Category Archives: kitchen

Coffee Health – New Antioxidant On The Block

Green coffee beans have supplied a new player in the antioxidant arena. An extract of green coffee beans has been found to have a stronger antioxidant effect than established antioxidants like green tea and grape seed extract.

The active constituent in coffee that is responsible for its many health benefits is a compound called chlorogenic acid. It neutralizes free radicals, and addresses the problem of hydroxyl radicals, both of which can lead to cellular degeneration if left unchecked. Chlorogenic acid also helps regulate metabolism. Compared to green tea and grape seed extract, green coffee bean extract is twice as effective in absorbing oxygen free radicals.

One of the advantages of using the green coffee bean extract is that the negative effects of coffee are avoided. The chlorogenic acid is thought to boost metabolism by changing the way glucose is taken up by the body. And it does contain caffeic acids, which give a boost to energy levels like regular coffee does. But unlike boiled coffee, green coffee bean extract contains no cafestol, which is a diterpene. Along with its diterpene relative kahweol, cafestol increases concentrations of the ‘bad’ cholesterol, LDL, to levels that over a lifetime might increase the risk of coronary heart disease by as much as 20% These diterpenes also had an effect on the levels of liver enzymes measured. When these are elevated it is an indicator of stress on the liver. However the study that measured this found this was a transient effect, and also that the levels of liver enzymes were much lower than those with liver disease.

As a side note on the health effect of the diterpenes found in regular coffee, it was found that by simply drinking filter coffee, none of these effects on cholesterol levels or the liver took place. The coffee filter removed the offending diterpenes. And levels of these diterpenes in instant coffee are low.

Other benefits of green coffee bean extract include an increase in the effectiveness of pain killers, especially for migraine medications; a reduction in the risk of diabetes; and assisting the body burn a higher proportion of lipids (fats) compared to carbohydrates, which could help with muscle fatigue for athletes and bodybuilders.

Interestingly, on the subject of caffeine and liver disease, further studies have indicated it may in fact support liver health for some people. Those who were at high risk of developing liver disease due to drinking too much alcohol were found less likely to suffer liver damage if they drank more than two cups of coffee or tea a day. This was a population based study, not a clinical trial, and so is not conclusive on the subject. But it does offer some promising information. Those drinking in excess of two cups or more a day were half as likely to develop liver disease compared to those drinking less than one cup a day. Researchers do not know what caused this protective effect.

One of the criticisms of coffee in regards to health is that it leaches calcium from the bones. But this effect has been found to be overemphasized, at least in children. And adults who consume a diet with sufficient levels of calcium will be protected from the small amount of calcium that is lost due to coffee consumption.

So the old axiom that caffeine can stunt a child’s growth is a myth. It was based on the fact that in older studies, caffeine was associated with low bone mass because those studies were done on elderly people who both drank a lot of coffee and had diets that were low in calcium.

Choosing A Culinary School

You have made the decision to go to a culinary school. Now what? Culinary school options are many, around the world, even. To choose one, you need to consider several aspects. Think that it doesn’t matter? Around the world there are hundreds of thousands of people looking to be the next big chef. One of the first deciding factors on who you are as a chef is the culinary school that you attend. On that note, let us help you to find some answers to your questions about finding the best culinary school for you.

• Your first step is to decide in what area you will specialize. Bakery, gourmet, and everything in between are your options. Not sure yet? Then, look for a culinary school that can provide you with a basic learning of many aspects of cooking. This will lead to a foundation of love in one or more eventually.

• Use the web as a tool. You have heard it before, but most culinary schools now have the ability to provide details about their school, including why you should choose them, on their websites. This is an excellent way for you to learn more about the schools on a preliminary plane.

• Venture into the arena of scholarships. Look at culinary schools that are abroad. Understand the various schools of thought that are presented in each culinary school. Ask questions and get answers.

• Visit the culinary schools that are known for their excellent students. Find out where students who have graduated from that school have gone and done with their lives. Observe a class. Tour the campus.

