Finding Food Savers to Fit Your Needs

Food Savers keep meat, produce, and other grocery items fresh and tasty for much longer than other storage methods. Ordinary refrigerator or freezer bags just do not allow food to retain its quality the way FoodSavers custom fitted bags do. Whether you want to usually put away a few items or you really want to get serious about food storage, there are Food Savers just for you.

No matter what kind you look at be sure you consider the ones with a full sized vacuum channel. This is necessary to get the best seal on your bags. A crush-free seal is also important so that you can keep the vacuum from squeezing the bag too much when your food items are fragile. A light, fluffy piece of birthday cake can be kept in its original form rather than be crushed to crumbs.

Hands free operation makes FoodSavers convenient, especially on the models where it is done by the touch of a button. A touchpad control panel makes using Food Savers easy, especially when you are bagging heavy meats, cheeses, and vegetables. A design that preserves counter space is welcomed in any kitchen.

The most versatile models are capable of sealing all the different sizes of bags and canisters. Settings may include buttons for moist or dry foods. Roll and pen holders make it easy to make custom sized bags and mark them by date and contents. A locking latch makes it possible to keep the bag in place while the FoodSavers are sealing the contents.

Because you will be taking all the air out of the bags, you will often pull out liquids from the foods. Juices might be sucked out of the bag when you are packaging meats for example. This makes it doubly important to have an antibacterial drip tray. It works best if it can be removed for easy cleaning in the dishwasher.

Food Savers offer some extra special features, such as a DVD that comes with one model, showing ways to use the kitchen appliance to its best advantage. Look for the one year warranty on Food Savers appliances. A variety of bags are available to buy for the set.

Finding Food Savers for your kitchen is as easy as comparing the features of the different models. While some Food Savers are simple in design, others offer the full gamut of features and accessories. By comparing their features, you can choose the best model for you. …

Food Dehydration Techniques

Factors affecting the quality of food dehydration are:
1. Time
2. Temperature
3. Air Speed ​​or velocity
Raw material preparation

Drying time varies depending on the type of food dehydrator you use and the properties of your food for drying. Let us visualize what water must do in order to get discharged. The moisture from the center of the food must travel to the surface to escape. For example, apples can be cut into uniform slices with appropriate thickness for drying. Too thick slices will take longer time to dry. On the other hand, too thin slices will crumble and break easily. Based on experience, inch inch (0.5cm) seems to be appropriate for most drying applications.

When using your food dehydrator, food is spread on drying trays which are then stacked up or placed into the specially designed drying chamber. It is important to spread the food evenly so that the entire surface of the food is exposed for drying. To ensure that all the food surfaces are exposed for drying, it is recommended that you periodically flip over the food.

Some food dehydrators may not have a uniform distribution of air but this can be easily resolved by rotating the trays every few hours so as to minimize the unevenness.

Drying time is in fact the most important factor in any drying process. However, it is affected by the air temperature and air velocity. Therefore, when considering these drying elements, remember that these are inter-related. The most common mistake made by people when drying foods is thinking that increasing the temperature to shorten the drying time. The recommended temperature for drying most products is 130degF. …

Increasing Interest in Healthy and Specialty Food in the US

Polls from recent food events in the US show that Americans have a passion for Italian food. Their curiosity about Italian products is constantly growing. After years of recession and crisis, their attention to quality food, traditional cuisine, and organic products is on the rise.

The watchword is “value”, and Americans are quite conscious of the relationship between quality and price. The price difference between organic and non-organic food has been reduced considerably, and now it is around 15{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb}. According to the Organic Trade Association, the sales of organic foods in the United States have long passed those in Europe. The US is now the world’s largest consumer of natural and organic food.

As American interest in products from Italy grows, so does the number of “Italian fakes” on the market; products with Italian names whose labels state an Italian origin even though they come from other countries. This is especially in the dairy sector. Just think of the countless imitations and counterfeiting of Parmigiano Reggiano! For the first time, in 2014 the global production of fake parmesan and grana padano has overtaken that of the authentic Italian originals.

According to the organization of Italian farmers Coldiretti, last year the production of parmesan-like and grana-like cheeses exceeded 300 million kg, while in Italy cheese makers produced 295 million kg of genuine Parmigiano and Grana Padano.

