Category Archives: general health

Mitosis Vs Meiosis

The division of cells takes place in either of the two ways, Mitosis or Meiosis. They both occur in eukaryotic cells and involve the separations of the chromosomes. Both the process differ from each other and to know the facts associated with mitosis vs meiosis is very important but first of all one should know what these processes are. These divisions can be defined as under:

Mitosis-

It is the process of cell division in which division of nucleus and duplication of chromosomes takes place. The process of cytokinesis follows mitosis. In cytokinesis the cell membrane and the cytoplasm of the cells divide. This results in the formation of two daughter cells that are each having the same number of chromosomes as the parent cell and these are called diploid cells. Mitosis occurs in Somatic cells or Soma or Body cells.

Meiosis-

Meiosis takes place in germ cells or the sex cells of the body. The process of meiosis results in the formation of four daughter cells which have half the number of chromosomes of the parent cells and hence are called as haploid cells.

Consider the points given below:

mitosis vs meiosis-

  • The process of mitosis occurs in all the organisms whereas that of meiosi occurs only in human beings, plants, animals and fungi.
  • Mitosis produces two daughter cells whereas in meiosis there are four daughter cells.
  • Mitosis takes place in somatic cells, but meiosis occurs in sex cells or germ cells, that is, the sperms and the ovum.
  • Meiosis is sexual division whereas mitosis is asexual division.
  • The cells produced are genetically identical in case of mitosis but in that of meiosis, they are different.
  • The number of division in mitosis is one and that in meiosis in two.
  • The steps of mitosis are:

1. Interphase

2. Prophase

3. Metaphase

4. Anaphase

5. Telophase

6. cytokinesis

1. Interphase,

2. Prophase I,

3. Metaphase I,

4. Anaphase I,

5. Telophase I,

6. Prophase II,

7. Metaphase II,

8. Anaphase II

9. Telophase II.

  • Chromosome number is reduced to half in case of meiosis and doubled in that of mitosis, hence mitosis is also called as Equational division.

ADDICTED to nicotine?

Tobacco addiction is a powerful habit. Nicotine is very addictive and you maybe know some symptoms of nicotine overdose. Even if you want to quit, it is a difficult habit to break. We understand what you are going through, and we know how to help.

LifeSign breaks your nicotine addiction gradually by decreasing your dependence and reversing the process that got you hooked. LifeSign gradually increases the intervals between cigarettes while having you smoke at times that you don’t normally smoke. This breaks the connection between the cigarette and the activity, which gradually eliminates your desire for nicotine.

YES, ISN’T IT TIME TO QUIT? YOU HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT IT

MAYBE, YOU TRIED DIFFERENT METHODS THAT DID NOT WORK,

COLD TURKEY, THE PATCH, THE GUM, PRESCRIPTION DRUGS,

BUT NONE OF THEM SEEM TO WORK COMPLETELY

These methods help some people, but they never seem to tackle the entire smoking habit at one time nor do they gradually reduce all of the connecting habits of smoking. Read here on how long does nicotine stay in your system.

There is no program out there that will withdraw you off the nicotine habit and at the same time withdraw you off the hand to mouth habit of the “light up” while still allowing you to smoke. The issue is not just removing the nicotine out of your system, this can be done over 7 days cold turkey or 8 weeks with a patch. What also is the problem in quitting is the actual habit of having the cigarette in your hand.

The phone rings, you’re on the computer, your on some kind of break: then the urge comes to “light up”, but this is not always a nicotine urge. It is a programmed conditioned urge. You have been conditioned to lighting up as well as being ADDICTED to nicotine. It’s the “light up” habit that also needs to be stopped as well…gradually.

You did not just wake up and start smoking one or two packs a day. You gradually started with a couple of cigarettes, then half a pack, then a pack and then, maybe even more. This happens gradually over time. As you gradually started to become ADDICTED to nicotine, you gradually started to become ADDICTED and conditioned to the actual “light up” and having the cigarette in your hand.

This is why other programs seem to fail people because they do not conquer both addictions gradually at the same time. On The Patch, you may feel ok, but there is also something missing. First,  your nicotine levels drop drastically. Then, you can’t light up and hold that cigarette, and of course you bottom out because you can’t smoke. These are the pitfalls of The Patch.

The Gum is virtually the same. It doesn’t take care of both habits, the nicotine habit, and the “light up” habit. It does not gradually withdraw you off both habits.

