaner label products with limited ingredient listings. In the case of fruit-based snacks and other products - artificial inclusions or fillings,with high levels of added sugar, preservatives, flavouring and colours, don't satisfy the savvy health conscious consumer. Savvy shoppers are now demanding more natural fruit fillings and flavours that include whole fruit purees and juices to deliver on their health promise.

Manufacturers are upping their game to deliver unique food concepts, that deliver health benefits to the end consumer. To help them achieve this, companies at the forefront of product innovation are providing manufacturers with natural ingredients that are nutrient rich, all natural and uniquely formulated to perform in a range of food products. A great example is ultra rapid concentration, a new technology that provides a superior low water activity, high-fruit ingredient with no added sugars, additives or preservatives. These fruit ingredients can then be used in snacking, bakery, breakfast cereal and confectionery.

This type of advancement in technology means the consumer can now purchase convenient food products that have excellent taste, texture and real health benefits. And there are huge benefits to food manufacturers also. A process like ultra rapid concentration, that reduces moisture content of fruit to uniquely low water activity levels, results in a shelf-stable and robust food product that contains real fruit.

Utilising consumer insight, alongside new innovation and technology, the industry is moving towards the introduction of higher quality ingredients and deliciously good-for-you products that deliver value throughout the supply chain.

Taura are an international baking ingredients supplier and the creators of URC (Ultra Rapid Concentration) technology. The unique URC process creates the most functionally advanced fruit pieces, flakes and pastes in the global market.

Visit the Taura Natural Ingredients website to find out more about their products and technology.

Stir Fry Recipes - Basic Ingredients

There are a few basic ingredients that we'll desire on the way to remain readily available in order that we can stir up a stir fry recipe on petite notice. While a few of these, for instance rice vinegar or hoisin sauce, may perhaps be new to us, the majority are on hand in the national or global part of local superstores.

Sauces and Seasonings: There are a number of sauces as well as seasonings that provide taste to stir fry recipe. Soy sauce is a vital ingredient in Asian cuisine. The two major kinds of soy sauce applied in Chinese cooking are light as well as dark soy sauce.

Both are finished from fermented soy beans. Though, as light soy sauce is pretty saline, the adding up of molasses provides dark soy sauce a dim color as well as a better-off quality and flavor. Rice vinegar is able to frequently be found in the global or national part of local superstores.

If it is out of stock, attempt alternating mellow flavored vinegar for example cider vinegar rather than regular white vinegar. With the exemption of sweet-and-sour paste, the piercingly acidic flavor of usual white vinegar is too unkind for most stir fry recipe. Chile paste is a hot condiment made with chilies, vinegar, and further seasonings.

If we're not a fan of managing hot chili peppers, chile paste creates a suitable alternate.
Basic Fresh Ingredients: At times called the "holy trinity" of Chinese cuisine, garlic, ginger, as well as green onions have a mainly vital function on the way to play in stir frying.

Both garlic as well as ginger is added to the heating oil to assist avoid an oily savor from being imparted to the further ingredients. Green onion lends a gentle onion taste to stir-fries. It may perhaps be added to the oil with the garlic and ginger, stirred in with the further ingredients throughout stir frying or scattered on the recipes at the end as a decorate.

All three are at times added to marinades to provide meat or seafood additional taste. Unless a recipe purposely calls for powdered ginger, at all times apply new ginger in stir fry recipe. We can peel the ginger or depart the peel on as preferred.

As soon as applying green onion in stir-fries slice off the ends as well as chop the green onion on the slanting into the dimension called for in the recipe. Usually, all of the green onion is applied. On the other hand, we are able to also apply only the green or white portion to improve the look of the dish.

Canned Asian Vegetables: For a lot of individuals, their primary launch to Asian vegetables arrived when they ordered a stir fry dish prepared with bamboo shoots as well as water chestnuts.

The fame of these two vegetables stems partially from their simple accessibility bamboo shoots as well as water chestnuts is on hand on local superstore shelves.

About The Author:
Hello, I'm Rosa Liang I would like to learn more about writing blogs, I'm a kind person. My hobby is surfing on different informative websites that helps me on improving my writing skills. Thank you very much.

For more information visit this one: Stir Fry Recipe

Wine Lover Loses 10 Pounds on Low Carb Diet

I admit I love wine, mostly Chardonnay, and am a habitual dieter. I have tried every diet from Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Body Bugg (wore a monitor for six months on my arm) to the crazy internet diets where you eat only grapefruit and eggs for days. My weight just stays the same because I can't seem to put down my glass of wine starting at 6pm. Ok, sometimes I even have wine at lunch if I have an event that happens to serve wine. All of my diet coaches seem to think this is the reason I am not successful... hmmmmmmm... I am sure they are right about this.

However, this summer I lost 10 pounds and still managed to drink my normal load of wine. I actually went online and decided to do a "low carb" diet that was very strict. They give you a list of foods you can eat and that is all you are supposed to choose from on a daily basis. Go ahead and eat all you want of those foods, touted the diet, but don't stray from the list. The program offers email counseling (they yell at you if you mess up) and borderline "threats" of instantly gaining back all of the weight you have lost if you eat the bad carbohydrates. I scoffed at the rule that you are allowed no alcohol, especially wine. After all, it's summer! I have the Philharmonic Gala, the PBS Gala, luncheons at the club... what's a girl to do? I stuck to the food list, drank my wine, and miraculously lost 10 pounds. Trust me, I still could lose another 20 pounds and not fit into my princess Diana wedding dress from 1985, but I am so proud of myself!

