Gourmet Cooking for Pleasure

Gourmet cooking is a style of food preparation that deals with the finest and freshest possible ingredients. This means that to enjoy authentic gourmet food you must prepare your food immediately after purchasing the fresh ingredients that will comprise your meals. Not only do you want to purchase the freshest ingredients when cooking gourmet meals but you also want to insure that you are purchasing ingredients of superior quality.

 

Those who excel at gourmet cooking and food preparation have many options available to them. From catering to opening up their own restaurant these talented individuals who are entrepreneurial in spirit often do quite well in the world of business if their talent is sufficient.

 

When it comes to cooking gourmet food the two rules mentioned above are the only hard and fast rules. Everything else is purely a matter of adventure and taste. Now this doesn’t mean that any and everyone can become a gourmet cook simply by going out and purchasing the finest and freshest of ingredients and throwing them into a pot. There is some degree of art involved when it comes to gourmet cooking and a large degree of skill that is necessary in order to achieve these culinary masterpieces.

 

You should also understand and be prepared to discover that fresh ingredients are not always available so there are times when compromises must be made when cooking gourmet meals. For this reason you capitalize on what is in season and plan your meals accordingly whenever possible. One important quality when it comes to cooking gourmet food is the layering of flavors. You should be able to taste the meat or seafood as well as the vegetables, herbs, and spices that comprise your skillfully prepared meal.

 

You should not however rely on taste or aroma alone when cooking gourmet foods. As I mentioned above gourmet cooking is a large degree skill but there is some degree of art involved. For this reason, presentation is a key component of the gourmet dining experience. Through a few freshly chopped herbs on the plate before placing the food or top the food with appealing and aromatic herbs that will compliment the flavor of the meal you have prepared. Present the fruits and vegetable sides in a visually appealing fashion rather than simply tossing them onto a plate.

 

With proper presentation even foods that were simple to prepare can take on the flavor of a gourmet feast. This is something you should keep in mind whether your cooking plans for the evening involve the gourmet or the every day. The thing about gourmet cooking is that it is to some degree more art than science. This means that there is always room to improve your skills and stretch your limits as a cook. There will always be the next great challenge or the ‘what if’ when it comes to flavor combinations.

 

In fact, some of the greatest foods began with someone asking, “What would happen if I added this?” Always ask what if and always seek to improve your skills. The good news if this is an avenue you wish to pursue is that there are often gourmet cooking classes offered at gourmet food shops in your area. Some colleges or local community programs will also offer these sorts of classes for a few if you are interested. This means that there are almost always opportunities to broaden your experiences with gourmet cooking and expand your horizons.

 

Whether this is your first time considering gourmet cooking or you are an old pro, keep in mind that skills can be learned over time with the proper motivation and an open and honest desire to learn. If you want to learn more about gourmet cooking there is really nothing to stop you from doing so other than yourself. The Internet, your local library, and many bookstores across the country have countless volumes of information that can help you get started on your journey to gourmet cooking bliss.

Basic Tips When Creating and Executing a Fitness Guide

We live in a world where getting fit is becoming more and more desirable. There are gym advertisements every which way you look and advertisements for work out videos and weight loss books in every magazine you pick up. However, despite the popularity of working out, it will not happen overnight. Instead of subscribing to a fad workout or diet, you should develop a fitness guide that will keep you fit and healthy for a lifetime rather than for a few weeks. Part of any fitness guide is consistency and diversity. The following are some tips to help you develop and stick with a fitness guide.

Start Slow

If you are new to working out, then you need to start slow. This is not just because your endurance will be lower than other folks, but it is because if you do too much too soon, you risk seriously injuring yourself. Thus, do not expect to run a marathon in the first months of using your fitness guide. Instead, you want to build up your strength and endurance. Try new activities and monitor the affects on your body. You should try to do small repetitions of different exercises and work your way up when it comes to swimming laps or running.

Make Long- and Short-Term Goals

Next, when developing your fitness guide, it is important to really make goals that are both long- and short-term. Having goals will help you stay motivated. This is why it is so important to have short-term goals. The more goals you reach, the more likely it is that you will feel inspired to keep at your fitness guide and to change the way you live your life. Long-term goals are great too because you will be reminded of these when you reach your short-term goals.

Similarly, when you reach a goal, you should celebrate. This does not mean going out for a milkshake or eating a tub of ice cream in one sitting. Instead, do something that helps you stay with your fitness guide. Buy some new gym clothes, book a trip to an exotic location, buy books to help you understand your body, and treat yourself to a massage. This way, you can stay motivated and will have things that help your overall health.