• Of course, one of the largest concerns that people have when it comes to culinary school choice is the cost. These schools are not cheap by any means, but the education you get will last you a lifetime. It is wise to consider quality well over price as much as you can. And, make sure to look into financial planning and financial aid.

Choosing a culinary school that feels right is important. Get all aspects of the decision just right and you can find yourself on your way to earning a culinary school degree in no time.

Coffee and the Lowest Prices Possible

Coffee products can be found for prices that are next to nothing but most people do not bother looking for them, it just takes a little more effort on the part of the buyer and in no time at all the money you have saved could go towards buying a stainless steel coffee maker or some other product. Quite simply a large number of food and drink firms and coffee makers give their products away for free, the sad truth is the chances of obtaining the particular coffee items you need are slim however not impossible.

This may sound all very nice however how can the details of coffee competitions be located with ease? well this is basically far simpler than a person might suppose, the trick is to search in a specific way but you must always use inverted commas, for example try this query “coffee competitions” or “free coffee prize”, if you do this you will get those exact results and if any coffee products or linked products are being given as prizes you could possibly be in with a chance of winning such things, Just think you might easily win something like a capresso coffee maker for absolutely nothing.

Where you aware that many buyers merely give items like coffee products and similar products away for no charge? you see so many people obtain food and drink products and subsequently find they don’t want them. An individual may have received something like a carafe coffee maker for a gift but for some reason might not want it any more, for this you would need to try searches that include “low cost coffee” or “budget coffee” however you must not forget the inverted commas because they are the solution to better results.

Some of the well known coffee makers very often run competitions and offer their own products as prizes, check out the coffee portals that list the manufacturers and see if some competitions are being run on their websites. You may end up winning products like Amaretto Dark Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans or bunn easy pure coffee pots and can exchange them on a coffee forum for an item you really require, also if you win some roasted coffee beans but really desire coffee maker bits it may very well be that a coffee company will actually accept such products in a part money part product swap for the particular food and drink items you are truly interested in buying.

Many of us find competitions on occasions but finding a coffee competition just when you actually want one is something that doesn’t happen very often, if you want items like braun coffee makers but are short of cash then you should use your favorite search engine and discover what coffee merchandise you can get in a competition.

A last word of advice, should you win an item such as a espresso machine then you can sell it on ebay as you might then utilize the money to purchase the coffee items you really need.

Cleaning Trout – How To Clean a Trout Fish

Cleaning trout. Does that bring back memories! I think I was about 9 years old when I first learned how to clean trout. It is really pretty easy. A little practice and you will soon be cleaning trout with ease. If at all possible, use clean, running water to rinse the trout as you clean.

Scaling the trout.

For this step, you will need a fish-board with a clip to hold the tail or you can hold the tail with your hand. You will also need a fish scaler or use the unsharpened side of a good sturdy knife (short blade is best). With the trout held firmly by the tail, scrape very firmly from the tail to the gills several times on both sides. This will remove the scales so you don’t have to deal with them later. No one wants to find them in a bite of grilled fish!

Gutting the trout.

To properly gut the trout without tearing into the stomach or intestines, you will need a sharp, short bladed knife. The short blade gives you better control. The first cut you want to make is just at gill level from the belly side. This results in a cut between the jawbone and the tongue. Do not cut through the spine. Next, place 1 or 2 fingers inside the trout’s mouth with the palm of your hand pressed firmly on the top of its head and your thumb in the gill to hold it solid. Then, carefully, begin to slit the trout’s belly starting at the anus and working your way up to the cut under the gills. You need to be careful not to cut into the guts themselves, as this will foul the flesh, making it inedible. Keep your knife just under the skin. To pull the guts out, hold the trout firmly with your thumb under the jaw and your index finger in the mouth. Then get a firm grip on the guts and pull them out. All that is left to do is to scrape your thumb along the spine in the gut cavity to clean out the bloodline.

