Kamis, 25 Desember 2008

Preschool Lunch Ideas-Mimi Pizzas For Kids

A yummy quick lunch that is sure to please everyone's tummy is mini pizzas.

What you will need:

English Muffins (pre-sliced) Whole Wheat preferred if available.
Store Bought Tomato Sauce for Pizza
Mozzarella Cheese (already grated)
Baking Sheet
Popsicle Sticks
Ready to Serve Cut up Veggies (carrots, celery, and cucumber-all three, or just one or two kinds.)
Ranch Dressing

This is a lunch that everyone can help prepare. It is fun to make, quick to cook, and everyone can enjoy it.

Split the English muffins in half. Give each child two halves (one whole English muffin). Go around and put one spoonful of sauce on each English muffin half for each child. Allow the children to spread the sauce with the popsicle sticks provided.

Give each child 5-6 pieces of pepperoni and allow them to arrange them however they like on top of the sauce.

Next, give each child a handful of cheese that they can sprinkle on each English muffin halve.

Put the English muffins on a baking sheet and place them in a preheated 350ºF oven until the cheese is melted and just starting to turn golden.

While the pizzas are cooking you can sing some of the preschool children's favorite songs and read a book or two, being aware of how the pizzas are doing at all times though.

When they are ready, with oven mitts, take out the pizzas and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes. Then place the pizzas on plates for the children with some ready to eat cut up veggies and ranch dressing for dipping.

This great preschool lunch idea is great served with milk or juice.


A Little Wine Goes A Long Way

Changing to a healthier diet needn’t mean you miss out on the good things in life …

A question of balance:

You’ve embarked on a diet – and have even discovered some exciting new recipes – but what about wine? According to doctors, a little bit of what you fancy does you good, so much so that heart attack patients in one Wiltshire hospital were given two glasses a day during their stay. It’s also a great stress reliever, helping you unwind at the end of a busy day. The secret is moderation – but by drinking less you can afford a few special bottles and expand your wine horizons.

A world of choice:

Start by taking a grape variety you know, then work your way through different examples from around the world. Lovers of Aussie Chardonnay, for instance, might ring the changes with rich, barrel-matured white Burgundy. If you’ve already discovered fruit-filled Chilean Cabernet, then you really need to try the aristocratic reds of Bordeaux. Find out for yourself why the wines of New Zealand have become so popular, or experience the everlasting appeal of Burgundy. Just a few rungs up the price ladder, flavours become more intense – making it far easier to stick to a single glass!

When exploring, don’t be afraid to ask questions of waiters or shop staff – if properly trained they will be full of useful advice. The very cheapest wine is rarely the best value for money. Excise duty, VAT, transport and packaging are virtually the same whether it’s a basic vin de table or from a prestigious estate. By paying a little extra – say £5 to £7 – you get a big increase in wine quality.

The easy option:

More people are ordering their wine online thanks to the convenience and range of wines on offer. Online wine merchants invariably provide more information about their wines than you will find on the label when perusing the supermarket shelves. Laithwaites were voted UK Independent Wine Merchant of the Year 2007 and have seen their online orders increase rapidly in recent years. It isn’t hard to see why – a quick look at their website reveals a wide range of wines with helpful descriptions about each bottle. Ordering is simple, each selection is delivered direct to your door and every bottle is covered by a full money-back guarantee.

With expert wine merchants available at your fingertips it has become a whole lot easier to enjoy better wines at very competitive prices. Avoid cheap supermarket wine and you’ll discover a little good wine really does go a long way. You may find that you shed those unwanted pounds and your health, not to mention your palate, improves too! More information can be found at our site.

Irish Food And Wine Pairing

I think the Irish are unlucky.

Every St Patrick’s Day I conjure up visions of eating corned beef and cabbage for dinner. Then I wonder “What wine goes with corned beef and cabbage?” The corned beef is too salty and doesn’t work with any wine very well. Someone yells to me that beer is more in order. Maybe a wine from Ireland?

