Pork and chicken dumplings

Pork and chicken dumplingsIngredients

150g pork mince
150g chicken mince
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
½ tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
½ cup water chestnuts, chopped
6 shiitake mushrooms (300g), finely sliced
2 spring onions, finely sliced
25 fresh white round wonton wrappers
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Sauce

¹⁄³ cup light soy sauce
1 chilli, finely sliced
2cm-piece ginger,
cut into fine strips
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp sesame oil

Method

1 Combine pork and chicken mince, soy, oyster sauce, sesame oil, ginger, chestnut, mushroom and onion in a bowl. Mix until well combined.
2 Lay 5 wrappers on a clean bench. Using your fingertip, wet the outside edges with a little water. Put about 3 teaspoons of mince filling in the centre of each wrapper. Fold over to encase filling. Overlap edges in little pleats. Gently flatten base slightly so dumplings stand up. Repeat 4 times with remaining wrappers and filling.
3 Heat a non-stick frypan. Add a little oil. Fry dumplings in batches for about 1 minute or until base is crisp. Add 1 cup hot water, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes or until water has evaporated and dumplings are tender. Remove and keep warm.
4 To make sauce: Combine ingredients. Serve in dipping bowl or over the dumplings.

Medicinal And Culinary Uses For Corn Silk

Corn silk may now be associated with a healthy lifestyle and medicinal benefit, but, as an adolescent, my memories of the use of corn silk was as a cigarette alternative. I have been told tales of those people in the Dirty Thirties who regularly rolled this dried corn fibre into cigarette papers, since tobacco was prohibitively expensive. While I do not recommend this practice today, the anecdote illustrates that desperate people use creative tactics to achieve an end. (more…)

Lose Weight Successfully With a Fitness Journal

If you want to lose weight or you’re just interested in getting in shape, a fitness journal can be your key to success.

Much like a personal diary a journal is the one place where you can share all of your dreams and goals and at the same time create a plan to make those aspirations a real part of your life.

I’m sure by now, you know that in order to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume. Keeping a fitness journal can be a fun way to assess your current eating and exercise habits and formulate a strategy to reduce calories while increasing your physical activity.

Start your fitness journal by recording your current weight and measurements, if you like, you can even add a current photo of yourself. This is your starting point, so make sure you take the time to complete this important step. Months from now when your body is changing, you’ll be able to look back and see how much you have achieved. Once this base is established it will provide the motivation you need to keep you going.

Motivation or the lack thereof, can be the driving force behind your exercise program or the biggest obstacle in your efforts to lose weight. As a personal trainer who specializes in women’s fitness, I have found that women who keep a fitness journal have a far greater chance of success than those who do not.

You see a fitness journal makes you accountable for your weight loss plan. Once you’ve established your starting point and written down your goals, you’ll want to make some time everyday to record everything you eat and drink. That means everything. You many even be surprised when you realize how much food you consume.

Once you begin coming face to face with your food consumption, you’ll be able to determine which foods to keep in your diet and which foods you need to replace with healthier substitutes. There is a certain connection that your brain will make when you put pen to paper and become responsible for your own health. It’s easy to fool yourself into thinking that you are eating a somewhat healthy diet when you keep these thoughts locked away in your mind.

Along with recording your eating habits, you’ll want to write down your daily physical activities. Are you exercising regularly? For optimum women’s health you’ll need to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day for 6 days of the week. You can use your journal to determine your fitness level and increase it gradually for best results.

Challenge your fitness workout by making goals each week. For instance, you could set a goal to add more weights to your exercise program or to take longer walks, swim more laps, take a spinning class or learn to play tennis. The secret is to write down anything and everything that will keep you motivated to exercise regularly and eat healthy.

You can get the body that you desire, all it takes is a desire to succeed followed by a commitment to see it through. But the good thing is you don’t have to do it by yourself. Faithfully keeping your fitness journal will keep you focused on your goals and give you the motivation you need to excel.

Tips on Choosing and Storing Avocados

Avocado, fruit is sometimes avoided because of the fat content. Though the fat in avocados is unsaturated fat that is actually healthy for the body. By also taking notes is not excessive, so that the levels are maintained.

Well, this avocado as well as olive oil, which can increase levels of HDL or the good cholesterol called. HDL can help protect the body from free radical attack, so it can regulate triglyceride levels and prevent diabetes.