Fortunately, American consumers are becoming increasingly aware. The growing trend is to explore beyond established mainstream products in order to identify those that represent not just a culinary delight, but also belong to local tradition, which tell a story, and represent a view into Italian life. Nearly a quarter of consumers of gourmet foods looks for specialties tried while on holidays – a particularly relevant factor considering the high number of American tourists travelling to Italy.

Supermarkets are a major provider of Italian foods in the USA, but the need of large retailers often does not allow small companies which produce excellent niche food products to reach consumers. More and more specialty shops and smaller chains serving a sophisticated and wealthy clientele play an increasing role in this context. But only online stores, with their capillarity and wide distribution, can guarantee everyone the opportunity to discover and taste the best products from Italy at affordable prices.

Starting from this scenario are springing up a variety of interesting projects online, bequeathed to the world of quality food. Ambitious projects bringing to the tables of Americans products that cannot be found anywhere else.…

Yin and Yang Food – How Does it Affect You?

Did you know that Yin and Yang, the principle at the heart of Chinese philosophy, applies to Chinese food and cooking as well? In Chinese medicine, all food can be divided into four Qis: Hot, warm, cool and cold; or yang, mild yang, mild yin and yin respectively.

In general, yang food improves blood circulation and warms us up, but too much yang food (or eaten during the wrong season e.g. summer) will induce constant thirst, hot flashes, night sweats and constipation. In contrast, yin food quenches thirst, cleanses our systems and cools us down, but if eaten inappropriately it will lower our metabolism and weaken our bodies. In particular, according to traditional Chinese, pregnant women are traditionally advised not to eat yin food (e.g. crab, watermelon) as it may increase the chance of miscarriage.

So what are some examples of yin and yang food?

Grains and Beans

  • Mild Yang (warm food): glutinous rice, black rice, barley, sago, sorghum
  • Mild Yin (cool food): wheat, barley, green beans, buckwheat, millet
  • Right in the middle: Rice, corn (maize), sweet potato, sesame, soy beans, rice beans, oat, long beans, sweet peas, kidney beans, mung beans, lentil, broadbean

Meat and Dairy Product

  • Mild Yang (warm):beef, lamb (mutton), chicken, shrimp, lobster, mussels, goat milk
  • Mild Yin (cool): duck, abalone
  • Yin: duck egg, crab, clam, octopus, squid, escargots, raw food
  • Just Right: chicken egg and egg white, pork, scallop, fish, cow milk, yogurt

Fruits and Nuts

  • Mild Yang (warm): peach, almond, dates, lychee, long yan, lemon, papaya, pine nut, walnut, chestnut, cherry, mango
  • Mild Yin (cool):apple, pear, orange, strawberry, pipa
  • Yin (cold): Persimmon, pomelo, banana, starfruit, kiwi, water melon, sweet melon
  • Just Right: plum, pineapple, grapes, olive, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut milk, peanut, hazelnut


  • Mild Yang (warm): spring onion, garlic, leeks, coriander / parsley, onion, pumpkin
  • Yang (hot): pepper
  • Mild Yin (cool): tomato, celery, egg plant, choy shum, spinach, asparagus, artichoke, cauliflower, tofu (including soy milk), gluten, lotus root, winter melon, cucumber, mushroom, needle mushroom
  • Yin (cold): bok choy, arrowhead, water spinach, watercress, bamboo shoots, seaweed, straw mushroom, bitter melon, water chestnut
  • Just Right: carrot, potato, taro, mushroom, turnip (very mild yin), black fungus (very mild yin)

Other Food and Ingredients

  • Mild Yang (warm): spices such as young ginger, clove, dill, rosemary, sage, turmeric, thyme, horseradish, cayenne, nutmeg, wild pepper, cumin, star anise; stimulants such as alcohol, coffee, black tea and other caffeinated drinks; red sugar, ginseng
  • Yang (hot): Cinnamon
  • Mild Yin (cool): green tea, honey, beer, chrysanthemum tea, mint
  • Yin (cold): Soy sauce, soy bean paste, salt

How Does This Apply To Us?

According to the Chinese, each of us are born yin, yang or somewhere in between. For example, if you always crave for spicy food you may have a “yin” body; and if you love watermelon anytime in the year you are likely a Yang.

Your health condition can also indicate the yin-yang balance of your body. Constant cold hands and feet? A …

What Do You Need to Cook Chinese Food?