Learn Proper Form

When it comes to a fitness guide, quality and not quantity matters: you need to do the exercises right or they will not be effective. Thus, instead of racing your way through crunches, make every single one count. Watch videos and talk to experts so that you learn how to do exercises properly. This is not only so that your exercises are effective but also so that you protect yourself from harm. If you are not lifting weights correctly, you risk severely hurting yourself. If you are hurt, you will not only be in pain but will have to curb much of your fitness guide.

Similarly, always stretch before any workout. This will make your fitness guide that much successful. This way, you can be sure that your muscles are ready for what’s to come, and you can avoid injury.

Create a Well-Rounded Guide

Lastly, when developing and executing a fitness guide, you need to make sure that you tackle all areas of your body. You want to do more than run. Instead, make your fitness guide as diverse and all-inclusive as possible. Include weight lifting of the arms and legs, work on your abdominal area with crunches and similar exercises, and get your heart rate up with swimming or running. Yoga is a great way to stay fit and to keep you limber and flexible. This way, you can be sure you are working your whole body and improving your overall health.

Fish fillets, Easy!

COOKING fish do not always have to be presented in their entirety, but can be made by way of in-fillet. Well, to make a fillet of fish, it must know how.

Here are some ways memfillet fish, to be done at home. The process was fairly straightforward:

fresh fish
Make sure the fish is always in a state of fresh, clean the stomach contents of fish, so when memfillet fish, the meat can be cut with a good fish. Use a clean cloth or paper towel to remove moisture fish so that the fish is easily cut.

Note the knife cuts
Put the knife in between the fins and tail. Make a straight cut down through flesh and bone. Exhaust fins and tail

Cut of the head
Starting from the tip of the head, cut with a knife along the backbone slowly. Cut the ribs to separate pieces of fish fillet

Cut the belly
Cut the belly of the fish, in addition to good to eat, also cooked faster than other parts of fillet fat and richer

cut slowly
Place the blade on the tail end anatara skin and flesh, gently run the knife along with a fish fillet knife position slightly tilted down and one hand on the skin of the fish to be cut.

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Coffee For Your Health

Many of us rely on coffee to get us going in the mornings, wake us up in the afternoons, and prepare us for that special business meeting. Go ahead, have a cup of coffee. It’s much healthier than you may be thinking right now.

Coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world. No matter where you go, coffee is usually available. Yet, until recently there’s been very little research on the effects of coffee on our health. The researcher’s are waking up however. There have recently been studies completed on a variety of health benefits to drinking that simply delicious cup of coffee.Continue reading: Coffee For Your Health

Setting Up a Commercial Fitness Center at Hotels and Resorts

Onsite commercial fitness centers have become an expected offering at any high-end hotel or resort. But even mid-level and budget accommodations are now benefiting from offering their customers a place to exercise while staying at their establishments. For vacationers, onsite commercial fitness centers are important for working off all of those wonderful, but high calorie meals typically eaten while on vacation. It is not uncommon for people to look in advance to see if a hotel or resort offers a fitness center before choosing a hotel for their vacation. Business guests often prefer hotels with well-equipped gyms that enable them to unwind from a full day of business meetings. An onsite commercial fitness center is especially important for fitting their normal fitness regime into their busy travel schedules, and many won’t stay at a hotel or resort without one.

When developing a commercial fitness center in a hotel or resort environment, there are a number of things to consider:

What level of quality is expected?

If the hotel or resort is high-end, customers will expect the fitness center to match. Care should be taken to select high-end, commercial grade equipment that delivers the workout experience expected by customers. Many won’t return to a hotel, no matter how nice the accommodations, if the fitness center doesn’t meet their expectations. Also, hotels or resorts seeking a hip or forward-looking image should consider including specialized equipment that may be new on the market. This will help convey that the hotel knows its customers and is current with the trends.

Distorting the Worlds of Muscle and Fitness

Nothing has been more distortive to muscle building information than the low profile prevalence of steroid use. What else can explain the vast amount of lousy and even useless training techniques for natural trainers that have become the prevailing wisdom in the bodybuilding industry? There’s an ongoing discord between fantasy and reality in what constitutes an effective natural muscle gaining routine. That discord is most likely attributable to the obvious yet often unaddressed contrast between the physiology of a steroid user and that of a non-user.

This contrast is the only explanation for bodybuilding’s longtime miring in misinformation; a muddling that’s often resulted in almost humorously contradictory recommendations and advice.