The climate of Ireland isn’t the best for growing grapes. There's only one wine that that comes from Ireland and it's made by Llewellyn's - a farmer in north county Dublin. His normal produce is apples and he makes a lot of apple juice for upscale independent retailers. His wine is more of a novelty item at best. What is interesting about Irish wine is the Irish connection with Bordeaux. Irish names like Lynch, Barton, Phelan adorn the labels on some of the best wines from the Bordeaux region. As for wine making, the Irish are better off sticking to the black stuff, Guinness.

But I’m a wine guy and don’t care for beer so I do some more digging. Guess what? It seems that corned beef and cabbage is more of an American St Patrick’s Day tradition. According to Bridgett Haggerty of the website Irish Cultres and Customs their research shows that most likely a "bacon joint" or a piece of salted pork boiled with cabbage and potatoes would more likely have shown up for an Easter Sunday feast in the rural parts of Ireland. Since the invention of refrigeration, people eat fresh meats. Today corned beef and cabbage is considered a peasant dish and is more popular in the United States than in Ireland. People eat it on St. Patrick's Day as a nostalgic reminder of the Irish heritage.

If you want to try really authentic Irish dishes, Gerry at www.WineOnline.ie says that one of the very traditional Dublin dishes is Coddle which is still served to this day. http://www.matchmywine.com/index.php?mod=match&p=details&id=608. The most famous dish is probably the Irish Stew http://www.matchmywine.com/index.php?mod=match&p=details&id=607.

Many of these dishes had their origins in very basic peasant style food dating back to the pre-famine era (mid 1800's)when potatoes were the staple Irish peasant diet mixed with vegetables and meat, if available - the slow cooking process of the stew allowed for lesser cuts of meat. And man are these two recipes hearty.

But if your heart is set on Corned Beef and Cabbage, food and wine pairing isn’t an exact science. Laurence with The Irish Wine Blog at www.sourgrapes.ie says “I'd go with a fruity red with high acidity to get through the saltiness of the corned beef. I'll put my neck out and suggest a Chianti Classico.”

For St. Patrick’s Day, Guinness and Green may be more American, but In the spirit of food and wine pairing, try a truly Irish dish and pair it with a great wine.

Best Gourmet Coffee - The Top Ten Ingredients

Premium arabica coffee is a gift from the sun and the earth, born only under perfect environmental conditions in the mountainous regions between the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer. The best coffee requires light, fertile volcanic soil, abundant rainfall, some cloud cover, warm temperatures, very little wind, sunny mornings, rainy afternoons and the purest air. But where on earth can these ideal conditions be found? How about Kona, Hawaii? At the base of volcanoes Mauna Loa and Hualalai, the view is bounded on one side by mountains of perpetual green and pacific blues on the other. The morning air is soft and balmy, yet pure and refreshing. There is no place more beautiful where one would desire to pass their allotted time on earth, nor is there any other place better suited for growing specialty coffee! This is the Kona Coffee Belt, a 20-mile long by 2-mile wide band, which rests 700 to 2,500 feet above sea level. Spanning between the slopes of two volcanoes, lush green hills are covered by small, family owned plantations made up of trees that are sometimes more than a hundred years old. Here's are the 10 key reasons why Kona coffee, one of (if not THE) worlds top gourmet coffees can come only from Kona, Hawaii.

The Air

There is an island, which is far away from any other land. So far actually, that when the winds finally arrive, the air is cleaner and clearer than anywhere else on earth. Naturally filtered of pollutants and oxygenated by thousands of miles of ocean in each direction, it feels like breathing pure silk. This is Hawai'i, the most isolated archipelago in the Pacific and in the world. Hawaiian weather patterns are affected primarily by high-pressure zones in the north Pacific that send cool, moist trade winds to the island's northeastern slopes. The winds are forced up-slope, where moisture condenses into rain producing clouds - a phenomenon that creates the rich tropical environment for Hawai'i's flowers and vibrant greens.

