Monday, September 26, 2016

Prune and Walnut Butter Cake

It has been awhile since I post a recipe for cakes. I baked this cake a few months ago to take it with me to a gathering. The brown sugar and chopped prunes gave this cake a very nice caramel fragrant.
It goes really well with a cup of coffee or tea.

The Beautiful Influence of Coloring and Drawing in the Creativity of the Child

A young mind could not develop more in his childhood than while he draws and colors, while he brings to a piece of paper the realm of creativity and imagination, the infinite in color and joy, spread through a simple line, a simple splash of paint. Numerous studies have repeatedly proven that the coloring and drawing has a great impact on the development of a kid as it improves physical and cognitive evolution, while at the same time encourages creativity, confidence, autonomy and social interaction.Simple things to draw from time to time can form the children today for tomorrow, sculpt a personality, nurture a mature, capable yet creative mind.

Artistic Action in Child Development
The public opinion often expressed states that drawing and coloring are beneficial for the child`s imagination and while that is true there is much more to it, follow the article and share this article with a fellow parent.

Motor Skills Progress
Scribbling and similar artistic endeavors encourage the dreams of the little ones, nurture imagination, create social interaction and in the middle of the act the suite of actions that require motion fine tunes the coordination between tool and mind, with every paint brush and every pencil line the child is closer to reaching full control, body and mind coordination.

Language Skills Fundamentation
One`s expression through drawing can be read from an early age, the colors used the stroke intensity and the gesture that comes along the act can be interpreted. Moreover, while drawing the child attempts to explain itself, to communicate and share the story on paper with the loved ones surrounding him. A parent by his child in these dear moments is crucial, ties are being tied, the connections for a lifetime.

Making Decisions Early Art is powerful and beautiful but in no way is it easy to grasp, regardless of age. A question that artists of all ages get stuck on at a certain point is “What color should I use? “; this very questions is often troubling for the little one and as he progresses in his artistic endeavors he makes decision, he creates association between needs and possibilities and progresses in the decision making skill early, sculpting it early, one that will become extremely important further on in life.

Conceptualization and Shapes
The child will start resembling the reality from an early age in his drawings, he will try to draw his family with simple lines and circles, conceptualize, the most common fridge heirloom that every parent adores. This small action ought to capture the attention of the natural mind, ought to receive encouragement as this can become the seed point of a very important life skill: conceptualization. At the start of each week the parent envisions his entire schedule in a matter of seconds or minutes, he conceptualizes at a larger scale his needs and program, simple and efficient.

Encourage Your Child to Draw and Color
To encourage the little one to pursue his artistic endeavors and beautifully naturally develop, a few tips and tricks have been put together, cast a glance.
• No space for critic, no errors ought to be pointed out. The imagination and creativity of the little one can be easily shattered, communication is key, discuss with the little one, ask him to explain his drawing and you`ll notice he would be thrilled to talk about it.
• Boost confidence through encouragement. No artistic act is too small, no act in this realm should go unnoticed.
• Always be ready for drawing and coloring. The little one need to draw when they need to draw and whether it`s during dinner time or a long trip, you need to be ready. A parent should always have his color set by him, ready for coloring and drawing.
• Be prepared to have the furniture painted if there is no drawing wall designated. Have patience and create art mediums to avoid surprises, children get bored easily and having a huge chalkboard wall on your household can help a whole lot.

Photo courtesy to Homesthetics

Friday, September 23, 2016

Chili Char

This is by far one of my most favorite Nyonya dish. I learned this dish from my good friend Shereen when I visit here in NZ. She is such a great cook and all her dishes were so delicious. This is not the only dish I learned from her but a few more and I will be sharing it here with you. With only this dish I can eat 2 bowls of rice. It is that good. It might looks like a very simple dishe but trust me, they were packed with great flavors. Please give it a try if you can get some nice good green chilies that are not too spicy.