Here’s a list of strange observations I’ve made over the years that I think can be linked, either directly or indirectly, to some of that misinformation:

o In 1988, I attended a bodybuilding seminar put on by one of the top Mr. Olympia contenders of the time. When asked by an audience member about a specific workout routine, the pro bodybuilder answered that the workout schedule in question would be worthless for putting on muscle mass. Within a month, I saw that exact workout/recovery schedule being recommended in a bodybuilding magazine by the then-Mr. Olympia.

o In the ’90s, that same Mr. Olympia had a morning workout television program for mainstream fitness. During an episode, I heard him talk to Geraldo Riviera about the evils of “anabolics” (code-word for steroids). He was apparently trying to dissuade youngsters from using them. Yet he admitted within other mediums that he used them regularly (of course he used them; he was a pro bodybuilder).

o During the aforementioned seminar in 1988, that Mr. Olympia contender told the audience that when he began bodybuilding, he was able to put on “ten solid pounds of muscle per year”. He went on to reveal that in his advanced stages in the sport, he was lucky to add “two pounds of muscle a year”. These words were from an elite professional bodybuilder who admitted to regular steroid use. Yet we’re treated to claims of gaining “twenty pounds of muscle in twelve weeks” from average Joe’s on the Internet. (no wonder I don’t see pictures with these claims).

o In the late eighties, there was a bodybuilding book that claimed you could gain 30 pounds of muscle in six weeks from doing “super squats” and drinking a lot of milk. That book should have been titled ‘How to become an over-trained gasbag within a month and a half’.

o I’ve actually heard a top professional bodybuilder say he didn’t believe in over-training; only “under eating and under sleeping”. So, even though our bodies are designed to burn and renew a finite amount of energy each day, just stuffing them with more food than they can process and sleeping until we’re drooling on our pillows will compensate for excessive muscle teardown? A very misleading statement.

o In the early ’90s, a bodybuilding guru was espousing an extremely high calorie diet for gaining muscle. I think he was the guy who started the “no such thing as over-training – just under-eating and under-sleeping” nonsense. Anyway, in order to make sure we could all take in our recommended 10,000 calories a day, he’d sell MCT oil to everyone. Just dowse some on your meals and add a whopping 120 calories per tablespoon so you can be in an “anabolic state”. The funny thing was that he recommended doing aerobic exercise each day to burn excess calories. Now let’s see, I think I’ll spend money on extra calories so I can try to burn them off each day before I turn into Jabba the Hut. Yeah… that makes a lot of sense. Yet there were write-ups about this guy in magazines as if he were a genius.

o I read an old interview of Arnold Schwarzenegger in which he estimated that anabolic steroids only gave bodybuilders like him a five percent edge over what they’d accomplish without them. Did he expect readers to believe that? Why would anyone risk their health for such a meager boost? If that were true, couldn’t he find a way to make up that little five percent in a less destructive manner?

o Back when the andro thing was big, a bodybuilder who worked in a supplement store tried to talk me into buying some. He said he gained five pounds of muscle in three weeks from using it. I knew he wanted to get super big, so I immediately wondered why he wasn’t continuing to cycle it so that he could gain umpteen pounds for the year. I told him “I’m not impressed; I can gain or lose five pounds of water weight in a single day”. Within a few months, he did a steroid cycle. I wondered what happened to his belief in andro.

o A competitive, steroid-built bodybuilder who works out at my gym sidelines as a personal fitness trainer. I witnessed him simultaneously train two people on a leg workout that had those unfortunate clients wobbling for the door as if he’d turned their underpinnings into wet noodles. He’d coaxed them to perform set after set of forced reps on a leg press machine. They were shaking their heads in disbelief as he wore an expression of self-indulged smugness. I guess he forgot to tell them they’d need to make secret trips to Mexico in order to recover from such a “workout”.

Some of these are kind of humorous, but not that last one. I’ve seen too many people hand over their hard-earned money for instruction in natural bodybuilding from those who don’t build their own bodies naturally. That’s money being paid oftentimes to merely feed the ego of someone that probably knows less about your body than you do. In the case I described above, he sure doesn’t know enough about bodybuilding to realize that the simplistic “harder you train – the more you gain” mantra most often leads to wasted time and disappointment.

My advice to natural bodybuilders: Seek unorthodox methods for making muscle gains. The routines that keep getting regurgitated in mainstream bodybuilding and fitness magazines are usually not the most conducive to long-term muscle gains.

The Unusual Gourmet Coffee Gift

Top 10 Unusual coffee gifts: So you have your cousin, the heavy gourmet coffee drinker and you want to surprise them this year. But you want to keep it coffee related but not give them the usual coffee beans, or gourmet coffee gift basket or even the usual gourmet coffee accessories or coffee mugs. And they are still using last year’s coffee gift basket and the French press coffee maker only lasted a month before it wore out its differentness and became a hassle.