Here is my version of the "No Carb" Diet:

Eggs are allowed on a pure protein diet, so why not make them delicious? Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray. Use lowfat Turkey sausage crumbles or chop up low fat turkey sausage patties. Put a small amount in the bottom of each muffin tin. Add salsa and your favorite low fat shredded cheese on top of the sausage. Take 7 eggs, mix them in a bowl and add about ½ cup of nonfat milk. Pour the eggs into each tin to cover the sausage mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes until the eggs are puffy and a little brown. Cool, remove from the tins and put into a gallon freezer bag. This is an easy protein breakfast when you microwave it for about 90 seconds.

Another mind trick is to cover these muffins with icing so you can't see the bran!
Mix together in a bowl 2 eggs, ½ cup of Oat Bran, ½ cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt, ½ cup splenda or sugar substitute, 2 tsp of Baking powder and 1 tsp of cinnamon. Put into muffin cups or spray 12 muffin tins with non stick spray. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until springy. Let cool and ice them with room temperature non fat cream cheese (about 8 ounces) mixed with 1 tsp of vanilla and 2 tbs. of non fat milk. These are actually yummy and considered to be full of protein and bran.

Just in case you need a quick pick me up at your wine happy hour, don't forget to have plenty of that imitation crabmeat available for dipping in a spicy red sauce. Shrimp is also allowed. My sister says that when this diet is over I will never touch that fake crab again, oh well, for now it is a real treat!

Who gets sick of chicken? I buy it in bulk, season it with mostly pepper based, no salt seasoning. Tabasco sauce is now your friend. Undercook the chicken a bit so you can heat it up in the microwave without turning it into rubber. Cut the chicken into strips and put it in the refrigerator for quick use and long car trips.

Don't forget the Protein wrap burgers at In n Out burger and now Carl's Junior. At Chipotle DO NOT GET THE BURRITOS, RICE OR BEANS! Just load up on chicken, pork, beef, veggies and salsa. Ok, you can have a little guacamole, cheese, and a tiny bit of sour cream to cheat.

If you are a runner, yoga master, or Pilates queen, good for you. Keep up the good work. I hate pain associated with exercise and I love my walking buddies so that is my plan and I am sticking with it. I also try to do some abdominal, tricep, and small weights while watching my vintage old movies or my taped TV shows.

I have to attend events that serve a "forced" meal at a sit down fancy hotel, restaurant, or club. I never refuse something awesome, especially when it is paired with a nice Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. Just use the old Weight Watchers 3 bite rule (only 3 bites of something rated a "10"). I tend to cheat with desserts, especially chocolate. There is nothing worse than some skinny gal pushing away the dessert and making us pigs feel bad. By the way, the skinny gals always eat a ton of bread with butter, what's with that? Fruit is a big no no on this diet so don't even go there.

My friends and neighbors sometimes make fun of me, but I know which cup to use at their house. I fill it up with water and sip on it all night long, refilling it often. This makes the wine go further (especially when we have a "WINE FAMINE" in my house). If you are at a restaurant, order two waters because the waiters are so slow in refilling the glass and you do not want to risk the dreaded HANGOVER!

It took a long time, over three months to lose the weight but I am amazed that I can fit into my old jeans and my funky trendy pants. After all, I am on my way to a girl's weekend in the wine country and I want to look good!

Drink Ionized Alkaline Water and Enjoy a Healthy Life

Natural water contains both hydrogen ions and hydroxide ions. A balance of these two ions makes the water to be neutral. An increase in the hydrogen ions makes the water acidic while an increase in the hydroxide ions makes the water alkaline. This water is endowed with a myriad of benefits. You can enjoy these benefits by converting your tap water at home to ionized alkaline water.

Tap water can be converted to ionized alkaline water by passing it through a water ionizer. When tap water is introduced to a water ionizer, it is first filtered to remove all the dirt then passed through electrodes where an electric charge is applied. The electric charge transforms the water molecules both structurally and electrically. The water that comes out of the water ionizer is cleaner and good for your health.
Below are some of the benefits one can enjoy from drinking ionized alkaline water:

• Reduction of gout pain
Alkaline water can easily eliminate gout pain. This does not occur instantly but it occurs after frequent use of this water. Gout is formed when there is a high accumulation of uric acid in the body. Crystallized uric acid is responsible for the gout flare one experiences on the feet when suffering from gout. Drinking alkaline water raises the pH of the body and neutralizes most of the uric acid preventing the formation of uric acid crystals. The neutralized uric acid is removed as waste through urine and sweat. Without the crystallized uric acid crystals, it is not possible for you to experience a gout flare.

• Helps in weight loss
Acidity in the human body leads to weight gain since the body is not functioning well. A pH below 7.0 contributes to poor metabolism of fats leading to weight gain. A pH ranging from 7.0 to 7.4 is the right alkaline pH that ensures the body functions well. This pH contributes to better metabolism of fats and other foods leading to weight loss. You can achieve this pH in your body by drinking this water. Maintaining an alkaline pH improves your general health.