To behead or not to behead.

This last step can be a matter of personal preference. Removing the head of the trout. Some people like it left on, but, personally, I don’t like my food looking back at me.
To do this, you need a good sturdy knife. The same one you used to cut the belly open will work. Just be sure to rinse it good first. To cut the head off, grasp the trout firmly in the middle with your thumb in the gut cavity and the rest of your hand wrapped around it. Hold the trout so that the head is pushed down on your cutting surface. With your knife, make a firm slicing motion through the spine at gill level, preferablywith the gut cavity up. Once this is complete, rinse the trout and you are ready to proceed with the rest of your trout cleaning.

Of course, you could use my favorite method to clean a trout. Filet it!

Easy Summer Grilling Success

Summer evenings are so beautiful, you just need to move outside. Clean off the grill and prepare to enjoy these long leisurely evenings. Here are some tips to be sure your next barbeque is a success!

1. Heat the grill. If using charcoal, allow plenty of time for the coals to reach the proper temperature and be tinged with ash. Spread the coals out in an even layer. You can make a double or triple layer on one side of the grill and a single layer on the other for better heat control.

2. A flavorful aromatic smoke adds to the aroma and penetrates the food to add a distinctive flavor. You can use wood chips that have been soaked in water and apply directly on top of the coals. Or pick fresh herbs from your garden such as rosemary, marjoram, thyme, bay leafs or oregano and lay onto the coals. Do not use green wood, or any wood that has been treated for use as lumber.

3. Lightly oil the grill surface or spray with Pam. Or oil the food lightly. Careful, too much oil will cause flare-ups.

4. Pre-heat the grill with the lid closed for 10 or 15 minutes. On charcoal grills, the coals should be glowing red with white ash forming, this can take a little longer.

5. Choose a good piece of meat. Meat that is higher in fat marbling will produce a juicer BBQ product. Much of the fat will cook away during cooking anyway. Excess fat on the outside of the meat should be trimmed, this fat does not help the moisture content of the food and will cause flare-ups.

6. Brush the food with a water or vinegar based marinade and place the meat or vegetables on the grill. Be careful not to overcrowd the food. Ideally meat should be marinated for 1 hour or more before grilling.

7. Use pieces of meat less than 1 – 2 inches thick. Grill on a hot grill and keep the lid down except when brushing with marinade, checking for doneness, etc.

8. Cook on one side for half the cooking time, then brush the top with additional marinade and turn to cook the other side. Avoid turning more than needed, as this can prevent caramelization.

9. Keep a spritzer bottle handy to help deal with flare-ups. If flare-ups occur, move the food to prevent burning. Usually, moving the food is enough to control the flare; however, your can spritz with a fine mist of water if needed.

10. Barbeque sauces usually contain a lot of sugar and will burn if applied too soon. Apply sauce as the food is almost ready to remove and cook only long enough to just set the sauce- 10 minutes or less.

11. Use a meat thermometer to check doneness. Avoid pricking the meat unnecessarily as juices will drain away.

Cooking Healthy For Radiant Health

Who can resist the mouth-watering pictures in a cookbook? Who doesn’t have childhood memories of the fragrances that wafted from the kitchen on holidays, and even on regular, ordinary days? Spices, bread baking, cookies fresh out of the oven – all these trigger a deep longing in most of us. As eating holds a guaranteed spot in everybody’s daily schedule, so do those who prepare it. They have beome the uncrowned gods and goddesses of our lives.

Real cooking consists of more than opening a can with a dull picture of green beans on the front, or popping a TV dinner from a wax-covered box into the oven or microwave. The true goal of cooking is to nourish these marvelous bodies that we live in, to allow them to grow and express vitality and strength, to keep them healthy and able to overcome environmental germs and bacteria. Summarized in one word, the main purpose of cooking is heath!