Now there is a program that has been around for a while called LifeSign. Already, world wide over
(READ THIS) 1,000,000 have sold through infomercials and mail-order distribution. You may have seen Mrs. Brady (Florence Henderson) promoting LifeSign on these infomercials. This program allows you to continue to smoke all the way to the last day. Hard to Believe? Well, it’s true. LifeSign learns your cigarette habits over 7 days and then gradually over 30 days or less reduces the amount of cigarettes you smoke a day. You hardly feel the withdrawal until your down to none (No Cigarettes). Why is this program so great? Because it gradually fights the entire smoking habit at the same time. You start to light up less and nicotine slowly starts to leave your body.

How it works

Stage 1: Preparing to quit. The first week you register your personal pattern of tobacco use. Smokers simply press the smoke button each time a cigarette is smoked. Dippers or chewers press the button when putting the tobacco in your mouth and when taking it out. The innovative software program built into the LifeSign computer registers your personal pattern of tobacco use and calculates a specific program for quitting that is unique to you.

Stage 2: Quitting. LifeSign automatically signals you when to smoke or chew tobacco. It actually makes the decision for you, timed specifically for your smoking, or chewing pattern.

Stage 2, Depending on your habit, this program will last approximately two to five weeks. It took you years to build up your habit …it will take a few weeks to gradually quit. The Program Guide will give you support and facts. You’ll learn how to replace cigarettes or chewing tobacco with things that work better for you …not against you.

Stage 3: Living tobacco-free. Once you have quit smoking, dipping or chewing, the Program Guide will help you focus on growing stronger and healthier. This lifesaving program also offers you a free Hotline support service.

 

The history of coffee is as rich as the brew

The history of coffee dates back to more than a thousand years ago. As I read in Starbucks once, the history of coffee is as rich as the brew itself.

Let’s go way back and begin by talking about the legend itself. Did you know goats roaming in the hills of Ethiopia over a thousand years ago, discovered coffee and got buzzed? The legend tells the story of a shepherd named Kaldi, who observed the goats acting very unusual after eating red berries from a bush.

Kaldi was very curious about the behavior of the goats and when he realized the goats did not die from consuming the berries, he himself wanted to see what reaction he would get if he ate them. To his pleasant surprise he found he had been re-energized and exhilarated.

Now this is just a legend, but I don’t think we will ever know how much of this is true. The legend goes on to tell us the monks were so intrigued by the behavior of the goats and Kaldi, that they also began eating the berries. The monks had some reservations since they believed it was the devils fruit but they believed it would help to keep them awake during their all night inspiration of prayers.

Kaldi soon spread the word and coffee became a part of the Ethiopian culture. As a matter of fact, an Arabian physician named Rhazes mentions coffee in print in the tenth century. However, it was not called coffee, it was called Bunn. It was believed that the beans and leaves of the bushes were chewed but the Ethiopians quickly brewed the leaves and berries with boiled water that tasted very much like a weak tea. As they continued to experiment with the beans, someone roasted and grounded them sometime in the 16th century. Bravo! Coffee was born.

It did not take long before the word spread through trade across the Red Sea with the Arabs who took to the stimulating drink. This is where it rose to the elixir it became, in Yemen, a province in Arabia. Coffee plantations in Yemen were perfectly grown on slopes rising above sea level. Thick mists ascended from the low coast regions allowing protection from the hot sun. The mists would disappear in the evening when the sun went down allowing the plantations to maintain equal temperatures.

By the 13th century, Muslims were drinking coffee religiously. Before long, coffee went to North Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and India. By the fifteenth century, coffee was known in Persia, Egypt, Syria and Turkey. However, Arabia controlled the industry for several centuries and only exported roasted, infertile beans to trading partners in both Europe and Asia.

The drink gained so much popularity that it became a “hot” commodity, and people began to smuggle the coffee. In 1616, the Dutch smuggled trees to Holland and being one of the world’s largest shipping trade at that time, it was easy to do.

In the mid 1600’s coffee had reached the British and took London by storm. The first coffee advertisement was made upon the opening of a coffeehouse by a Greek, Pasqua Rosee. It was called “The Vertue of the COFFEE Drink” and said:

A simple innocent thing, composed into a Drink, by being dryed in an Oven, and ground to Powder, and boiled up with Spring water, and about half a pint of it to be drunk, lasting an hour before, and not Eating an hour after, and to be taken as hot as possibly can be endured.
Pasqua Rosee also claimed that the drink would aid in many ailments such as curing headaches, gout, coughs and prevents miscarriages. He stated the following:

“It will prevent Drowsiness, and make one fit for business, if one have occasion to Watch; and therefore you are not to Drink of it after Supper unless you intend to be watchful for it will hinder sleep for 3 or 4 hours”

In the early 1700’s, coffee finally reached many other countries like Germany and France and soon coffeehouses were established gaining popularity in many German cities.
By 1750, coffee trees were growing on five continents and known for a quick pick me up or an aid to sobering up the heavy alcohol abusers in Europe. It also began to be known as a social drink.

