Every modern society has laws or rules that are meant to be followed and obeyed. Things like traffic laws, paying taxes or even rules that govern every sport you can imagine. We all know what happens if we have no rules, right? Yes, chaos ensues and our society begins to fall apart. Yikes! The same thing is true with your fat loss goals. I have always been a firm believer in having what I call “food rules” that govern the way I eat. Remembering that it’s impossible to out train a bad diet, if you obey your food rules it is easier to stay on track and make sure that you are only consuming foods that are taking you closer to your goals, not farther away from them. (more…)

Many people have turned to organic fruits and vegetables (and even meats) in recent years, striving to live healthier, longer lives. You may be one of these people. But did you know that organic coffee is now available, too? If you can’t find it at your local health food store, then you can definitely find it online.

How Organic Coffee Differs From Traditional Coffee

The coffee plant has traditionally been grown in the company of shade trees and other food and cash crops. This approach made for healthier soil and prevented water contamination. Unfortunately, many coffee growers have abandoned this approach in favor of larger crops and hence larger profits. However, synthetic pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers have become necessary to maintain these crops, and along with them the taste of the coffee has suffered, the soil has suffered, and no one knows the potential impact they may have on the future health of the coffee consumer.

In addition, the loss of the shade trees has had a direct impact on migratory song birds. While an obvious connection may not immediately come to mind, the relationship has actually been symbiotic. These birds used the shade trees as their habitat as they migrated, and as a result they provided a natural defense against many of the bugs and pests that can ruin a coffee crop. Without them, pesticides must be used to do the job.

Unlike the large, commercial coffee plantations, organic coffees are generally grown on small farms with plenty of shade cover. There are plenty of migratory birds to control insects, and pesticides are unnecessary. In fact, the United States requires that organic coffees be grown on shaded land and be completely chemical free for three consecutive years.

Tips For A Great Cup of Organic Coffee

Whole beans should be used within a week of purchase in order to enjoy the full flavor of the coffee.

Avoid vacuum-packed coffee, even organic vacuum-packed coffee. The process of vacuum packing cannot be done immediately after roasting. The coffee must sit for nearly a week before it can be vacuum-packed. This degrades much of the flavor.

Coffee beans should be stored in an airtight container, not on the shelf in the paper bag you brought them home with from the store. And in order to enjoy the full flavor of the coffee, you should grind only the amount you intend to use just before brewing.

Whole coffee beans that will be stored longer than a week should be placed in an airtight glass container that’s kept in the freezer.

As with any coffee blend, organic or not, grind the beans according to the brewing method you intend to use. Keep in mind that if you grind your beans too fine your coffee may end up bitter and muddy; if you don’t grind them enough, your coffee may end up flavorless.

Often overlooked, many people consider the most important step toward a good cup of coffee to be the proportion of water to coffee. Experts recommend 2 tablespoons for every 6 ounces of water.

When they wanted to buy bread, surely you will choose bread that big fluffy and smooth. You probably would not choose a flat bread because it looks certainly do not draw.

“Bread can be inflated because of the mixture of yeast (yeast) in the dough. Yeast reacts with the air to produce gas,” said Herman Ahmad, baker ASA Food, cooking demonstrations with current bakery Pane del Giorno in PT ASA Food, Sentul, Bogor.

Herman added that the common mistakes made when making bread dough is too much milk.

Many people think that the mixing of milk that much (even replace water with milk) will make more bread so soft and delicious. When in fact, too much milk it will cause the dough can not inflate perfectly. Ideally, the dough will expand 2-3 times its original size.

“The batter can not expand because yeast can not absorb lactose from milk. Consequently maximal yeast can not react with air and cause gas,” he added. In the right amount, yeast could tolerate the presence of lactose, and react to form a gas.

So how does the exact composition of the flour and milk?

Herman advised to use only a third of the milk of the amount of flour used. If using powdered milk, then for one kilogram of flour, milk used is 300 grams. Whereas if you use milk, you can mix water and milk 50:50 according to the size prescribed water.

“But it’s most convenient is to use powdered milk,” he said.

I have learned through my business as a Newport Beach Personal Trainer that dieting is the number one obstacle most people have trouble overcoming while trying to get fit. Even people who are diligent exercisers, who hit the gym with full intensity and always make sure to get enough rest to recover, somehow usually find themselves a bit confused as to want constitutes a good diet. Even in cases when people feel confident that they know how to eat right, most have difficultly actually following a good diet. (more…)

Baking used to be something which was popular and almost every girl was taught how to bake and cook. These days it seems that the art of baking is fading away and many people find it difficult to manage even the simplest cooking. This is why I was glad to see my nephew trying out some baking in the holidays and he produced some amazing results by following an easy clotted cream recipe along with a homemade toffee apples recipe. This is the simplest pear and Pear and Chocolate Tart Recipe which he perfected. (more…)

There are eight distinct candle making additives used in the candle making process. Some makers choose not to use them at all while others take advantage of what each type of additive has to offer to their candle making process. Candle wax additives are inexpensive and work well if you are educated in how to use them and why to use each kind. (more…)

The word “coffee” brings specific thoughts and images to mind. Smooth, rich, fragrant, dark, soothing and eye opening are just some of the words that probably come to mind. On television we see rich, thick cups of coffee that simply look amazing. It is very possible to brew that same cup of coffee from home with the help of master roasters from Italy.