When does a fruit or vegetable (or any baked item) furnish us with the most nutrition? The experts feel that food grown in one’s own environment will usually contain the most nutrition. Freshly harvested food provides the maximum nutritional value. After a fruit or vegetable has been sitting for several days, or transported around the world, the value of the vitamins and minerals diminishes.

The best means of ‘cooking’ fruits and vegetables for their health value is to eat them raw in salads or as snacks. As soon as heat is applied, a good quantity of the nutrition is destroyed. A good cook can prepare a beautiful plate with the natural colors of freshly picked fruits and vegetables.

Genetically engineered food has infiltrated the growing of almost all crops. This procedure didn’t exist until the last decade, and it remains highly controversial as the long range effect on humans has never been tested.

Briefly described, this procedure consists of infecting a healthy seed or grain with various bacteria or insects to lengthen its shelf life, to make it look ‘pretty’ for the consumer long after the nutritional value has dissolved. This not only has a negative effect on one’s health, but leaves the cook with a less than delicious product to serve.

Cooking with natural foods that are organically grown (that means with no harmful pesticides or chemical fertilizers) gives today’s health conscious cooks the best chance to delight in the time spent shopping and in the kitchen. Whipping up a carrot cake that will enchant both family and friends (best make two cakes while you’re at it), or preparing a quick but nutritious breakfast so the body will gleefully handle the challenges of the day without needing to be drugged by coffee or caffeine, make heading for the kitchen the favorite part of the day! Truly the cook is the god of the household

Cake decorating tips and ideas

Everyone loves to eat cake, which is nicely and perfectly decorated. But due to lack of decorating skill ones wish is not fulfilled up to the maximum level. Check out for some cake decorating tips that can help to make your cake more delicious.

Cake decorating tips and Ideas

Baking cakes can be difficult but decorating them can be more challenging. While decorating a cake one has to take into consideration number of factors like flavor, texture and design of the cake. Its very important that you know from where you have to start the cake decoration. This article can help you with some useful tips that can help you on your way to decorating sweet masterpieces.

• It’s very important that you allow the cake to cool down after it is baked. Give yourself at least 30 minutes before starting to apply frosting on the cake.
• You can use a whipped cream frosting to smoothen the decorating process.
• It would be advisable to start from the corners of the cake – they are hardest to frost
• Frost the sides of the cake with lots of icing and steady hands. Start icing with thin layers before moving to the thicker ones.
• Apply dollops of icing in the corners and in the middle of the cake.
• Make sure the knife only touches the frosting part and not the cake.
• You can apply icing to the cake as necessary. Be careful not to smear the icing that you already applied.
• Use strokes to spread the icing on the cake. If the icing is difficult to spread try dipping your knife in hot water, which makes the icing spread faster.
• Style the frosting once it is applied by using a fork across the top of the cake to create a lattice effect. You can also use a knife to create swirls along the top edges of the cake.

Coffee products and how to get the best bargains

Lets suppose you want to sell coffee beans or an electric bean grinder, the smart place to market your particular coffee products is the ebay auction site. Coffee products for whatever reason sell very well on ebay, the thing is to follow a few basic rules and it could be that you end up selling coffee products longterm.

The most important thing is you must know the prices for coffee items and connected food and drink goods, the ideal location to check prices would be the many niche food and drink magazines or websites that also deal with coffee and drink products. If you have no idea as to what to sell your coffee merchandise for then you are very likely to make a loss.

To sell on ebay you must first list the product, lets pretend for a minute its a Green Coffee product, it is pretty easy to estimate a price level for this particular coffee merchandise. Next you need to take a photo and upload it with your advert, many of the best ebay secret books will tell you to set your coffee item on some kind of red backing, something like crimson velvet, why should you do this? you see its a well known fact that things like antique coffee pots and also antique coffee machines will stand out more if this background trick is utilized, the more purchasers who discover your merchandise the more chance there is the bidding will be higher.