Cultivation was happening all over, the French managed to get shrubs and established plantations and the French and the Dutch founded huge coffee plantations in South America and guarded their crop. In Guatemala and El Salvador, coffee cultivation exploded in growth and inequality with plantations being owned by the wealthy and mistreatment of the population. In Costa Rica, cultivation resulted in democracy, small farms and slow but steady growth.

However, it was Brazil who began coffee cultivation in 1727 and was to become the largest coffee growing nation. Columbia became the second largest coffee exporter. Brazil accounted for 66 percent of coffee exports while 30 percent of coffee came from Africa.

So what was happening here in America? Well in 1777, over a hundred women in Boston raided a food warehouse for coffee. In the early 1800’s particularly after the War of 1812, the taste for coffee here in America was becoming very hungry. In the mid nineteenth century, people bought coffee beans from local general stores that purchased them in bulk from the West or East Indies.

Women roasted the beans by frying them on their stoves constantly stirring. This did not work very well and beans were eventually grounded in a manufacturing coffee mill. Women would usually brew by boiling grounds in water and drink when grounds settled on the bottom.

In 100 years, coffee became a commodity crop throughout the world. Fortunes were made and fortunes were lost as not all crops flourished. Coffee by the 18th century was one of the world’s most profitable export crops.

By 1898 2,000,000,000 pounds of coffee was produced and Brazil accounted for 70 percent. The coffee industry was booming by the late 1800’s allowing for large companies to import and make huge profit gains but with substantial risks.

Dominating importers such as B.G. Arnold and Bowie Dash & Co., of New York and O.G. Kimball & Co. of Boston otherwise known as “Trinity” were described as ruling the coffee market for the United States for ten years. The firm made millions but ended in 1880 after the death of O.G. Kimball.

It became clear in 1878 that Brazil was gaining market share that could not be competed with. It was reported after the Kimball’s death the company had liabilities in excess of $1,400,000. Losses related to coffee had amounted to $7 million and $3 million was reported lost in the following year. The history of coffee trade in this country was a record loss and the company went bankrupt.

A year later, an exchange was created in New York with B.G. Arnold as president and soon became the center of world attention. Prices were increased, buying and selling was happening but it was a syndicate in Brazil that boomed the market closing above 21 cents by June of 1887.

By December, the price plummeted to 16 cents and was known as “the slaughter of the bulls”. It was Hermann Sielcken of W. H. Crossman & Brother that purchased 100,000 bags at declining prices and was proclaimed as the one who saved the market bringing the price back up.

Soon coffee exchanges in Europe were responding very quickly with the New York Coffee Exchange tracking the daily price for deliveries comparing with previous prices. Up and through the early 1900’s the exchange suffered its ups and downs as competition lured the market.

In 1909 Sielcken purchased the Woolson Spice Company for $869,000 and made himself a millionaire and saved the Brazilian coffee industry. . Woolson Spice was an ailing company that was purchased by the deceased H. O. Havemeyer who purchased the company for more than $2M and lost $15 million.

Sielcken got a bargain on this deal and turned it around by putting together a consortium of German and British banks and coffee merchants. The syndicate had negotiated loans and used the coffee as security with Brazil. The prices remained stagnant at 7 cents per pound and Sielcken claimed it was the best loans he had ever known but Brazil had mortgaged itself to the syndicate. Sielcken was known as the Coffee King who made millions through the Brazilian vaporization scheme.

Price wars began and Sielcken was sued by the U.S. Attorney General, J. C. McReynolds citing he was manipulating the coffee industry with the Brazilian government. As a result of this legal battle, taxes were abandoned on new plantings and it was clear that Brazil was not immune to competition from other coffee growing countries. Brazil no longer dominated the coffee world as it slowly eroded. The suit was dismissed in early 1913 but nevertheless, Sielcken was a millionaire with an estate valued at over $4 million at the time of his death.

In the early 1900’s Coca Cola came to the legal ground as the cousin of coffee claiming the common drug of caffeine was a prime ingredient in the soft drink. The Judge in the case cited that whether caffeine was a poison or not it was NOT an added ingredient under the law but an integral part of the formula. Coca-Cola won the case proving all testimony was irrelevant.