• Helps to fight cancer
Cancer in the body is mainly triggered by lack of oxygen in the blood and the body being acidic. In fact cancerous cells multiply faster in an acidic condition. If your body has a pH lower than 7.0 then you are providing the perfect condition for the thriving of cancerous cells. Drinking this water raises the pH of your body and obliterates the perfect body condition where cancer would have thrived. Keeping our body alkalized all the times diminishes the probability of suffering from cancer.

• Help reduce hypertension
When a person takes regular deep breaths before checking the blood pressure, the blood pressure tends to be closer to normal compared to when a person takes the blood pressure without taking a deep breath. Poor oxygen supply in the blood can easily lead to hypertension. The oxygen supply has a connection to the pH in your body. Acidic conditions especially in the blood results in poor supply of oxygen. Having good supply oxygen in your body makes the body to have an alkaline pH. Alkaline water helps keep the system alkaline which enhances a better supply of oxygen reducing the chances of suffering from hypertension.

• Better hydration
Alkaline water is more hydrating compared to regular tap water. During the process of conversion of tap water to alkaline water, the shape of the water molecules are slightly changed. The molecules obtain a hexagonal configuration with the size being smaller compared to normal water molecules. This small water molecules can now easily penetrate the body tissues keeping the body well hydrated and more detoxified.

These are some of the numerous benefits you can enjoy if you start drinking ionized alkaline water. Buy a water ionizer and start restoring your body to its perfect health.

Kidney Failure Treatment Without Dialysis

Kidney failure may set in due to several possible reasons including long term use of over-the-counter and prescription drugs, illnesses, exposure to pesticides over a long period of time. Symptoms of kidney failure include vomiting, nausea, chronic back problems and blood or protein in urine. Patients can opt for costly options like transplant or dialysis or for kidney failure treatment without dialysis.

Methods of kidney failure treatment without dialysis

Here are few ways of treating kidney failure without going for dialysis or transplant:

1. Include such food items in your diet that can be digested easily by the body. Such food items are beans, legume, yogurt, whole grains, watermelons, papaya, potatoes and seeds. Avoid foodstuff which puts stress on the kidneys for getting digested.

2. Certain herbs help in detoxification of kidneys and improve their health. Such herbs include juniper berries, abuta uva ursi, parsley, celery, dandelion, buchu and red clover. Before starting consumption of any one of above such herbs, do not forget consulting your doctor, especially if you are taking prescription drugs.

Around 700mg of Uva ursi or 2000 mg of abuta ought to be taken daily. Note that any one of these herbs would be sufficient as these two have similar effect. Dandelion root extract assists the kidneys during the excretion process. Hoelen is another herb which can prove to be helpful for kidney patients. Three to six grams of the dried herb will be good enough for preventing buildup of lesions in the kidney.

3. Cranberries: Urinary tract infections can be prevented by consuming cranberry juice. Drink three eight-oz glasses of cranberry juice to promote bladder health, acidify the urine and arrest development of bacteria. Pure, unsweetened cranberry juice ought to be chosen instead of cranberry juice cocktail as the latter contains high sugar levels.

4. Flaxseed: A lot has been said and written about how effectively flaxseed supports kidney functions. In fact, flaxseed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid, which provides ample amount of support to the kidneys. These two compounds are quite effective in preventing inflammation and clogging of arteries.

5. Marshmallow: Kidney patients should seriously consider drinking marshmallow for boosting kidney function. Drinking one quart of marshmallow daily is pretty effective in cleansing the kidneys. This practice can benefit patients of kidney stones as well. Its consumption ought to be stopped if diarrhea sets in or stomach gets upset. Individuals on medication and pregnant or nursing women should consult an expert physician before consuming marshmallow.

Kidney failure patients need to avoid certain food items. Such food items include those with high salt content. Oregano, basil or parsley can be used to substitute salt for seasoning the food. Salad dressings, canned foods, barbecue sauce, bacon and other food items having high salt content should be avoided.

As indicated by above lines, one can overcome kidney failure with certain easy remedies. Kidney failure treatment without dialysis is quite possible. All you need is some knowledge and plenty of expert advice.

Discover the scientifically proven, research-based KIDNEY FOCUSED DIET on how to immediately stop the progression of your kidney disease STARTING TODAY!

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Entertaining With Food Around the Fire

There are many different foods you can cook around a fire. Roasted marshmallows by far are the most widely cooked treats around the open flames. There are so many more tasty foods to eat that are not often looked at. The ease of entertaining can be even easier around the fire when you have a plan for these yummy meals. Having a campfire or a fire pit is ideal for cooking with a group because both provide 360 degrees of usable cooking space and seating area.

The things to consider before cooking around your open fire include the materials, the food, the company, and your time. Some of the basic items or materials that you'll need to cook around the fire include long skewers for roasting, outdoor cooking tongs, tin foil, plastic forks, knives, and spoons, and seasonings. Most of your local stores will carry all of your cooking needs. People may consider buying a mix of multiple spices that are in one container. Check out your local spice isles or make your own mix. This makes for easy entertaining so you do not have to go back and forth from the fire to the kitchen.