The Earth

The Big Island is a bit smaller than the state of Connecticut and slightly larger than the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea. It's the largest of the seven Hawai'ian islands though, yet only 130,000 inhabitants call this place home. Due to Hawai'i's remoteness, the islands have been spared many diseases and countless pests have never landed on its shores, which enables the land, the sea, even the air to remain abundant, fertile and pure. The disintegrating volcanic rock on the Big Island is rich in natural minerals and erodes easily. This geologically young, porous and well-drained soil, mixed with decayed vegetation creates nutritious and healthy pastures for Hawaii's flowers, fruits and verdant greens. The Big Islands broad slopes and high peaks obstruct the flow of weather patterns over the Pacific, causing 13 of the world's 16 global climates to be found here: sunny beaches, tropical rain forests, cool alpine regions and stony deserts - each with its own unique weather, plants and animals.

The Water

The year-round warm ocean waters are responsible for the equally balmy air temperature. On their long journey, the trade winds pick up the cleanest ocean water and drop it onto our mountains. Rain is not gloomy here, but nurturing, cleansing, warm and refreshing. Towering cumulus clouds tend to build up over the volcanoes on sunny warm afternoons, resulting in brief, intense and localized showers. One may ask where all the rainwater goes, if not used by vegetation or running back to sea? Accumulated rainwater is filtered through rocks and pools between ancient layers of lava, creating gigantic aquifers of the purest fresh water deep in the earth to be tapped by future generations.

The Fire

The Hawaiian islands were created by a fine crack in the mantle of the earth, which leaked so much lava onto the deep ocean floor that it created the world's highest volcano. And if measured from the ocean floor, it is also the world's highest mountain. Magnificent steam explosions occur where the glowing lava flow enters the ocean and creates new land out of rocks, pebbles and sand. The volcano is believed by Hawaiian's to be an incarnation of the goddess Pelé, who is soothed by sacrifices and offerings of respect. Occasionally one may find stony strands of her 'hair' or pellets like shiny 'tears' on the beach, from when she wanders amongst us mortals in the figure of an old woman.

Sun drenched mornings and misty afternoons are not all Kona needs in order to produce the perfect Hawaiian coffee climate. Large steam plumes on the other side of the island are produced where lava enters the ocean. These clouds contain a mixture of light hydrochloric acid and water droplets, which is created when the intense heat of lava evaporates salty seawater. This hazy mixture we call 'laze'. The constant airborne emissions of the Kilauea crater releases sulfur dioxide gases, which react chemically with sunlight and oxygen. They form a sulfuric acid fog we call 'vog' (volcanic fog). The trade winds dilute these cloud mixtures and send them on a hundred mile journey around the southern tip of the island to Kona. Here in the coffee belt this cloud mixtures serve as a gentle and natural fertilizer for the coffee trees. Volcanic soil is sometimes too alkaline and requires these acids in order to balance the pH value, which in turn creates the perfect growing conditions for coffee arabica trees. This unique combination is yet another reason that Kona coffee beans come from the most productive trees on earth!

The Trade Winds

Throughout most of the year Hawaiian weather patterns are affected primarily by high-pressure zones in the north Pacific that send cool, moist trade winds to the island's northeastern slopes. The strength of these winds build as the heat of the day rises and reach a peak in the afternoon, only to diminish in the evening and start again the next day. The trade winds are forced up-slope by the mountain heights where moisture condenses into rain producing clouds. Most of this rain falls then in the mountains and valleys on the wet, windward (northeastern) side of the island and it is this weather phenomenon that creates the rich tropical environment for Hawaii's flowers and vibrant greens. Shelter on the dry, leeward (southwestern) side from the prevailing trade winds and occasional tropical storms is provided by the 14,000 foot height of the volcano Mauna Loa. But there is enough wind left for the Kona coffee belt for some cooling breezes during tropical nights.