So what can you give the coffee drinker and keep it usual. Glad you asked?

1. Java logs – Especially for the environmentally conscious coffee-drinker. Java logs are man-made fireplace logs that are made up mostly of coffee grounds
2. Coffee flavored shampoo – for those who just can’t get enough of that coffee aroma and want to smell like coffee all day. Purposively good for the hair though I’m sure the oil is beneficial.
3. Java love lotion – rub on your partner and see if they are as hot as your morning coffee. This has to be taking the “I love coffee” concept too far. ( I’m not making this up)
4. The Barista Action Figure – You coffee superhero can wake you in the morning and save you in the afternoon and make your favorite espresso in the afternoon. ( I’m not making this up)
5. Java necklace – a necklace of roasted and urethane coffee beans and your favorite jewelry stones. What better way to declare your love of coffee to the world? Beaded necklaces and other jewelry made with beads and coffee beans. Choose your favorite roast and favorite stones. Does love get any better than this?
6. Just coffee art – fine canvas paintings completely painted with paint made from coffee oils. It’s hard to believe that these amazing paintings are done entirely in coffee. Why do they paint with coffee? Not sure but I am waiting on the body coffee paints…
7. A real live coffee tree – makes a great indoor plant though I wouldn’t count on any coffee beans. If you do happen to grow some please send to Mission Grounds Gourmet Coffee. An ideal gift for any coffee-lover who also has a green thumb. These plants will actually bloom and produce coffee cherries, given the right and perfect growing conditions (they do well indoors as a plant but not a coffee producer).
8. Kopi Luwak coffee beans – don’t try this at home. Surprise someone with a gift box of the rarest coffee there is. It’s also the strangest in my opinion. The Luwak coffee beans have actually been eaten by a small animal before being collected and roasted – poop washed off.
9. Chocolate covered coffee beans – the perfect combination of chocolate and coffee beans or your perfect dose of sugar and caffeine. Give this to your children and watch them bounce off your walls – for days. I can’t imagine eating more than two of these. Take before your next 100 meter dash sprint.
10. Javapops – sweet candy that taste like coffee and is packed with 60 mg of caffeine. The perfect follow-up to the chocolate covered coffee beans. When your kids are coming off their 2 day chocolate covered bean high – give them two of these to offset the down mood. Or use these with your spouse before you lather them up with the coffee bean shampoo.

Isn’t that coffee gift basket looking better and better? If you really want any of these gifts just Google the gift idea and buy online.

Boake Moore is an IT Sales engineer by trade and founded a non profit coffee company called Mission Grounds Gourmet Coffee – http://www.missiongrounds.com/ourphilosophy.php It donates all its profits and proceeds to helping orphans and impoverished children. We currently are building schools in rural China, orphanages in South America; supporting orphans in Russia and Africa. And helping homeless children in the United States.

 

Healing Your Emotional Relationship with Food

The other night I lay in bed watching Oprah’s 20th Anniversary DVD collection – a gift given to me by my best friend. Story after story of incredible people that have touched and changed the life of Oprah caused my tears of inspiration to flow. One particular person I really identified with – the story of Rudine. Rudine suffered severely from anorexia nervosa. She wanted so badly to battle and win this condition, but her emotional relationship with food and herself was so damaged.

You see, I can identify with this woman because at the age of 13, I came face to face with anorexia nervosa. It followed two very painful events in my life. Looking back, I now understand I was unable to cope with all the emotions I encountered. The anger and hatred I felt – because I could not outwardly express it – was turned inward. I began to hate my body and food became the enemy. I exercised like crazy and eventually ate only 1 small meal per day. After finally breaking that cycle, I swung to the other extreme and began to binge eat late at night. Other things replaced food until, at the age of 21, I got serious about facing and healing my emotions.

I share this with you because I think it is important to understand the devastating effects our relationship with food can have on our health. Maybe you’ve never suffered from anorexia nervosa, bulimia or obesity, but your emotional relationship with food is still worth examining. In an ideal relationship with food, you eat when you’re hungry, and you eat the healthy foods your body needs. Your body weight is healthy and you aren’t experimenting with the latest diet. Healthy eating is your way of life, and your physical wellbeing reflects that – not just your body, but your energy level, mood and internal health as well. So come on this journey with me and let’s explore some of the common emotions or situations that can trigger unhealthy eating. Pay attention to whether any of these strike home for you. If so, try substituting some of the alternatives I suggest so you can begin healing your emotional relationship with food.