The second thing to consider is the food. Consider the time of day, location, and your company. You can cook breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and or desserts. Each requires different amounts of time and effort to prepare. When in doubt keep it simple. To prepare for your food around the fire simple put all of your ingredients into containers that are easily opened and closed. You want to make sure your guests can get in and out of the food easily.

Lastly, consider your guests and your time. Company that has never cooked around the fire may find it intimidating until they try it once or twice. Think about cooking something easy with less steps the first few times before you branch out to something more involved. You'll also want to consider the time you have. It is easy to lose track of the time around the fire because guests are relaxing and at ease.

A family favorite is definitely hobo stew. For this stew clean and cut up carrots, onions, celery, potatoes, and the meat of your choice (ground beef, hot dogs, sausage, steak, beef tips, chicken, etc) and put them in separate ziplock baggies or containers. To assemble each person is given about a square foot of foil. Then, everyone picks up as much of each ingredient as desired. Top it off with salt, pepper, or other seasonings that are liked. Once the ingredients are added just wrap up the food in the foil and place on the coals. Cooking usually takes about 15 minutes depending on the size of the ingredients and the amount being cooked. Rotate in the coals to avoid burning. After your food has cooked remove with tongs from the fire and let it cool for a few minutes before opening, mixing, and enjoying.

Cooking around the fire is most enjoyable with company and good preparation. Remember to keep it simple so that all are relaxed and enjoying the fire, food and company.

Check us out at for your outdoor entertaining needs.

Get It While It's Hot! The New Erotica Cuisine

Lately, there is more material about the connection between food and sexuality than ever before. Of course, writing on edible aphrodisiacs has been around for at least 3,000 years. The Kama Sutra, renowned 2000-year-old sex manual from India, contains tips on foods that enhance one's love life. There is an aphrodisiac recipe on an Egyptian papyrus that dates back to 1700 B.C. And the use of luscious fruit, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce in the bedroom is not exactly a new concept.

But, recent compositions in novels, movies, articles, and web posts are demonstrating an increasing playfulness with this subject. And it is no longer about using food as occasional, exotic foreplay, or a naturalistic approach to healing sexual issues. Writers are exploring the correlation between the experience of food and sex. It's an easy line to draw between the two, considering that humans exhibit voracious appetites and a high level of creativity for both.

During more puritanical periods in our history, combining the pleasures of food and sex would be viewed as deviant and unacceptable. Even remarking on a vegetable's phallic shape, or making flirtatious suggestions about the many uses of butter would have been frowned upon. However, despite conservative disdain (then and now), people have always found humor and stimulation in erotic references to food.

For the past 50 years, this has been explored copiously in books, magazines, and movies. Consider these popular movies that all contained scenes where food and sex are lustily combined: Tom Jones (1963), Last Tango in Paris (1972), Tampopo (1985), 9 1/2 Weeks (1986), Henry and June (1990), Like Water for Chocolate (1992), American Pie (1999), Chocolate (2000), Woman on Top (2000), The Secretary (2002), I Am Love (2009), and Love & Other Drugs (2010). And consider this list of books that also reveal the correlation: The Mistress of Spices (1997, 1999); The Food of Love (2005); The Joy Luck Club (2006); Eat, Pray Love (2006); Comfort Food (2008); Hot in Here (2009); and Food for Love (2011). Undeniably, this has been a topic for our time.

Today, this approach is being further demonstrated, in a lighthearted way, through online articles and videos; as well as television cooking shows, and even cookbooks! This new "erotica cuisine" is everywhere. Searching the internet for "sexy food" or "romantic chef", presents an amazing array of related videos. From girls cooking in their underwear, to couples getting frisky on the floor covered in flour, the available material in the erotica cuisine style is abundant.

Some authors are obviously having fun with the subject; while some like are more serious. There are books like "Erotic Cuisine: A Natural History of Aphrodisiac Cookery" that are intended to be informative. And there are books that exemplify the humorous approach to erotica cuisine, such as the recipe eBook on this site,

In light of the developing erotica cuisine phenomenon, it is worth considering what cultural element benefits the most from this expanding examination of the connection between food and sex. Perhaps there is a social evolutionary process at work here; or perhaps it is a recurring fascination that appears in our cultural products from time to time to spark new creativity and inventiveness toward these two fundamental, survival-based elements.

Whatever the motivation for the prevalence of erotica cuisine, it is increasingly becoming an acceptable, mainstream approach to exploring both subjects. There is some controversy about the validity of this style of expression. Some noted writers, such as Stephen Poole (author of "You Aren't What You Eat"), have expressed their dissatisfaction with drawing a correlation between sexuality and food. However, since erotica cuisine is typically presented in a fun and lighthearted way, it is an approach that will, most likely, continue to be artistically developed and socially embraced.

Lorrie Tabar is a freelance writer with 18 years of experience as a proposal writer for the construction industry. She also has experience as a caregiver and a licensed massage therapist in Georgia. She indulges in movies, books, art, movies, and creative cooking.

How to Reprogram the Brain So As to Stop Food Cravings?

We are addicted to food, but you can learn to control the desire of the brain to absorb continuous high-calorie food. With a little willingness and perseverance each of us can succeed.