Are you, like many people, attracted by the possibility of cooking scrumptious and healthy Chinese meals at home? What do you need, in addition to the recipe, the ingredients, and your kitchen?

Well woks have been the mainstay of Chinese cooking for centuries – over 3000 years use in China, indeed. If you have not got one, is a wok necessary? Highly desirable, but not really essential, would be my view.You can use a frying pan to cook stir frys. A wok, does, however, have numerous advantages. It needs much less oil, and distributes heat much more even more than a frying pan does. And the unique concave shape of a wok makes tossing the food around during stir frying more straightforward. Coupled with the fact that you can also use the wok as an simple every day frying pan, and a deep fryer if wanted.

Other equipment that is also not essential, but desirable includes:

A wok lid . Which can either be domed shaped or flat topped. It should be able to fit the lid of the wok. And the lid needs to be high enough to ensure that it will allow the wok to be used with the desired quantities in it.

A spatula . Which is used for stirring and tossing the food It needs to have a long handle – for obvious reasons! And it can be made of metal or wood – the latter is especially desirable for non stick woks and frying pans.

A ladle . Used for adding stock, in addition to other seasoning. A ladle can also be used to measure out other ingredients to add.

A cleaver . Cutting and slicing before food preparation is especially important. Having bite size pieces enables the food to be eaten with chopsticks. It also reduces cooking time by increasing the amount of surface area exposed to heat. And permits greater absorption of sauces and flavorings. Although Chinese cleavers often look as though they could cut through bones, do not use cleavers for this – it may damage them. Although traditionally made of carbon steel, this can rust and add a taste of metal. Best to get a knife made from stainless steel. The flat end can also be used as a pestle.

A steaming basket . This is a round basket that can hold food hovering over boiling water. Bamboo baskets are generally better than metal ones as the bamboo absorbs the moisture and allows the steam to circulate. Dripping water from metal ones can reduce the flavor of the food.

Ring stand . A ring stand can stabilize the wok. Generally these have open sides for gas stoves, and closed sides for electric ones. If your wok has a tapered stand then use it so that the helmet side is up for electric stoves, and other side up for gas ones.

Rack . Usually a semi circle and can be used to keep food warm.

Skimmer . A skimmer is a implementation …

Tips For Cooking With Asparagus

Most people regard asparagus as an ingredient that needs to be cooked with caution. Here are a few helpful tips on how to cook with this vegetable.

Begin by buying asparagus right. Select asparagus spears that look a fresh and bright green and that have compact but firm tips. If you need to cook with asparagus that has slightly wilted tips, firm them up by soaking them in cold water for a few minutes.

After buying fresh asparagus, you need to keep it in a moist place till you are ready to use it. Frozen asparagus can be kept in the freezer. Remember not to defrost frozen asparagus before cooking. Once you’ve taken the frozen asparagus out of the freezer, do not refreeze it. You can store asparagus in the freezer for a maximum of eight months. If you are using the canned variety, it should be stored in a cool and dry place.

Asparagus is a versatile vegetable and lends itself to various food combinations. You can top steamed asparagus with sour cream, mayonnaise or yogurt. You can also infuse herbs like parsley and tarragon into melted butter and pour the mix over asparagus. Fresh asparagus works well with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Asparagus goes best with dry white wines such as Chenin Blanc, French Colombard or Fume Blanc. After trimming asparagus, do not discard the trimmed ends. These can be pureed and used in soups, stews or sauces.

Asparagus can be cooked in several ways. If you are cooking on the stovetop, you can steam fresh asparagus by boiling it in a small quantity of water until tender. This should take about five to eight minutes.

If you want to steam asparagus while in an upright position, tie the stalks together with a string. Make the stalks stand straight in a double boiler so that the tips stay an inch or so above the salted, boiling water. Cover the double boiler and cook for about five minutes or until tender.

For stir-frying asparagus, start by chopping the spears diagonally into half inch pieces. Keep the tips whole. Next stir-fry the cut pieces in a skillet containing hot butter or olive oil over a medium heat. It should take about three minutes for the asparagus to tenderize. Stir-fried asparagus should be soft yet crisp.