Essay about Kitchen Tools

The popularity of channels showcasing chefs and their culinary expertise is on the rise. People enjoy watching the likes of Ree Drummond and Bobby Flay. They are enamored by Guy Fiere and Anne Burrell. This love of culinary artistry is being translated to the kitchen and more people are becoming interested in the kitchen tools that modern day chefs utilize.

Of course, not every homemaker and wannabe cook has the finances to acquire the high tech gadgetry provided for these famous chefs. But that does not mean the kitchen has to stay sterile and bland. There are a number of great kitchen tools that are readily available to those who would like to add a little flair to their kitchen accomplishments.

Top 10 Kitchen Gadgets for Daily Living
These tools will help when one is trying to live holistically. They are essential to the preparation of a number of healthy dishes and can certainly make the kitchen look a lot more like those seen on TV. Obviously lesser known brands are available, and can provide nearly the same quality for considerably less money. That said, here are the top 10 kitchen gadgets for daily living:

1. Blender - Get your money’s worth out of a high speed blender. Yes, these are more expensive than traditional kitchen blenders, but if you use it on a regular basis you will be glad you opted to put out a little more cash. You will be able to make soups, nut butters, smoothies, homemade mayo, and a host of other silky delicacies with the assistance of this little gadget.
2. Knives - If you have ever had to saw through a piece of meat, or hack at one, you will recognize the import of good knives. We recommend acquiring chef grade knives. Additionally, we suggest that you have an 8 or 10 inch butcher/chef’s knife, an 8 inch serrated knife, and a 4 inch paring knife. If you have cheaper versions of everything else, these should get you through all the restaurant quality cooking you intend to do.
3. Cast Iron Skillet - These are durable and when seasoned properly they are the only truly non-stick cooking utensils on the market. Today’s non-stick pots and pans are actually guilty of releasing some serious toxins into your food when you cook with them. You should definitely consider getting rid of them and replacing them with cast iron cookware.
4. Storage Containers - Make sure you stock up on glass storage options to eliminate the potential for toxic exposure via plastic versions. You can use them for salads and make ahead oatmeal/yogurt breakfasts. And, when you employ that high speed blender to make nut butters, these glass storage containers will be your best options for longevity.
5. Lidded Sauce Pans - Get a number of different sizes. These are useful when you are making homemade soups and sauces. Since they do come in a variety of sizes and money might be limited, we suggest you at least have a 1 ½ quart and a 3 quart version.
6. Cutting Boards - You do not want to do all your cutting on your countertop. You will inevitably scratch it or damage it in some way. Therefore, it is imperative that you get a cutting board. These are made out of various materials and can be relatively inexpensive depending on the material you choose. Keep in mind that some materials are actually really good at holding onto germs and bacteria, so do your research before you make a purchase.
7. Crockpot - These slow cookers are absolutely necessary in any kitchen. They can help you prepare meat while you are at work. They are also phenomenal when it comes to making homemade chili and soups. People also use them to make stews, overnight oatmeal, and fruit butters. They are invaluable in the kitchen.
8. Baking Pans/Sheets - You can get these in full and half size. They are excellent for baking. They can be round, square, rectangular, or any number of shapes. Plus you are going to want to make cookies at some point and the baking sheets you own will undoubtedly get plenty of use.
9. Measuring Tools - You cannot bake without the assistance of measuring tools. Like many kitchen utensils these tools come in a variety of materials. And sometimes they are even in different shapes. We have seen square, round, and heart shaped measuring cups and spoons. Our preference is almost always metal versions because the likelihood of germ contamination is considerably less. Wood and plastic have their own issues, but glass works well too.
10. Mixing Bowls - Glass and stainless steel bowls are always better than the plastic variety. There will be times when you want to keep your mixing bowl on the stove and if you are not careful a plastic bowl will melt. We know this from our own experience. And, as we have said previously, utilizing glass and metal is a better option for keeping your foods toxin and germ/bacteria free.