In addition, there are many other benefits of avocados, including: karotenoidnya protein content and are also good for the body. While, vitamin C and E in avocados can help keep the skin moist. Wow a lot of it also benefits avocado. Now, we will help you select and store fresh avocado to keep it when they want to consume. Consider the following tips yes.

Tip 1:

The ripe avocado tree is the best quality, but usually the most frequently encountered in the store or market is not yet ripe. Well, if you have this you should choose avocados that are heavy, dark green skin color and no blemishes on the fruit skin.

Tip 2:

In order to quickly cook avocado, does not need to be washed after purchase. Wrap in use newspaper and keep it away from sunlight. Within 2-3 days, avocados will ripen, the skin is more tender and soft.

Tip 3:

Sometimes, it’s not a large alupkat eaten alone. As a result after the split, part of which half should be stored. But the color will turn black and it seems to be less fresh.

Overcome this, you can use lemon juice. Squeeze the lemon juice over the avocado meat, avocado enter into the plastic and wrap tightly. With avocado this way will stay fresh at least up to 2 days. Tips can also be used for avocado chopped or blended, add a little lemon juice so that the color does not change blackish.

Coffee Yesterday and Today

HOW about a cafezinho, freshly made and piping hot? For some, this custom is on the wane, but Brazilians still enjoy the fame of drinking coffee from early morning till late at night. Inflated cost of coffee has not caused a hurried switch to other drinks. In fact, one third of the world’s population still are coffee drinkers. For instance, every year the Belgians drink 149 liters (39 gallons) of coffee, compared with only six liters (1.6 gallons) of tea. The average American drinks 10 cups of coffee to one of tea. In the Western world, only the British break the general rule by annually consuming six liters of coffee to 261 (69 gallons) of tea.

Brazil holds the title as the world’s largest producer and exporter of coffee. In the first four months of 1977, receipts for exports of this “brown gold” reached the staggering total of $1,000,000,000 for 4.5 million bags, an all-time record.

However, coffee is not at all native to Brazil. Would you like to know how the use of this almost universal drink developed, where it originated, and how it got to Brazil?

Origin and Use

The word “coffee” is derived from the Arabic qahwah, meaning strength, and came to us through the Turkish kahveh. Coffee’s early discovery is shrouded in legend. One story tells about Kaldi, a young Arabian goatherd who noticed his goats’ frolicsome antics after nibbling on the berries and leaves of a certain evergreen shrub. Moved by curiosity, he tried the mysterious little berries himself and was amazed at their exhilarating effect. Word spread and “coffee” was born.

Originally, coffee served as a solid food, then as a wine, later as a medicine and, last, as a common drink. As a medicine, it was and still is prescribed for the treatment of migraine headache, heart disease, chronic asthma and dropsy. (Immoderate use, however, may form excessive gastric acid, cause nervousness and speed up the heartbeat. The common “heartburn” is attributed to this.) As a food, the whole berries were crushed, fat was added and the mixture was put into round forms. Even today some African tribes “eat” coffee. Later on, the coffee berries yielded a kind of wine. Others made a drink by pouring boiling water over the dried shells. Still later, the seeds were dried and roasted, mixed with the shells and made into a beverage. Finally, someone ground the beans in a mortar, the forerunner of coffee grinders.

Coffee in Brazil

Although coffee probably originated in Ethiopia, the Arabs were first to cultivate it, in the fifteenth century. But their monopoly was short-lived. In 1610, the first coffee trees were planted in India. The Dutch began to study its cultivation in 1614. During 1720, French naval officer Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu left Paris for the Antilles, carrying with him some coffee seedlings. Only one survived and was taken to Martinique. From Dutch Guiana coffee spread through the Antilles to French Guiana, and from there Brazilian army officer Francisco de Melo Palheta introduced it to Brazil by way of Belém, doing so about 1727. During the early nineteenth century, coffee cultivation started in Campinas and other cities of São Paulo State, and soon reached other states, especially Paraná.

Nowadays, coffee plantations are planned with technical rigidity. Instead of sowing seeds in the field, seedlings are cultivated in shaded nurseries. About 40 days after planting, the coffee grain germinates. Its unmistakable appearance gave it the name “match stick.” After a year of careful treatment in the nursery, the seedlings are replanted outside.

Usually on hillsides, the seedlings are placed in curved rows to make mechanized field work easier and to prevent soil erosion. Four years after planting, the trees are ready for the first harvest. All the while, irrigation boosts growth and output up to 100 percent.