People often try everything to change the taste and texture of their coffee. They resort to buying expensive flavored creamers to improve the overall coffee experience. More often than not, all that does is mask the flavor of the coffee. True coffee lovers don’t wish to mask the coffee flavor, they prefer to enhance it.

In effort to achieve a better coffee at home, people resort to cleaning their coffee pot, or even buying a new one. They are often led to believe that using bottled water will enhance the flavor of their coffee. Soon they realize it isn’t the coffee pot, the problem is the type of coffee. When all else fails, change the type of coffee you purchase. If you’re in the market for a heavy, thick coffee with a full bodied taste, go for a Sicilian gourmet coffee.

Coffee beans grown in South America and Indonesia are kept at a certain height and cultivated while the fruit is at its prime. These coffee beans have a heaviness and aroma that assaults the senses and creates an entirely new love of coffee. The flavor lingers in your mouth, never turning bitter. Your morning cup becomes a savory, satisfying way to start the day.

Entertain Your Guests with Sicilian Gourmet Coffee

If you love entertaining guests who love great coffee, switch your usual grocery store coffee with a rich, bold Sicilian blend. The coffee itself will become an instant conversation starter. You may choose to share your new-found coffee secrets with your guests, or keep them to yourself. Sicilian gourmet coffee brings with it a warm feeling of friendship that your friends and guests will talk about for months to come.

Some people may believe they’re coffee lovers, but they’ve never tried anything other than grocery store brands. Every coffee drinker has slightly different tastes. The wide variety of gourmet coffee blends is sure to offer something for everyone. While planning your next get-together with friends, choose your coffee carefully.

Coffee Beans Make All the Difference

Coffees sold in your local grocery store are created in mass quantities to sell. While they try to maintain some sense of quality, quantity often reigns supreme. Coffee plants aren’t always properly nourished and cared for the way they should be to create really amazing coffee grounds.

Gourmet coffee plants are nourished and cared for. They are grown at specific altitudes that ensure the overall quality of the coffee beans. They are generally grown to a specific height and the beans are cultivated at a precise time to create the perfect balance between aroma, taste and body.

Not All Gourmet Coffees Are Created Equal

The overall quality of the variety of gourmet coffee types depends on the coffee bean used. Two types of bean are Arabica and Robusta. These two coffee beans are grown in different areas of the world at completely different altitudes. The Arabica bean is grown in the mountains of South America while the Robusta bean is grown and cultivated in Asia at about sea level.

The amount of each coffee bean used to create a cup of coffee can greatly impact the taste. The Arabica bean creates a smooth, delicate flavor. Adding Robusta beans to Arabica beans adds a true, classic Sicilian flare. The combination of 70 percent Arabica beans and 30 percent Robusta beans create one of the greatest golden blends of gourmet coffee Sicily has to offer.

Enjoying fine food is definitely one of the pleasures of life. There is so much fast food and bland tasting dishes today because of the lack of time to really prepare food right, that when you do get to enjoy gourmet fine food, it’s a special treat.

So what makes any food or drink qualify to be called “gourmet”?

Well, in general it means that a particular food or drink is considered above average in quality, and will appeal even to those who have the most discriminating tastes. It also usually means that a lot of time and effort has gone into it’s preparation too.

What comes to mind when you think of gourmet foods? Here is a list of many fine foods and beverages that can be found in the gourmet food category:

1. Coffees – Gourmet coffees include many exotic coffee blends from around the world and flavored coffees. Frequently you can get a nice mixture of various gourmet coffees that allow you to sample them before buying more of each kind.

2. Teas – There are several specialty teas from all over the world that qualify to be called gourmet tea.They can be either green, black, oolong or herbal teas. Again, you can often get sampler packs of these exotic teas to try them out first.

3. Chocolates – Whether milk, dark or white chocolate,gourmet chocolate assortments often come with fruit, nuts, and cream centers that are just incredibly delicious.

4. Caviar – If you really want to taste the good life, enjoy any of the various kinds of caviar, from the American Golden to the Russian Dark variety. Of course this is one type of gourmet food that can get really pricey fast, but there is a caviar for pretty much any budget if you look carefully enough.

5. Seafood – There are lots of seafoods that have been specially prepared as gourmet foods including smoked herring, oysters, shrimp and lobster rolls and bisques. There’s lots more in this category too and again you can often get samplers for taste testing in advance.

6. Fish – Some of the favorite gourmet fish foods are salmon, tuna, and halibut.

7. Meats – This is one of the largest gourmet categories and lately has become very popular. Entries in this field include ribs, roasts, steaks, and even some dried and cured meats.

8. Poultry – There are any number of gourmet foods prepared with chicken, but duck and turkey is also top favorites for special dishes.

So where can you use gourmet foods? Almost any special occasion is a good time to include gourmet foods, drinks, or desserts on the menu. Everything from intimate dinners for two to large social gatherings are all acceptable places to include the delicious taste of gourmet foods to help make that occasion truly special and unforgettable.