Food cravings are in our genes. For a long time encoded in our brain is the need for continuous eating. It originates from a time when man had to hunt and gather food to survive. Continuous brain willing to absorb high-calorie, fatty foods has become a mechanism for survival, without which our ancestors would not have been able to keep the excess fat, which is necessary for the survival of poorer times. This system worked perfectly for a long time, but today, in the era of the wide availability of food is the cause of disease and obesity. This is because the brain does not evolve as quickly as the environment. This body has evolved over 2.5 million years, and with the exception of the last ten thousand years people ate only animals and plants that were able to gather and hunt. Today we have access to a variety of foods, while not burn as many calories as our ancestors, because we have so many problems with maintaining proper body shape. Our ancestors took about 60% of the calories from the meals of meat, such as muscle meat, fat, and organs, and a further 40% of the food plant. The problem lies in the balance between these two components - protein and carbohydrates. Despite popular belief, carbohydrates are the most important nutrient, if you want to be healthy, and when you want to lose weight. However, remember that you can not put in their diets for empty carbohydrates, such as donuts and candy. Instead, you should reach for the products of plant origin. Our ancestors ate fruits, tubers, seeds and nuts, and that such products should be included in the daily diet. They are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and they take longer to digest, so you slowly increase the level of sugar in the blood.

Unfortunately, today, nearly 60% of the calories come from products that were unknown to our ancestors. They are mostly simple carbohydrates, which your brain sees a chance for a quick supply of energy, but they are just not healthy for our body. The result is an epidemic of obesity and diabetes.Simple carbohydrates, or those in the oil refined, sugary drinks and sauces are quickly processed by the body, and thus almost immediately flow from the intestines into the bloodstream. This results in a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. In response, the body releases insulin which helps sugar molecules to penetrate into the cells, which in turn is necessary to restore the body to balance the sugar.Too many simple sugars in the diet increases the production of insulin by the body. The cells gradually become resistant to the action, which also leads to increased amounts of the hormone in the blood. Such a process can lead to the disease known as insulin resistance, which is one of the causes of diabetes.Three ways to reprogram the brain to stop your brain from making poor dietary choices, you should adhere to three basic principles:

First Align the level of sugar in the blood.

This is a very important step, because the fluctuations cause cravings, not necessarily healthy for our body. When you feel hungry between meals, do not silence him anything - choose more healthy proteins, such as seeds or nuts.

Second Eliminate from the diet liquid calories and artificial sweeteners.

Sodas are full of chemicals and corn syrup, which is rich in fructose. Fruit juices are drinks in cartons that are virtually flooded with sugar. Therefore, to drink water, try to choose, the best non-carbonated. You can also easily reach the green tea, rich in chemicals of plant origin.

3rd For breakfast choose a high-quality protein.

In fact, the protein should be included in every meal, but it is usually impossible to achieve, because if you choose, put a healthy breakfast. You can eat eggs, nuts and seeds, peanut butter and a variety of cocktails. This will help you lose weight and reduce cravings during the day and burn calories.

We can not control our genes, but we can easily control what we eat. With a little willpower and perseverance, we can trick our brain and begin to control his food cravings. Worth a try!

5 Benefits You Can Gain From Natural Energy Drinks

Energy is the fuel that the body consumes in order to do our daily tasks and activities. In order to replenish used power, we resort to eating energy-giving foods like those which are rich in carbohydrates. Usually, eating three full meals a day would provide us enough energy to last for the whole day. However, there are some instances when we may need extra power more than what a usual day would require due to overtime work, extra home works or other pressing activities.

These activities which need to be done may require not only our energy but also our time which crosses out eating a full meal in our list. Full meals are not always available and eating a full meal may not be able to give us the energy we need especially if we need it immediately. Digesting the food and transforming it to the fuel we need takes time and the best substitute for energy replenishment that we can resort to is a natural energy drink.

But are natural energy refreshments good for you? There are many benefits that we can reap from drinking natural energy liquids.

Benefit #1: Natural energy drinks are absorbed by the body faster.

Unlike full meals, natural drinks are absorbed by the body faster since it is already in liquid state. Full meals are digested by the body and nutrients are extracted and then converted to energy.

This process takes time and you will not be able to use your much-needed energy in time, but natural energy drinks work much like liquid medicine. And since it is natural, the body will not have a hard time in processing the energy drink making it easier and faster to absorb.

This is one the main reason natural energy drinks are a hit for many people who are in need of extra energy for finishing tasks.

Benefit #2: Natural energy beverages give more benefits than just energy replenishment.

Another reason why organic power beverages are good for you is because they do not only provide the extra energy our bodies need but also provide us a bunch of other health benefits. Some natural power refreshments also serve as an antioxidant which fights off free radicals and helps prevent signs of aging making you look younger and your skin look more glowing and healthy.

There are also other all-natural power drinks which contain ginseng which helps repair and restore the body. This in turn also helps the body recharge itself when in fatigue or stress.

Some natural power drinks also aid in weight loss goals while still giving you the extra energy you require for your activity. These natural energy drinks with weight loss elements contains nutrients like vitamin C which also works to strengthen our immune system, essential B vitamins, as well as fiber which sweeps away fats and reduces food cravings as it gives you the feeling of being full.