Fresh asparagus can be cooked in a microwave in a baking dish or even in a serving bowl. Place about a pound of asparagus in the cooking dish. If you are using whole asparagus spears, keep the tips in the center. Pour in about a quarter cup of water and cover the dish. Cook at 100{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} power for 5 minutes. Turn over the spears half way through cooking. Reduce the cooking time by about a minute if you are microwaving cut pieces or tips.

Frozen asparagus can be cooked in the microwave by placing it in a covered microwaveable dish containing about two tablespoons of water. The cooking time is about five minutes at …

Four Fantastic Tips to Prevent Urinary Blockage in Cats

Cat urinary infections, as any cat owner will tell you, is something to be taken seriously. It is surprising to see the number of cat owners who have no idea about cats urinary infections. They all seem to think that urinary infections in animals are not as serious as they are in humans and can be easily easily with antibiotics. If you think so too, you need to read this article fully.

First of all, let me make something very clear. Urinary blockage in cats is as common and as dangerous as it is in humans. So, you should observe your pet closely and look for symptoms of this problem. If you do, you should immediately take it to a vet and get it treated properly. If not, this problem could be fatal.

When you suspect that there is something wrong with your cat, you can take it to a vet and treat the problem accordingly. Still, it involves a lot of pain and suffering for your cat and a lot of mental agony for you – the cat owner. So, what I am saying is very simple. Why wait for a problem to occur and then treat it? Why not prevent it completely? That's right; you can take steps to prevent cats urinary infections. While not certain, it will help. Let me explain how you can do that.

1. Your cat's diet is the most important factor that decides its health. The food that your cat eats should have high water content to keep it hydrated. The food you feed your cat should be high quality and contain organic or at minimum ingredients that you recognize.

2. Make sure your cat drinks plenty of clean water. Dehydration is the cause of a lot of health problems in animals. So, you should always make sure it stays hydrated.

3. Clean your cat regularly. There are special shampoos and soaps available exclusively for gentle animals like cats. You should use them and keep your cat clean. This will reduce the chances of infections considerably.

4. A popular way to prevent urinary blockage in cats is by giving a small dose of homeopathic supplements regularly. These supplements are extremely powerful and can prevent urinary tract problems in cats. They can also boost your cat's immune system amazingly well. By making these supplements a part of your cat's regular diet, you can make sure your cat stays healthy and active for a long time.

Just try to follow the tips I have mentioned above and you will be surprised to see the results. Like I already said, preventing cats urinary infections is very easy – you just need to give your cat the right kind of food and the right supplements. So, take action today and take good care of your cat. …

Restaurant Training Manual – Presenting the Menu & Taking Food Order

Headwaiter/waiter should approach the table with a smile and pleasant eye contact, and must greet guests by saying: “Good (time of the day), Mr./s (name of guest), I am (name of staff), your (headwaiter or waiter)”. The Headwaiter/waiter must introduce the theme of the evening/day by saying: “Welcome to our… (name of theme) evening, / day Mr./s… (Name of the guest)”.

In case guest does not go to the bar for an aperitif, the headwaiter should propose aperitif to guests by saying: “Would you care for an aperitif, Mr./s (name of guest)?” Headwaiter/waiter must ensure that menus are in excellent condition (depending on location), stands on the right hand side of the guest, with the menu opened on the first page and holding it by the top, should present to the ladies first while maintaining eye contact by saying: “Please allow me to present you our (name of theme menu/menu of the day) Mr./s (name of guest)”.

Headwaiter/waiter should introduce any one of the specialties of the day (as applicable). Headwaiter/waiter must retire from guests table for a few moments (3-5) minutes, allowing guests to study the menu, by saying: “May I leave you to look at the menu, Mr./s (name of guest)? I will be back for your order in a short while.” In case of unavailability of specific items, guests are advised accordingly, by saying: “Mr/s (name of guest), I do apologize, unfortunately we do no have (name of item) today”. Headwaiter/waiter should return to the guests table with a smile and pleasant eye contact and ask if they are ready to place their order, by saying: “Mr/s (name of guest), are you ready to place your order?”

Headwaiter/waiter has to stand on the right hand side of the guest, women first, while smiling and maintaining eye contact and should take the order. Headwaiter/waiter has to highlight verbally at least one menu item as a house special or seasonal specialty, by saying: “May I recommend the specialty of the day (name of dish)?” Headwaiter/waiter takes children’s order first (if any), followed by women’s and finally the host’s.