The Shade of Vector Clouds

Coffee trees cannot withstand dryness, heat or frost. For these reasons only the world's premium coffees are grown under shade trees, which protect against the overhead tropical sun. Other commercial or inexpensive coffee varieties require additional fertilizers and pesticides in order to thrive in harsh, sunny terrains. Without a lush tree canopy for protection, the thin tropical soil of these sun-loving varieties is exposed to blazing rays and eroding rains. The sun literally scorches the much-needed microorganisms that exist within the earth. Once destroyed, they must then be replenished artificially. Naturally shade grown Kona coffee maintains a nutrient rich soil, which reduces acidity and produces dense and more flavorful beans. During the course of any given Kona day the land is gently heated by the sun, which draws moist breezes up the slopes to create what's called vector clouds. These clouds not only make shade trees obsolete, but they prompt drizzly convection rains throughout the afternoon. Therefore only in Hawai'i is coffee grown at lower altitudes and naturally irrigated. Each day around 20,000 gallons of pure, fresh Pacific rainwater is poured onto each acre of happy coffee trees. But moments after these periodic rains disappear, one may witness the sun once again pushing its way through at the coast below, creating magnificent rainbows and the most breathtaking Hawaiian sunsets.

The Trees

The coffee tree is one of the few plants that can simultaneously grow a blossom as well as a ripe fruit on the same branch. These trees develop a deep root system in our porous, deep and well-drained soil. Not really huge trees, they appear more like bushes with heavily ridged leaves and long whip like branches that bend toward the ground once heavy with fruit. Members of the gardenia family, they produce amazingly fragrant, brilliantly white flowers that coat the hills many times throughout the year. Over here the folks like to call these blooms 'Hawaiian snow'. Century old coffee trees are handpicked to obtain the best flavor, assuring that only the reddest, ripest and finest cherries make it into your cup. Picking cherries too early or too late in the season will affect the taste of coffee, so only a trained eye knows exactly which fruit is at the right stage. Not many people know this, but the average Kona coffee tree yields about 13 pounds of raw cherry, which results in about 2 pounds of roasted coffee. So when you order 2 lbs from a Kona coffee farm, you're actually buying the yearly fruit of an entire tree! If you want to avoid consuming higher levels of caffeine,make sure to always serve coffea arabica beans, as they have half the caffeine, but double the aroma of the cheaper coffea robusta beans. To know that you got any of the other aforementioned benefits buy only pure Hawaiian Kona coffee (100% Kona Coffee).

The Sun Drying

During the pulping process the harvested red berries are soaked in the freshest and purest rainwater to ferment overnight. This labor-intense 'wet method' is the preferred way of processing high grown arabicas. The soaked skins and pulp are then removed from the beans, which are later washed and spread out to dry on a wooden dry deck. The moist beans are raked many times throughout the day so that the drying happens uniformly. Kona's warm sun and gentle breezes dry the beans slowly to the perfect moisture level. Commercial grades of coffee utilize a mechanical drying method, which forces hot air over the beans to speed up the drying process. This method proves less labor intensive, therefore lowering the price. Sundried coffee maintains more of a delicate, mellow flavor--whereas kiln dried coffee will oftentimes lose some of the aromas Kona coffee is famous for. The only way to safely preserve coffee and its rich aromas for as long as possible is to keep it in its parchment form. Yet most coffee is processed very quickly to its green bean form in their respective country of origin. Once the green beans are exposed to air, light and humidity, the surface oxidizes and bacteria, yeasts and moulds start their deteriorating work. Many months journeys in the stuffy hold of a ship, various cargo trucks and warehouses go by before the green beans get to the roasters and ultimately to your cup. Better to only hull the parchment of the beans right before they are roasted. It's simply healthier and tastier.