While stocking your kitchen with these highly recommended kitchen tools is certainly a good idea, there are some other steps you should take to ensure you become the best chef of your home. Consider investing in some well-known and highly regarded cookbooks. You could purchase books by the people we listed in the introduction. These chefs are revered for their extreme giftedness in the kitchen.

And, if you need a few more kitchen tool suggestions we would recommend you consider purchasing a bread maker and a pizza stone. When you start to delve into the world of homemade bread you will wonder why you ever bought store bread. Additionally, if you purchase a pizza stone you will be better prepared to make that cauliflower crust pizza you have been considering. Who knows, you might even be able to learn a thing or two about pizza dough amidst your bread making endeavors. The kitchen tools included in this article will certainly get you well on your way to having an enviable culinary space.

This kitchen essay is provided by Cheap Custom Writings company.

Monday, September 19, 2016

What is a reverse osmosis water filter?

People are becoming increasingly concerned with the quality of water that they are drinking – particularly when it comes to tap water. As we learn more about the potential dangers, such as the lapse in regulations and the chemicals that manage to slip through the cracks, people are looking at different ways to stay hydrated and one of these ways is reverse osmosis.

This is a process in which dissolved inorganic solids, such as salts, are "removed from the water with a reverse osmosis water filter , leaving it much cleaner and better for you. By removing the fluoride, lead, and pesticides, what you are left with is something that is much better for your body.

It works by pushing the water through a semi-permeable membrane, before it gets to you. This membrane, or screen, traps all of the negative aspects of water that you don't want, leaving only the quality water to get through. The system uses a selection of high pressure pumps and filters to make this happen, as shown by the diagram found here.

A step by step guide to this process can be found at Wikipedia :

• a sediment filter to trap particles, including rust and calcium carbonate
• optionally, a second sediment filter with smaller pores
• an activated carbon filter to trap organic chemicals and chlorine, which will attack and degrade thin film composite membrane reverse osmosis membranes
• a reverse osmosis filter, which is a thin film composite membrane
• optionally, a second carbon filter to capture those chemicals not removed by the reverse osmosis membrane
• optionally an ultraviolet lamp for sterilizing any microbes that may escape filtering by the reverse osmosis membrane
• latest developments in the sphere include nano materials and membranes

This type of system isn’t only for home use – it has found its way into many other industries that need top quality water including; water waste, the food industry, the military, aquariums, just to name a few. This show how successful a system it is, and what a difference it can make to the quality of water.

Here are just a few reasons why you might wish to consider installing one of these systems in your own home:

1. Better taste
Not only does the reverse osmosis water filter get rid of the waters impurities, it also leaves a much nicer tasting drink. Without any of the chemicals that result any of the funny smells or tastes, the water you’ll be getting is as pure as you can get,

2. Easy to clean
Unlike other water filter systems, the reverse osmosis water filter isn’t filled with fussy parts. It’s actually really easy to clean and maintain – leaving you with a system that lasts for years.

3. Saves you money in the long run
Using a system like this saves you cash on bottled water and other filtration system. If the quality of the water in your home just isn’t good enough for you and your family, this could be the most cost effective way to overcome that.

What kind of materials are chef aprons made of?

All chefs must wear and apron to protect their clothing from spills. Keeping clean in such a messy job is challenging enough, but it also helps keep everyone looking as professional as possible while they work. The image of the kitchen is just as important as what comes out of it, especially when it comes to keeping all of your customers happy, so you need to select the clothing that best helps with this.

The top requirements for the material used in a chefs apron are as follows:
• A material weight of 240gm, to offer the best protection from spills and stains.
• A higher poly-cotton content (65% polyester, 35% cotton, offers the best defence).
• Something that will wash well – check the cleaning requirements before buying to see if it is going to be practical.
• Sewn in ties for extra strength.
• Reinforced seams for greater durability.
• Pockets – as a side note, the apron also needs to have a lot of pockets for storing things such as towels and tools. Work can get done much quicker if everything is to hand!