Headwaiter/waiter writes down guest’s orders on docket, numbering each person’s order, and highlighting any special requests.

Headwaiter/waiter clearly labels all children’s menu portions on the food order docket.

Headwaiter/waiter repeats orders and collects menus from the right hand side, women first by saying: “May I repeat your order, please Mr/s… (name of guest)? Mrs (name of guest), you have ordered (chosen menu), and Mr… (name of guest) you have ordered (chosen menu)”.

Headwaiter/ waiter ensures that guests names, numbered orders, table number, number of persons, waiter’s name, date and time of order appear clearly on the order sheet.

Headwaiter/waiter retires from guests with a courtesy bow and a smile, thanking guests for their choice and wishes them a pleasant day/evening by saying: “Thank you Mr/s (name of guest), have a pleasant (time of the day).”…

How to Make Healthy & Delicious Baby Food

Making homemade baby food puree is simple, easy, and is very healthy and nutritious for your baby! You can save a lot of money by making your own food and your baby will love it! All you need, at a minimum, is a blender or food processor for pureeing, ice cube trays for freezing, and freezer bags and / or storage containers. There are other products available for making baby food at home such as tiered steamers, food mills, ice cube trays with lids, and other gadgets that can make preparing baby food easy (or more difficult depending on your cooking skills!). The Kidco Electric Food Mill has been my best friend in whipping up fresh batches of baby food. However, I've used standard blenders for pureing as well.

Here is how to make puree out of most fruits, vegetables, and meats:

1. Cook the desired food by baking, steaming, boiling, or microwaving.

2. Remove the food and allow to cool down a bit, reserve a little of the cooking liquid.

3. Transfer the food and cooking liquid (or you can use plain water or breast milk if you wish) into a blender or food processor and puree the food.

Note: You can use plain water or breast milk instead of the cooking liquid. However, vitamins see out into the water while cooking, so adding the liquid is a bonus.

4. Remove the food and serve immediately to your baby or freeze in ice cube trays for up to 2 months.

That's all there is to it! …

The Psychological Benefits Of Adopting A Stray Dog Or Cat

We are experiencing a plague in the United States. Unwanted and stray cats and dogs. I believe a great deal of this is due to lack of education.

Some cities and municipalities put a lot of funding behind spaying and neutering education. Many communities have no-kill shelters, and a lot of other good is being done. But more can be done. The amount of strays is epidemic in the U.S and does not seem to be getting better. We know better, most of us.

For every baby born in the U.S there are seven cats and dogs born.

A female cat and her offspring can (and usually does) produce 420,000 kittens within seven years.

One female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in six years (and usually does).

As many as 25{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} of dogs entering shelters each year are purebreds.

Approximately 61{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} of all dogs are killed in animal shelters.

Approximately 75{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} of all cats entering shelters are killed.

It costs approximately $100 to capture, house, feed, and eventually kill each stray animal — a cost which you, the taxpayer, eventually pay.

Can you see the importance of becoming educated regarding spaying and neutering pets? The Doris Day Animal League has a wonderful program which can give you a great bit of important information.

I do not sit in judgment Though I owned pets all my life, I truly did not understand true pet care until I reached my adulthood. I only knew what my parents taught me which was very limited.

As a upper-middle class child, like other upper-middle class kids, my parents bought me “the dog du jour” or what was trendy from a recent movie. From Irish Setters to Golden Retrievers to Great Danes to Sheepdogs.

And only from the finest breeders.

There is nothing wrong with that. Those animals need homes as well, and I feel good about every animal I learned to take care of as a child (from wherever they derived).

As I matured, I understood owning and caring for an animal is more than “just looking good next to an exotic or popular breed”. It is about bonding, caring, and loving that animal and learning unconditional love from it.

I will give you an example. The Northridge earthquake in 1994 destroyed my home. I was forced to move into an apartment that didn’t allow dogs. I had a beautiful blonde golden retriever I was forced to give away.

I cried on and off for a month (even though Otis got a home in Malibu and was living better than me).

I moved back to my home state of Mississippi to take care of an ailing mom. As a writer, I knew this could put me in a vulnerable situation, but I also knew that my mom took care of me whenever I was ill and that was the right thing to do. And as I expected, writer’s block set in and I did not write for four years. That was …