Aside from those some natural energy beverages contain FOS which converts to being good bacteria helping us have a smoother digestive process.

Benefit #3: Natural energy liquids have lesser or zero side effects after the energy lift.

Synthetic energy drinks are high in sugar and additives which produces what seems to be an energy rush in the body. This then sends the body into an overdrive which is causes headaches, nervousness, jitters and even burn out or what is known as crashing.

These can be experienced during or after the effect of the energy surge in the body. After drinking drinks which are high in sugar and additives, you will often find yourself more tired and stressed out than you were before taking it. organic power drinks are different. Since they are natural and generally accepted by the body, you will experience lesser or even zero side effects.

Benefit #4: Natural energy drinks provide sustained or prolonged energy compared to synthetic energy drinks.

Since synthetic power drinks are high in sugar and additives, they give the body an unnatural energy rush which often fades off faster than the energy provided by energy refreshments. Sustained energy by all-natural power drinks range from four to six hours unlike synthetic ones which may only last lesser than four hours. And since natural energy drinks provide energy which is not just sugar, you can be guaranteed of a prolonged energy to help you finish your tasks.

Benefit #5: Natural energy beverages are low-cost and can easily be obtained.

Like most "natural" products, natural energy drinks are cheap and can be easily made at home. Most ingredients for natural energy drinks can be found in our herb gardens, kitchen, and local supermarkets. You can easily find low-cost ingredients so you can concoct or create your own natural energy drink which is best fit for your needs and lifestyle.

There are also some natural energy drinks which you can find in stores and supermarkets, just read the label and make sure that is all made naturally.

Anything natural is always healthy. With energy refreshments, you will not only get the energy you need in a faster time but you are also assured that your energy drink is being gentle on your body. You can also gain other health benefits from natural energy drinks which you will not easily get from synthetic or commercially made ones.

All these wonderful benefits for a lesser price than those commercially prepared energy drinks with additives and preservatives. It is high time you give your body the right energy drink it deserves - go natural!

My new mission is to raise awareness of healthy food for energy we need for a healthy and fulfilling life. On my website you can also read more about raw food recipes.

Cake Decorating - A Fun Way to Earn Money

People who are creative and who would like to earn from it may try cake decorating. They may start a small home business first in order for them to get a feel of this kind of business. Those who enjoy designing or conceptualizing unique but attractive decorative pieces may use their talents in this type of business as well. Even moms who stay at home can earn a good income by baking and cake decorating home business for friends and for neighbors. This is also a fun way to earn money especially for people to enjoy expressing their ideas through decorating cakes.

People will always want to feel very special and one of the ways to make them feel that is through cakes. More and more people also love cakes with special designs that would suit the occasion as well. Cake decorators who are able to create elegant and unique decorations which are also edible will surely find lots of people who would like to have customized cake designs that will be given as a gift for a special someone. Those who are in this business will be able to tap their imagination as to the things they can create for people to enjoy seeing and eating it too.

Aside from having fun in decorating cakes, people enjoy other advantages as well. They are able to make use of all of their senses when they work with decorating cakes. There is no limit as to the ideas that they can include in their cake design. People who start their own home cake business do not have to worry about bosses as they do not have to please any superior or manager. They are the ones in charge of everything and all decisions are theirs to make. Those who would like to gain more experiences can decorate cakes for their families and friends first.

In time people may put up their own cake shops especially if they have gained lots of experiences and if they are already confident to offer their specially decorated cakes to other people as well. People who enjoy what they are doing will find pleasure in it. Cake decorating is a fun way to express the innate creativity of people at the same time it provides them with the opportunity to derive income from it. They do not only make people happy and special but they also make themselves feel fulfilled and satisfied with their handiwork.

You can get tips, advice, and techniques to get your new home cake business off the ground quickly and without stress. With the right education, you can tap into this business without spending a lot of money. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars on equipment to start a cake decorating home business.

Where To Eat - Choose The Most Hygienic And Quality Based Restaurant

To choose a best place for healthy eating is the prime thing for a person as there are many eating spots all over the world so you can choose the restaurant where you want to go according to your desire. Eating is must for every person to be alive and it is very important to eat healthy and hygienic food to remain fit and strong. A healthy balanced diet provides all the nutrients which the body needs in the right amounts. For healthy eating you need not to be strict about your diet by divesting yourself of the foods you love or making you unlikely thin rather, it's about feeling great, having more energy, enduring your mood, and keeping yourself as healthy as possible. The goal of healthy eating is to develop a diet that you can maintain for life, not just a few weeks or months so for this you must choose the suitable and best place to dine out.

Select The Best Eating Spot As Per Your Requirement:

There are numerous restaurants in which you can eat the quality food of your own choice. Before you decide where to eat you must be known to the reason for having your lunch, dinner or snacks outside whether you are going with your family, friends or colleagues. Then you should select the sort of the food which you want to eat like Indian, Chinese, Italian or continental and then go to the particular restaurant as per your need. After this check your budget, how much you want to spend on eating as some people like to go at luxurious places for eating but these places cost very high. So if you do not want to spend more money then also there are many cheap and affordable eating spots where you can eat nutritional and tasty foods as well as save money.