On the other hand, the coffee grower’s headache is his never-ending fight against insects and plant diseases, such as leaf rust and the coffee-bean borer. Rust is a fungus that attacks the leaves and may kill the tree. The coffee-bean borer is a worm that ruins the beans by eating small holes into them. Of course, there are effective fungicides and insecticides, but their constant use increases production cost.

Preparation of the Coffee Beans

On the plantation, coffee may be prepared by either a “wash” or a “dry” process. It is admitted that the wash process yields a fine quality product, since only ripe coffee berries are selected. But because of less work and lower cost, Brazilian coffee usually goes through the “dry” process.

First, all the berries, from green to dry, are shaken off the bush onto large canvas sheets. Then they are winnowed with special sieves. Next, the berries are rinsed in water canals next to the drying patios, in order to separate the ripe from the unripe and to eliminate impurities. Afterward, they are spread out in layers for drying in the open air and sun. They are turned over frequently so as to allow even drying. Eventually, the dry berries are stored in wood-lined deposits until further use.

The drying process, by the way, is of utmost importance to the final quality of the coffee. Some plantations, therefore, use wood-fired driers for more rapid drying, especially in rainy weather.

In other Latin-American countries and elsewhere, the “wash” process is customary, although it is more time-consuming and costly. First, a pulping machine squeezes the beans out of the skin. They fall into large tanks where they stay for about 24 hours, subject to light fermentation of the “honey,” as the surrounding jellylike substance is called. After fermentation, the “honey” is washed off in washing canals. Next, the coffee is laid out to dry in the sun, as in the “dry” process. Some growers make use of drying machines, perforated revolving drums, in which hot air circulates through the coffee. Finally, the coffee beans pass through hulling and polishing machines. And just as the best quality coffees are hand-picked, so the inspection of the berries after washing is done by hand.

Soon the last step is taken–packing the coffee in jute bags for shipment. The 60-kilogram (132-pound) bag, adopted by Brazil, is held world wide as the statistical unit. Bags are stacked in clean, well-aired warehouses. At last, the coffee is ready for sale.

Classification, Commercialization and Cost

The Instituto Brasileiro do Café (IBC: Brazilian Coffee Institute) supplies technical and economic aid to Brazilian coffee growers and controls the home and export trade. For classification, coffee is judged by its taste and aroma. No chemical test for quality has ever been possible. The senses of smell and taste are still the deciding factors. According to its source, preparation and drying, it is classified as strictly soft, soft (pleasant taste and mild), hard (acid or sharp taste) and rio (very hard type preferred in Rio de Janeiro). Other types are less important to the trade.

For the last 20 years coffee has brought about 50 percent of Brazil’s export receipts. Some 15,500,000 persons are employed in its cultivation and trade. But Camilo Calazans de Magalhães, president of the IBC, warned that 1978 will present an unheard-of situation in the history of the coffee trade. For the first time ever, it will depend entirely on the harvest, as any stocks of Brazilian coffee outside Brazil will be exhausted by then. Additionally, the IBC fears that the specter of problems with frost, insects and diseases may unleash new losses in the 1977/78 and 1978/79 harvests.

Very recently, a series of misfortunes befell some of the world’s large coffee producers, causing scarcity of the product, price increases–and a lot of speculation. It all began in July 1975. Brazil was hit by an exceptional cold spell, which destroyed almost half the plantations, or 200 to 300 million coffee trees. Next, in Colombia, a drought, followed by torrential rains, devastated their plantations. In Angola and Uganda, political unrest affected exports. And then an earthquake struck Guatemala.

 

Ajello Candles

The motto of the Ajello Candle Company is “It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”. This candle making company has been in business since 1775. The business has been family owned for seven generations. The candles from Ajello’s are well known for their beauty and quality. While they make more candles now than in 1775, their dedication to quality and to customers has never changed. (more…)

Improve Your Physical Fitness Level

Most of us could use some improvements in the area of our physical fitness. We have become a society hooked on sedentary activities and unhealthy diets that include fast food. Physical fitness is essential for having a body that is well cared for. Your level of physical fitness can affect your chances of developing health problems as you get older.

It is never too late to start improving your level of physical fitness. It does take time and it does take dedication, but over time your new activities will seem second nature. Once you start to see the benefits of improving your physical fitness level, you will be even more motivated to keep doing it.