As you can see, the material needs to as strong as it is easy to clean, which may take some research to discover what is best for you. Here are the most common materials currently used for producing aprons, to give you an idea of what you will be searching through:

Cotton or muslin is the most common material seen in shops, but it isn’t the most practical. It is cheap to produce, but will need to be replaced regularly as it won’t be able to handle too much damage.

Rubber or nylon is heavier, which makes it better for a chef’s needs. It can handle more industrial issues, which gives it a much better chance in a hot and busy kitchen.

This is a surprisingly good material that can withstand the heat of the kitchen and the stains really well. It also lasts for a very long time, meaning you don't need to consistently fork out for replacements. It may be more expensive in the first place, but it will save you money in the long run.

There are many other options that you might like to consider too when buying your own chef aprons, such as rubber coated cotton or even thin plastics as the material – just be sure that whatever you choose is fire resistant!

Other variations for the apron include the colour. White has always been seen as the traditional option, but black aprons are becoming increasingly common because being dark means that it hides more stains, whilst still looking professional and smart within the kitchen environment. The possibilities are endless when it comes to your aprons, as long at the material is suitable for the hot spills that it will undoubtedly endure. The kitchen is a crazy place where anything can happen, and your clothing needs to be prepared for that!

Why is bottled water so bad for the environment?

As people become more aware of the chemicals that can be found in tap water, they want to find something to replace that, to ensure that they remain hydrated. The obvious choice to help overcome this is bottled water – after all, that is produced in a way that rids the water of anything bad, and it’s preserved well making it much better for us... isn’t it?

There are a lot of myths when it comes to bottled water, and it’s important to know the truth with what you are putting into your body. For example, Food and Water Watch suggests that more than half of bottled water comes from the tap anyway, making it a completely pointless transition. Not only that, it can cost $0.89 per gallon to $8.26 per gallon, compared to fractions of a penny for water from your tap., making it much more expensive. On top of that, Health News research shows that the water inside the bottle can be so much worse for you because the plastic leaches into the liquid, leading to health and reproductive problems. When you combine this with the fact that most tests have shown that in blind taste tests, people cannot tell the difference between tap and bottled water, it hardly seems worth it.

And that’s before we even get to the environmental issues bottled water causes.

The Water Project suggests that bottles used to package water take over 1,000 years to bio-degrade and if incinerated, they produce toxic fumes. While they can be recycled, a lot of them end up in the trash with US landfills overflowing with 2 million tons of discarded water bottles. They are also one of the most prominent issues when it comes to ocean trash – plastic is the most common item found in the Earth’s water, which is a worrying trend that can be prevented.

People often don't realise that oil is also used to produce water bottles too – with over 1.5 million barrels used to meet the demand of U.S. water bottle manufacturing. Then you need to factor in the delivery impact on the environment, with 40 eighteen wheeler trucks used to make these deliveries every single week (source). There are a lot of factors that go into making bottled water, and that negative impact they are all having on the environment affects us all.

So what can you do to stop this from happening?

There are other water sources that you might not have considered yet, such as a water filter. This will clean out the tap water within your home in the most environmentally friendly way, saving you money in the long run. There are many variations of systems available to you, so you can pick the filter that suits your needs best. For business buildings or larger homes, you may even consider an indoor fountain. These are mounted to the wall and offer clean, environmentally friendly water to everyone.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Spinach Parcels in Filo Pastry

I have a packet of filo pastry in my freezer from God knows when. I thought of making Baklava with it but change my mind when I saw some leftover roast chicken in my fridge. I gather a few extra ingredients from the fridge and decided to make these parcels. It is not that difficult to make these. The only tricky part of this is working with the filo pastry but once you get the hang of it – it’s easy. You can serve this as an appetizer or like us have it for our dinner with some salad.