The Small Estates

Family owned plantations produce the finest, estate-grown coffee with superior large, dense and flavorful beans. Kona coffee maintains individual subtleties; much better tasting than pooled, generically sold cheaper alternatives. Kona is comparable to the Champagne region in France, which produces the only legitimately named 'Champagne' product. And like Champagne, 100% Kona coffee is distinguished from commercial blends not only by region and the ideal growing conditions, but also by the enormous amount of care taken throughout each step of the farming, harvesting and roasting processes. Whether it's from the individual pruning of the trees, handpicking only the ripest coffee cherries, carefully sun-drying on large open decks and roasting prior to packaging the coffee in specially sealed bags to ensure freshness--you can be assured that Hawaiian Kona coffee is comparable to no other. Only 14,000 to 16,000 sacks of this precious Kona coffee is produced each year by the few hundred farms dotting the hills of this region, making pure Kona coffee the rare and sought after gourmet coffee in the world.

The 100% Rule

Most likely any coffees you ever drank came from ultra-productive, low-waged labor, machine-picked and pesticide sprayed coffee farms in other parts of the world. Large companies who trade in coffee are interested in buying the cheapest beans available, resell, ship, store it for many months to the point where they have to infuse coffee aromas back into the beans during the roasting process! And you wonder why your stomach rebels against that second cup... Intense hand labor, only ripe beans, a unique climate and soil in Kona combined with natural processing gives this coffee its greatness. Real, fresh 100% Kona coffee is hard to come by outside of Kona, which is why many coffee drinkers are easily duped. Companies all over the world mislead customers and profit on the reputation of the Kona fame by mixing few Kona coffee beans with much, much cheaper inferior Central or South American beans. This combination produces an atypical, cheaper taste, and is commonly referred to as '10% Kona Blend', 'Kona Roast', or 'Kona Style'. Yet this name misleads folks to believe that the bag of coffee they've purchased contains a mix or 'blend' of various Kona coffees. The law of Hawai'i stipulates that a bag of pure Kona coffee must have printed on its label the words 100% KONA COFFEE to guarantee its contents. So watch out for it and check the bag or cross check the coffee websites carefully before you order!

See many pictures and read more of how a small farm produces delicious, affordable 100% Kona coffee:www.bluehorsekona.com(low end pricing)

Life seen through the eyes of a little Hawaiian girl growing up on a genuine small coffee farm in Kona: www.athenaofhawaii.com (moderate pricing; celebrity clientele; presented in handcrafted wooden gift boxes and unique tapa cloth pouches)

The Healthful Benefits of Troll-Caught Albacore Tuna

If you have been curious about the heathful qualities of tuna, canned tune in particular, one tuna stands above the rest: Troll-Caught Albacore Tuna

Why is Troll-Caught Albacore Different?

Unique Population.

Troll-caught albacore are smaller, younger, and richer in flavor than the older albacore harvested in the tropical waters of the Pacific. Troll-caught albacore come exclusively from cold Pacific waters. These differences in environment and age result in differences in composition. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch calls the troll-caught albacore fishery healthy and sustainable.

Rich in Omega-3s

These are the essential fatty acids, unique to seafood, that boost heart health, reduce the chance of sudden cardiac mortality, improve blood fat levels, are essential for infant brain and neural development, and are linked to improvements in several inflammatory and immune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Because troll-caught albacore are rich in fat, they contain more omega-3s than any other canned tuna. Fresh troll-caught albacore offer 2-3 times more heart-healthy omega-3s than most other fatty fish. Two servings of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids is recommended by the American Heart Association (AMA).

Common Albacore vs. Troll-Caught Albacore

Common canned albacore or "white meat" tuna, the kind found on supermarket shelves, comes from tropical Pacific waters. During processing, nearly all the fat is lost. Common canned albacore is almost fat-free, but has very little omega-3 fatty acids. In contrast, Pacific troll-caught albacore are younger fish from colder, northern waters. Troll-caught albacore are handled to retain their fat with all its healthful omega-3s. That's why troll-caught albacore tastes juicy and rich and has all the health benefits of these special omega-3 fatty acids.

The question arises about the standard light/white meat tuna we find on out grocery store shelves?

Light meat tuna comes from different species of tuna, usually skipjack or yellowfin tuna. But no distinction among species appears on the labels of canned light meat tuna. The flesh color is usually slightly darker than albacore. These fish, like tropical albacore, come from warm waters and are rich in protein, but have less fat and omega-3 fatty acids than troll-caught albacore.