There is a common misconception that physical fitness means running until you are exhausted. That is not the case. Physical fitness involves taking on some type of physical activity that you enjoy. You can choose sports, exercise equipment, walking, running, aerobics, weight lifting, dancing, and many other types of physical activities. You should pay close attention to the foods you consume as your body will feel different.

If you think you are too ran down to exercise, try a brisk walk for 10 or 15 minutes. Also reduce the amount of caffeine and sugar in your diet. You will quickly notice an improvement in your energy levels and your mood. The more you exercise the more energy you will have. Physical fitness has great benefits for your mental health as well. Studies show people who exercise regularly have lower levels of stress and are less likely to suffer from depression.

If improving your level of physical fitness is important to you, see your doctor for a complete check up. Discuss your decision during that visit. You aren’t going to see improvements in your physical fitness level overnight, but by making small changes to your exercise routine and your eating habits, you will see improvements over time. You will start seeing improvements in your energy level, your mood, and even how well you sleep early on in your quest for better physical fitness.

Everyone has different levels of physical fitness. Don’t compete with your friend, someone at the gym, or your neighbor as this is only setting yourself up for failure. Instead, challenge yourself to do better. Challenge yourself to improve your physical fitness level from where you are today. If you start walking 15 minutes a day, add more time until you are up to 30 minutes. Then work on walking further in that 30 minute time period. Challenging yourself when it comes to physical fitness is a great way to motivate yourself as well as to gauge your progress.

Physical fitness is a very important part of taking care of your body and your overall health. A combination of physical activity, a balanced diet, and getting enough rest on a daily basis will help ensure your physical fitness level is sufficient to meet the ongoing physical and mental needs of your body.

Confessions of a Personal Fitness Trainer

Last year I had a number of clients who started stubbornly on the Atkins diet despite my warnings. Immediately I saw almost profound results in their weight loss. I reminded them it was the loss of water weight, and warned of the strain on the kidneys and the high cholesterol risk.

During this time I was mastering my yoga practice as a complete vegan but found that my immune system had been profoundly compromised and I was currently on my third cold for the fall season.

Atkins was in the media again because of new study results indicating lowered cholesterol. I went to the Atkins book yet again with a more open mind, and decided to try the diet. I liked the contrarian view point to the current AMA position of the low fat diet, which seemed to be producing a society of increasing obesity. Atkins view of sugar as the culprit making you fat, not fat, made sense and the extra work from all the protein for the kidneys… it’s benign. I wanted to use his diet as a tool to get myself entirely off of any sugar.

I started out on the high protein, low carb aspect of the diet. As I reintroduced the animal proteins into my diet I could feel myself get stronger and the colds, finally stopped. I also saw my muscle bellies start to open and swell again. The cold of winter was not as painful as it had been while on my vegan diet.

I then summoned up the courage to start bringing fats into my diet, including bacon, egg yolks, cream cheese, heavy cream, whipped cream, even bacon rinds. On a daily basis I would marvel at having eaten these “forbidden foods” only to awaken the next day thin, svelte. I couldn’t believe this, result! I was loving eating all these foods so familiar yet banished since…childhood

I was in full swing eating the high fat, high protein, low carb diet at the time when the pictures on my website were taken. I felt strong, but I had no energy!!! My walks on the beach were lethargic, I had to force myself to go that extra mile. I was thin but I felt like a beached whale. My love affair with Atkins continued a few more months. I followed his prescriptions religiously.

Eventually I had to add more carbs, I needed more energy. By carbs I mean vegetables, salads and whole grains. At this point I gained back the total of two pounds I had lost on Atkins. Body fat went from 16% to 18%, my energy was better. After 7 months I decided it was time to get the blood checked out and to my horror discovered that my cholesterol which had always been around 150 had rocketed up to 300!! Luckily my HDL to LDL ratio was still at a healthy level. Thanks to my forcing myself to exercise, I kept my HDLs high.

I immediately started drinking hot lemon juice with cayenne pepper every morning to clean my blood. I have now thrown away all the high fat foods and have once again, come back full circle to moderation and balance. A balanced diet. It takes a little more discipline but my energy is back and I can now eat the same meals as my husband so dinner preparation is simpler. My weight has not changed since I gradually introduced the carbs. I avoid at all costs the “white foods” flour, sugar, milk. I drink unsweetened soy milk I avoid foods in packages, boxes and bags. I feel a fine layer of fat but that’s okay its winter, I need it, and in the summer, heat always melts it off. I am completely off sugar and alcohol to keep blood sugar low.