The next trick to marketing your coffee or merchandise on ebay is this, when you are marketing these types of goods you should always list a sizeable amount of keywords, you should not merely list a Kenyan Coffee blend or coffee roaster [ depending on what coffee items you are wishing to sell ], you should list a whole mass of products. What you should really do is list all the large brand names that are connected with coffee products and as many related products as you possibly can, coffee cups, Coffee Tea Sets, list any coffee related item that people could possibly be looking for on ebay.

Now another secret when advertising goods on the ebay auction site is this, spelling errors can lead to large amounts of money when auctioning coffee, many bidders are terrible spellers and may very often misspell words, this is especially the case with coffee brands and makers trademarks. In essence what this means is that if you were to advertise a Colombian Organic pack or italian coffee pot with a few missing letters or a few misspellings then you could certainly catch some extra viewers, this then could add to the success of your coffee auction session and could even get you a higher price at auction.

This information is not just relevant to coffee products it also relates to any product connected to the area of food and drink, remember the main points and you never know, you might just become a full time coffee supplier with the help of the ebay and make a decent profit.

Barbecue Sauce For A Perfect Barbeque

When someone mentions barbecue images comes to the mind like cooking at the backyard grill, a social gathering, cooking outdoors and cooking meat slowly over wood and smoke that adds flavor to the food.

Different cooks have different preferences and style in their cooking. Some prefer rubbing the seasoning whether wet or dry prior to cooking and some prefers to soak the meat first in special marinades that could be sops, mops and finishing. The preparation and ingredients for marinating may differ from region to region the preferred wood to be used can also differ. However, no perfect barbecue will taste as good without the perfect barbecue sauce.

Barbecue sauces can generally be categorized by what they are based on. Common examples are tomato, vinegar and mustard based sauces. To give the barbecue its distinctive taste and prevent the meat from burning easily, barbecue sauces are applied to the meat while being cooked with the exemption of tomato based barbecue sauces as tomato based sauces burns easier than the other kinds of sauces.

Barbecue sauce preparation can either be sweet, sour, tangy, spicy, hot, thick or thin. The varieties are almost endless which makes barbecues popular because anyone can make his own special preparation depending on taste and anyone can create his own way of serving the barbecue.

Recipes for barbecues can also be guarded. And good barbecue sauces can be purchased at almost any store. But the only perfect barbecue sauce is the one that you can create for yourself.
Remember whatever works for you and your family can be a great barbecue sauce. So start experimenting that is the only way to start good cooking.

The basics of Barbecue sauces…

Tomato based barbecue sauce is the most widely used. Some say that it is the most popular. Its popularity however may be due to the simplicity of preparation and besides; tomatoes are ingredients that could easily be found. The point to remember in preparing tomato-based barbecue sauces is to cook the tomatoes very well in order for the flavor to blend with the other ingredients.

Tomato based barbecue sauces are acidic. Because of this, it has the property to breakdown all the flavor of other ingredients blending them with its own. But because of its propensity to burn, limit the usage of tomato based barbecue sauce while cooking. To make it even more flavorful, prepare tomato barbecue sauces a day in advance.

Mustard based sauces are preferred in North Carolina. The mustard based barbecue sauce is great for grilling pork.

Vinegar is great meat tenderizer. It is also more acidic than tomatoes. Because of its acidic content, vinegar based sauces has a tendency to penetrate deep into the meat. To make this barbecue sauce more flavorful, experiment mixing it with chili, cider vinegar or red pepper, sugar salt and all the other ingredients that you want it to have.

Barbecue sauces today has different uses departing from its traditional purpose. It now serves as a condiment that is present on almost any table like ketchup, salsa, salt, pepper and Tabasco.

However, if experimenting with food is not your greatest strength, you can always find great sauces in any store. To make great barbecues, one rule to follow is not to place too much weight on the “with smoke flavor” label that many bottled tomato sauces advertise itself. Smoke flavor is what is barbecuing all about. The flavor has to come from the wood not the bottle.