Where to Find Troll-Caught Albacore

These delicious fish are available fresh in the Pacific Northwest during the harvest season, July through September. Some frozen troll-caught albacore can be found in food markets. Canned gourmet-style troll-caught albacore is available from specialty markets and at some farmers' markets. Today, troll-caught albacore tune can be purchased online from specialty packers and food stores. It can be identified by the nutrition label with "3 grams fat/serving" in contrast to the usual "1 gram" of fat.

Sabtu, 29 November 2008

Pizza Making Tips and Tricks

A lot of factors influence will influence the results of your pizza making efforts. Primary among these factors are the pizza ingredients and pizza equipment used. The following are some pizza making tips and tricks that you can apply for the best homemade pizza.

Pizza Ingredients

The pizza ingredients that you use depend on the type of pizza that you wish to make. Moreover, you usually have to prepare three sets of ingredients: one for your pizza crust, another for your pizza toppings and another set for your pizza sauce,

" Pizza crust recipes: usual ingredients and tips

Flour is a definite necessity when making pizza crust. The usual ingredient in making the basic pizza dough is wheat flour, although whole wheat flour is also used by some. For a firm, elastic pizza dough, you'll want to use flour with moderately high gluten content (this is also known as hard flour).

The gluten is formed when water is added to the flour and it is a crucial part of the pizza's structure. Thus, when you make pizza crust, it is best to use bread flour or flour with especially high gluten content (check the label) which has enough gluten content for pizza making purposes. However, people who have celiac disease or those who prefer a low carb pizza crust usually opt for flour with low gluten content. Some even make gluten-free pizza in the belief that it is healthier. In any case, it is advisable to use premium-grade flour milled from first-grade wheat; the flour, moreover, should have quality protein (the flour and water mixture should be very easy to handle) and should be able to absorb a lot of water without becoming soggy and limp.

Yeast is another requirement in making the pizza base. The yeast is the leavening agent and it helps the pizza dough rise as well as helps the dough achieve elasticity (so you can stretch it into pizza rounds without breaking). Yeast and its fermentation, furthermore, give the pizza crust its distinct flavor. Unless you are using the instant dry yeast variety, you should mix yeast with warm water then let the mixture stand for around ten minutes before you use it in your pizza dough mixture. Furthermore, the best, yeasty flavor is achieved by leaving the pizza dough to rise for several hours after kneading.

The other dry ingredients that basic pizza dough has are salt, sugar, baking powder (if you need more leavening than what the yeast can provide), and dry milk. The salt is necessary to create the slightly salty taste of pizza crust which provides a great contrast to the pizza sauce flavor. Sugar, on the other hand, is added to add a slightly sweet taste to the crust as well as to facilitate yeast activity and to yield a browner pizza crust. Do not add a lot of sugar. Powdered milk or milk solids, on the other hand, adds to the dough's bulk, adds flavor and nutrients to the pizza dough as well as gives strength to the pizza dough's structure even if such is over-fermented. Use the non-fat variety especially if you are making low fat pizza.

The liquid ingredients include water and oil. Water is necessary for gluten generation and for activating yeast. Use slightly acidic as well as slightly hard water for best results. To ensure standard water pH, you can use distilled water (which has neutral pH) or tap water (which is usually slightly acidic, especially in cities). Oil, on the other hand, serves well to lubricate the dough for easier handling. Use extra virgin olive oil if you want it to serve more than just lubricating purposes; extra virgin olive oil also has a distinctive flavor. Olive oil, moreover, is healthy for it has lower saturation than other types of oil.

If you prefer, you can use egg white or egg yolk in your pizza dough. The egg white helps strengthen pizza dough whereas egg yolk helps soften dough. As such, you can use either depending on the type of crust you want to make. Add egg yolk, for instance, if you need to make your pizza dough softer. If you will use eggs, don't forget to reduce the amount of water in your pizza crust recipe.