Angry Eater: When you are very angry with yourself or someone else, do you turn to food? Maybe you’re mad because you made a mistake and so you beat yourself up with food. Try confronting and expressing your anger in a healthy way, and then forgive and let it go.

Stress Eater: According to Dr. Phil, “when you are under stress, your body releases hormones that automatically stimulate your appetite and set off cravings, prompting you to eat huge quantities of fattening food”. Take 15 minutes of quiet alone time or a 15 minute brisk walk instead.

Convenience Eater: You don’t have time or don’t feel like making something healthy to eat, so you grab whatever is convenient – fast food or take home, chips, donuts, etc. Keep healthy and convenient foods around the house and at the office – fruit, granola bars, Lean Cuisines, string cheese, and yogurt.

Tired Eater: Morning comes around or the afternoon energy runs out and you need a kick of sugar to keep you going. You load up on cookies, cake or other sugar snack foods and you’re off and running until you crash. Try getting 8 hours of sleep at night, exercising regularly, taking vitamins or taking a short cat nap.

No Waste Eater: Were you taught to never waste food? Were you reminded of all the poor children that had nothing to eat? Now you cannot bring yourself to leave anything on your plate or throw away any food. Put smaller portions on your plate. Give yourself permission to stop eating when you’re full. Work in a homeless shelter serving food or give food to the poor so you don’t feel guilty.

Self-Disgust Eater: You look at yourself and hate what you see; you eat or deprive yourself of food to mask the feelings you have, and so starts the cycle of abuse. Work on loving yourself in every way you can – pamper yourself, repeat positive affirmations, stick up for yourself. Invest in gaining confidence and self-esteem.

Boredom Eater: This is me. I don’t feel like doing laundry or cleaning the house. I’m tired of working, playing cars or watching TV. It’s cold outside and so I open the food cabinet. Hmmm. I wonder what I can eat. Get creative and find something fun and different to do. Switch projects and start something new. Make a phone call to a friend.

Fear of Intimacy Eater: Do you eat to hide yourself and avoid getting too close to someone? Sometimes reaching out to people can be a very scary and hard thing to do. Maybe you’ve been hurt too many times by loved ones. Seek help to heal your pain. Search for supportive and loving people that you can depend on. Take baby steps to reach out and trust someone.

Hopeless Eater: Have you just completely given up? Maybe you’ve tried too long to lose weight or given too much to your marriage, and nothing seems to change. You feel hopeless and so you just say, “Who cares? I’m just going to eat whatever I want”. Or maybe you’ve lost your appetite all together. Change your thoughts. Focus on the positive and keep a gratitude journal. Look for the bright side of everything. Search for the sunshine and you will find it.

“See Food” Eater: You know the saying, “I’m on a seafood diet. I see food and I eat it”. Are you the type of eater that constantly grazes? If the food is in front of you, you eat it without really thinking about it. You may or may not be hungry – it’s just a habit. Graze on low-fat and healthy foods. Keep the fattening foods at the grocery store. Work on being more conscious of how much food you are taking in.

Purchasing a Food Sealer

Have you considered purchasing a food sealer for your home but are not quite sure which one is right for you? There are a number of different options available on the market today, and deciding which type is appropriate for your situation can sometimes be a challenge. This article will identify some of the different types of food sealers and hopefully help you decide which one is perfect for your own home.

One of the most popular types on the market today is the personal food sealer which is made to be used in homes for personal use which includes the occasional sealing of meats, vegetables, dried foods, and more. These types of sealers have become more and more popular these days since people are becoming more and more conscientious about what they are doing with the excess food that is produced in their daily lives. The personal models are generally smaller than commercial models and are capable of sealing small amounts of food at one time. They are typically not used every day, but on occasion when there is excess food that can be stored away.

Another type of food sealer that is frequently purchased is the commercial food sealer which is quite a bit large than personal models and is capable of sealing large quantities of food at one time. The commercial models are typically purchased by businesses such as restaurants, meat shops, grocery stores, delis, and any other business where there is a large amount of food inventory turnover. You may also consider purchasing a commercial sealer if you plan on constantly sealing large amounts of food at home.

When it comes to price you are going to pay less for a personal model because they aren’t capable of doing the amount of work that can be done by a commercial model. Also, personal sealers are smaller and more compact so there is less material required to make one when compared to the bigger, more robust commercial models. You can typically expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $150 for a personal food sealer, and $150 and up for a commercial model.

If you’re planning on using your product occasionally in order to seal and store excess food, then perhaps the personal model will be your best solution. Otherwise, if you plan on using your sealer to seal and store large quantities of food items on a consistent basis, or if you have a business that requires the use of a food sealer, then you would want to consider purchasing a commercial food sealer.