Take The Help From Online Sources:

To search a better and superior place where you want to go and eat, you can take the help from internet as there are many online websites which make you available with the suggestions of the places where to eat the most hygienic, germ-free and delicious food. The online websites help you to search food places in any locations all over the world. With the help of these online websites you can search for a particular spot where you want to go and eat according to your choice of food either Indian, Chinese, continental, Thai, Mexican, Italian or South Indian within your budget. You can also find the best, reliable and affordable restaurant nearby your house with the help of online websites.

So finally, choosing a variety of foods is the best way to ensure a balanced intake of all the different nutrients needed for good health. In my opinion, for a better result you should take the help of online websites that may suggest you the best dining spot according to your taste, budget and place. So enjoy the fun and excitement by spending the superior time with your family and friends in some good, hygienic and quality restaurant.

The online websites provide the suggestions to find out the best and reliable restaurant according to the need and budget of every individual where you can eat the most delicious, hygienic and germ-free food. So choosing a variety of foods is the best way to ensure a balanced intake of all the different nutrients needed for good health.

Beef Jerky - A Wonderful Snack for You

Often regular meals won't help you cure your hunger. You would crave for some snack in between your meals. Many people try to cure such occasional hunger by consuming junk food. But beef jerky is a better and healthy solution for your hunger. Many people doubt this food as junk. But beef jerky contains the proteins and carbohydrates required by your body. The fat content is also low as Beef Jerkies are made using the well-known methods of preserving food which has been practiced since time immemorial. They come as ready to eat food and can be stored if you wish so.

It is quite easy to make beef jerky at your home. You can either make it with just meat and salt or go for some elaborate method. The elaborate way of making beef jerky involves using Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, liquid smoke, garlic and onion powder, soy sauce, sugar, paprika and cayenne pepper. You will have to soak the meat in these ingredients first. This is one of the popular methods adopted these days.

The kinds of meat used in beef jerky preparation are grounded meat and flank steak. Whichever meat you choose, you will have to mix the meat with the ingredients that you choose and the marinated meat has to be kept in the refrigerator overnight. This has to be pressed and rolled using a rolling pin and then dried. The preparation of the jerky involves removing the excess fat in the meat. If you prefer to use muscle meat then you will have to thinly slice the muscle and then mix it with the marinade ingredients that you prefer. After keeping the mixture over night you will have to drain out the remaining fluid before you carry out with the drying process.

Air drying is the traditional way of drying meat. Though this method is still preferred by many, food dehydrator is also widely used. If you are using a smoker or an oven, its temperature has to be reduced in order to prevent the meat from getting cooked. If you are making use of air drying methods which are possible only in low humidity areas, it will take many days for the meat to get dried. You can avoid the pain of making beef jerky and buy it online or from a retail shop near your place. Once you start eating it you will never let yourself forget its taste.

Greek Frozen Yogurt - A Healthy Alternative

A new trend in desserts today that is popping up on nearly every street corner is Greek frozen yogurt. People that are devoted to it love the health benefits that come with it. This delicious trend includes toppings galore, such as fruit, cereals, candy, and other mix-ins that promise health benefits, such the probiotics that help with immunity and digestion.

Just like with any other food, a healthy diet includes healthy portion sizes as too much will take away the benefits of the lower fat, higher protein treat, especially when you add all the self serve topping options. A great way to eat the Greek frozen yogurt is to take a couple of ounces of the base and top it with fresh fruit to keep the snack healthy. Even with the extra calories from the toppings, it is still considered to be a healthier option than its counterparts.

Unlike the yogurt shops of 20 years ago, this new trend is to concentrate on the actual flavor of the yogurt, not sweeten it. This gives a more tart flavor, making it different than traditional ice cream. This also seems to be working well for the industry as in the last two years, the amount of frozen treat stores in the country has been on the rise from just over 3,500 to nearly 5,000 with the industry raking in over $6 billion a year, showing some of the highest growth in the frozen dessert industry. Much of this comes from the rise of new business owners during a recession because people need the money to survive.

It is hard to determine if Greek frozen yogurt is healthier than ice cream, but in order to be yogurt it needs to contain various healthy bacterias, other known as probiotics. These are streptococcus thermophilus and lactobacillus blugaricus to aid in digestion and to help you process lactose. Greek style yogurt will also have more protein than the regular kind, making it a healthy alternative to regular ice cream. Not only do these treats have to contain more protein and probiotics, but its tart flavor also helps the body release sugar.

Greek frozen yogurt is even healthier than the regular kind because of its higher concentration of protein and creaminess, making it lower in carbohydrates and fats, the things that people who are trying to eat healthy will want to avoid anyway. One serving of Greek frozen yogurt makes a healthy and satisfying dessert on a warm summer evening.

The key to discovering if your Greek frozen yogurt is a healthier choice than ice cream, check the amount of calories it has compared to the same size serving of ice cream. You should also check its fat content, which is usually 0. However, the best way to avoid the extra calories at your local shop is to limit the amount of toppings you put on it or just go with the lower calorie sprinkles to top it off.