You can also add flavorings like garlic powder to your pizza dough. You can even use herbs on your dough to give it a distinct flavor. Use sourdough starter, on the other hand, if you want to make sourdough pizza.

" Pizza toppings: usual ingredients and tips

There's not much you should know about pizza toppings. The ingredients are pretty much up to you and should depend on the type of pizza you are making. However, there are certain techniques to preparing your pizza toppings. For one, you should use fresh Mozzarella cheese when making your pizza. Moreover, you should not put the cheese on top if you need to bake the pizza for a long time; you'll end up with burnt cheese this way.

The usual pizza toppings include pepperoni, sausages, ground beef, ham, canned tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, bacon, ham, various types of cheese, and olive oil. Other toppings include shrimp, salmon, chicken meat, anchovies, fruits, artichokes, etc.

" Pizza sauce: usual ingredients and tips

The usual pizza sauce recipes have tomato sauce. Flavor is enhanced by adding garlic and onions (whether powder or sautéed) then ground meat, salt, pepper and other usual pizza spices such as basil and oregano. Typically, tomato-based sauces are thick. On the other hand, you can make a thin pizza sauce by mixing oregano and basil with olive oil. The fastest way of making pizza sauce is by using canned pizza sauce.

You must remember to apply pizza sauce with a light hand. Thick sauce must be carefully added on top of the pizza toppings. Thin sauce must be gently rubbed over the pizza. Excessive use of pizza sauce can lead to excess moisture and thus a limp pizza.

Pizza Equipment

You can cook your pizza using a pizza pan or bake it directly on a pizza stone. If you are going to use a standard oven without a pizza stone, then stretch your pizza dough into the desired thickness on your pan, add your toppings and pizza sauce, preheat your oven and bake according to your pizza recipe. If you are using a pizza stone, cut your pizza dough, use one of the portions and stretch it into a pizza round of your desired thickness. Add your desired toppings and your homemade pizza sauce, load the pizza on your wooden peel (pizza paddle) then place said pizza round on top of the pizza stone. The pizza stone, at this point, should have been kept hot in the oven for at least an hour.

It is best to use a pizza stone for baking pizza. This leads to a crispier pizza crust for two reasons. First, it absorbs run-off and excess moisture. Second, it distributes heat from the oven evenly; thus, the pizza crust is uniformly cooked all over.

Naturally, if you want to make deep dish pizza, you have to use a pizza pan. On the other hand, you can pre-bake your deep dish pizza crust, add toppings and sauce then finish baking your pizza on a pizza stone.

A good oven with a timing device and a temperature monitor is also necessary for precise pizza baking. A wooden spoon, on the other hand, should be used for mixing the pizza dough to prevent sticking. Use a marble countertop when kneading dough for the same purpose.

After using your pizza equipment, clean each piece carefully according to the manufacturer's instructions.

4 Easy Steps to Wine Tasting
by: Jennifer de Jong

Legend has it that Cleopatra once promised Marc Anthony she would "drink the value of a province" in one cup of wine, after which she drank an expensive pearl with a cup of wine. Marilyn Monroe is rumored to have bathed in a bathtub of champagne. The lure of wine is cross-cultural and going strong. Enjoying wine, once surrounded by pomp and circumstance, is now something that many of us do on a daily basis to enjoy food, friends, and family. There is no reason each experience shouldn't be as exceptional as taking a bath in Champagne. Knowing a few simple tips about tasting wine can enhance your wine experience by leaps and bounds and easily transition you from a wine lover to a wine expert.


Fill the glass about one-third full, never more than half-full. Pick it up by the stem. This may feel awkward at first, but there are good reasons: Holding the glass by its bowl hides the liquid from view; fingerprints blur its color; the heat of your hand alters the wine's temperature. Wine experts can usually tell right away how much a person knows about wine by looking at the way they hold their glass.