A Brief History of Chopsticks

Why Chopsticks?
The impact chopsticks have made on society is impressive. Most scholars agree that they were probably used first as cooking utensils in China as early as the Shang Dynasty, citing a pair of bronze chopsticks dated 1200 BC that was excavated from the Yin Ruins (the last capital of the Shang Dynasty). As the population expanded, resources became scarce and people tried to cook their food more quickly to save fuel. To do this, they would cut and cook their food in smaller pieces, which also made it suitable for eating with chopsticks. The onset of Confucianism at the time also had an effect. Confucius taught, "The honorable and upright man keeps well away from both the slaughterhouse and the kitchen. And he allows no knives on his table." The highly influential Confucius and his distaste for knives no doubt had an effect on the popularity of chopsticks at the time. As they grew in popularity throughout China, they began to morph into shorter, more usable shapes that were better suited for eating (Wilkinson, 2000).

Expansion throughout Asia:
By 500 A.D. chopsticks had spread from China to Korea, Vietnam and Japan. Each region developed unique styles of chopsticks that were best suited to their own unique foods and cultures. In Japan, for example, they lacquer their chopsticks with beautiful designs as a reflection of their highly artistic culture. In ancient Korea, pure silver chopsticks were used by the king because they believed the silver would change color if the king's food had been poisoned. Then the commoners, wanting to emulate royalty, began to use metal chopsticks as well which led to the use of metal chopsticks in Korea. Chopsticks eventually found their way to other Asian countries as well, and by the end of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.), chopsticks were mainstream throughout most of Asia. When travelling in Asia, you will find that in many restaurants do not have flat-ware unless you ask for it and in the rural areas it may be altogether non-existent, so you can save yourself some embarrassment and hassle by learning how to use chopsticks and practicing a bit before you go.

Expansion throughout the world:
In 2050, the world economy will be dominated by India and China, so as the world becomes smaller, the need to be culturally adept, especially with Asian countries, will become larger. This recent globalization has brought mandarin lessons to elementary schools in Georgia state, and chopstick culture to the entire world. As people learn more about the diaspora between Asian growth and cultural literacy, they realize that cultural awareness will play an important role in their future success. Nevertheless, most of the world is still missing out on the enjoyment of using cultural artifacts like chopsticks to eat delicious Asian food. Indeed, if you add up the entire population of all chopstick-wielding countries, the sum only accounts for about 33% of the world's population, so there is still plenty of time to learn. So here's to your future success and enjoyment of Asian cuisine. Chopsticks are taking their place in modern history as the newest ancient way to eat!


Wilkinson, E., Chinese History: A Manual, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, revised and translated., 2000), 647 citing Yun Liu, Renxiang Wang, Qin Mu, Zhongguo Zhu Wen Hua Da Guan (Beijing: Kexue chubanshe, 1996).

The Chopstick Store is a fully owned subsidiary of Oceanstar Holdings, LLC. We have a variety of Japanese chopsticks, Korean chopsticks, and Chinese chopsticks for your dining pleasure, and we enjoy sharing rich chopstick culture with the rest of the world.

How to Present Food to Wow Your Guests Using Slate Placemats

Presenting food in a way that makes it aesthetically appealing to your guests is key to the success of any dinner party. In this article we take a look at some of the different ways that you can impress your friends and give you some tips how you can wow you guests next time you entertain.

Many people believe that how food is presented is just as important as how it tastes. Presentation, certainly has a bearing on how food is perceived, because let's be honest if food it just lumped on a plate with little or no thought to how it looks, it doesn't get your gastric juices flowing.

The truth is that we consume food with our eyes long before it reaches our mouths and when you are offered a plate of food that is artistically laid out and looks as though the cook/chef has taken time to show the food to its best effect, your mouth is watering before the first taste.

Effective food presentation starts before the food is prepared. It should start with considering what end result you want to achieve and therefore how you want the individual ingredients to look on the plate. This could influence the way that meat is tied or cut so that when cooked it is able to be displayed to its best effect.

In some instances it can be the way that food, particularly cakes and desserts are iced or decorated. Sauces, whether sweet or savoury, look most effective when drizzled over the dish.

Picture a plate of filled pancakes, neatly presented, drizzled with chocolate sauce, garnished with fresh strawberries and lightly dusted with castor sugar.

Nouvelle Cuisine, which became popular in recent times in the 1960's, made food presentation an art form. It's renowned for serving smaller more delicate dishes with the emphasis on presentation. However the term "Nouvelle Cuisine" has been used a number of times throughout the history of French cuisine.

Another way to make your dinner party or special occasion memorable is to use different or innovative crockery to display your food to best effect.

Slate is becoming very popular as a way to decorate a table and works well with all types of food. It is available in a variety of colours, with black being the most fashionable. Slate can be used either as place mats or directly as plates. When used in this way, the slate is usually coated with a food safe finish sealing the usually porous surface.

Your dinner table can also be decked out with additional slate pieces such as Slate Cheese Boards or Slate Cake Stands. The range also includes items such as salt and pepper mills on a slate base and serving dishes in assorted colours again on a slate base. In addition, slate candle holders make an ideal centrepiece and serving platters in slate, all add to a coordinated look to enhance your food presentation.

Hi, I am Lianne Shepherd, I love keeping in touch with new trends in home style and food ideas. If you're like me and want to impress your dinner guests, whether it's for a special occasion or a dinner party, then Slate tableware is definitely the next big thing. Why not take a look at the range of Slate Placemats at and be the envy of your friends.