Focus on the hue, intensity and clarity of the wine color. The true color, or hue, of the wine is best judged by tilting the glass and looking at the wine through the rim, to see the variation from the deepest part of the liquid to its edges. Intensity can best be gauged looking straight down through the wine from above. Clarity-whether the wine is brilliant, or cloudy with particles-is most evident when light is shining sideways through the glass.


Next comes the swirling. This too can feel unnatural, even dangerous if your glass it too full and your carpet or clothing is new. But besides stirring up the full range of colors, it lets the wine breathe a little and releases some of the aroma for examination. The easiest way to swirl is to rest the base of the glass on a table, hold the stem between thumb and forefinger, and gently rotate the wrist. Right-handers will find a counter-clockwise motion easiest, left-handers the reverse.

Move the glass until the wine is dancing, climbing nearly to the rim. Then stop. As the liquid settles back into the bottom of the glass, a transparent film will appear on the inside of the bowl, known as the wine's "tears" or "legs." You will often hear people pondering about the legs or showing them off, "Hey look at the legs on this wine!", but in truth they're simply an indication of the amount of alcohol in the wine: the more alcohol, the more tears or legs.


When you stop swirling, and the legs are falling, it's time to take the next step: smelling. Swirling the wine vaporizes it, and the thin sheet of liquid on the sides of the glass evaporates rapidly; the result is an intensification of the aromas. I'm sure you've seen wine snobs do this and you have laughed at them, but stick your nose right into the bowl and inhale.

There's no consensus about the proper sniffing technique. Some advocate two or three quick inhalations; others prefer one deep, sharp sniff. I've seen tasters close one nostril, sniff, then close the other and sniff again. It really doesn't matter how you do it as long as you get a good sniff in. With practice, and keen attention, you'll learn how to maximize your perception of aromas, and then how to decipher them.

The world of smell is vast and bewildering. First of all, our olfactory equipment is incredibly sensitive; we can distinguish aromas in quantities so small that laboratory equipment can scarcely measure them. Second, our analytic capacity is extraordinary; estimates of the number of different smells humans can identify range up to 10,000!

As with color, wine's aromas offer insights into character, origin and history. Because our actual sense of taste is limited to four simple categories (the well-known sweet, sour, bitter and salt), aroma is the most revealing aspect of our examination. But don't simply sniff for clues. Revel in the sensation. Scientists say smells have direct access to the brain, connecting immediately to memory and emotion. Like a lover's perfume, or the scent of cookies from childhood, wine's aromas can evoke a specific place and time with uncanny power.


With the aromas still reverberating through your senses, put the glass to your lips and take some liquid in. How much? You need to have enough volume to work it all around your tasting apparatus, but not so much that you're forced to swallow right away.

Because you don't want to swallow, not just yet. It takes time and effort to force the wine to divulge its secrets. I keep a pleasant wine in my mouth for 10 to 15 seconds, sometimes more.

Roll the wine all around your mouth, bringing it into contact with every part, because each decodes a different aspect of the liquid. Wine provokes sensations, too: The astringency of tannins is most perceptible on the inner cheeks; the heat of the alcohol burns in the back of the throat.

First, as you hold the wine in your mouth, purse your lips and inhale gently through them. This creates a bubbling noise children find immensely amusing. It also accelerates vaporization, intensifying the aromas. Second, chew the wine vigorously, sloshing it around in your mouth, to draw every last nuance of flavor from the wine.

Don't forget the finish. After you swallow, exhale gently and slowly through both your nose and mouth. The retro-nasal passage, which connects the throat and the nose, is another avenue for aromas, which can linger long after the wine is finally swallowed. You'll find that the better the wine, the more complex, profound and long-lasting these residual aromas can be. With great wines, sensitive tasters and minimal distractions, the finish can last a minute or more. It's a moment of meditation and communion that no other beverage can create.

Kamis, 13 November 2008

I hope this is a succesfully blog

for any weeks I pray continously for a succes blog
I hope this is my last blog
if this blog not succes I wil ....
but I hope this blog will be the best from another blog
I write an important thing to ....
thank you....