With all the speculation and controversy surrounding the now called “drug” caffeine, decaf was created. In 1906, shortly after a famous agronomist Luther Burbank claimed his father’s death was as a result of the so called “poison” caffeine, Ludwig Roselius, a German merchant was successful in extracting the caffeine from green beans by superheating them with steam, then flooding them with the solvent benzol.

He patented the process and formed his company in 1906. In Germany it was known as Kaffee Hag and in France it was known as Sanka. Here in the United States it was known as Dekafa from the Merck drug company.

Before coffee, it was Ivory Soap, Listerine and Coca-Cola that claimed the market since coffee was a difficult distribution. Folgers, Hills Brothers, Maxwell House, Chase & Sanborn, Arbuckle Brothers were the visionary coffee companies established. Arbuckle had the Yuban brand but sold it to General Foods because it refused to pay for a national campaign resulting in it fading from the market.

The greatest threat was Eight O’clock Coffee, a private brand from A & P that held its position for privately labeled brands in years to come as it expanded its chain of grocery stores.

In 1921, it was Teddy Roosevelt who supposedly claimed Maxwell House Coffee to be “good to the last drop” but this was done through an advertisement leading one to believe that Mr. Roosevelt did not really make this statement. However, this slogan is still used today in the Maxwell House advertising campaigns.

As the years went by through WWII, coffee was exploding and new brands were being created as well as slogans. Price wars were still going on through the 1980’s and ad campaigns and slogans were all over the world.

Chock full o’ Nuts came out with:

“Chock full o’ Nuts is that heavenly coffee, Heavenly coffee, heavenly coffee; Chock full o’ Nuts is that heavenly coffee, better coffee Rockefeller’s money can’t buy”

On November 14, 1949, the New York Times stated:

Over second and third cups flow matters of high finance, high state, common gossip and low comedy. Coffee is a social binder, a warmer of tongues, a soberer of minds, a stimulant of wit, a foiler of sleep if you want it so. From roadside mugs to the classic demitasse, it is the perfect democrat.

The 1952 Coffee Annual is quoted as saying

“There’s every sign that coffee will remain the country’s leading beverage forever” – Wow that was right on.

There was a 1921 ad

That coffee always provided a pick-me-up that helps workers get through the day providing a drug instead of rest according to many critics. The ad shows a worker drinking a cup of coffee and at the bottom of the ad it states “Coffee An Aid to Factory Efficiency”.

Ads were in magazines, newspapers, television and radio and became a huge campaign. Chase & Sanborn became well known as it launched its jitterbug craze at the New York World’s Fair in 1939.

In 1941, Eleanor Roosevelt had a radio show every Sunday evening called “Over Our Coffee Cups”

sponsored by the Pan American Coffee Bureau. Displayed above her at the studio was a sign that said “Get More Out of Life with Coffee – The Americans Favorite Drink”

Frank Sinatra

Frank once sang, “The Coffee Song” and during the fifties coffee became accepted in America.

Jim Henson

Did you know that Jim Henson, the famous muppeteer launched his career by doing coffee ads for Wilkins Coffee using the puppet Wontkins.

Creativity was taken on a new task as we were introduced to Latte’s and the like with flavored beans. When Starbucks launched its IPO in June of 1992 it was on everyone’s radar. Starbucks was aggressive and was to rule the world succeeding in becoming one of the global coffee giants as the largest leading coffeehouses.

Let’s rule out some of the myths that still exist today around the effects of caffeine and some of those concern heart disease, ulcers, and possibly cancer. There are no studies that suggest any long term risks, although coffee is often thought of as a stimulant.

Years ago, actor Robert Young campaigned for Sanka decaf advertisements. With the myths surrounding coffee and its reputation for being a “drug”, Robert Young was the perfect choice with shows like Father Knows Best and Marcus Welby, M.D. giving advice to avoid caffeine.

Of course everything we ingest should be taken in moderation; that is common sense. Coffee and caffeine have been implicated in a number of ailments but studies failed to confirm negative findings.

After several hours of research on this topic, I found myself spending the most time reading the very extensive work done by the author Mark Pendergrast. In his book “Uncommon Grounds” he gives a very detailed history of Coffee after spending three years traveling and researching this subject.

The complete history of coffee is such an interesting story from where it began to where it is today. No article can come near the details of all the issues that surrounded this market throughout the years than what I have found in this reading.

I highly recommend Mark Pendergrast’s book as you will truly find it all so fascinating.
I would like to close with this statement made by Mark Pendergrast located in the last paragraph of his book as it seems so appropriate.

“Only one thing is certain about coffee, though. Wherever it is grown, sold, brewed, and consumed, there will be lively controversy, strong opinions, and good conversation. “The best stories are told over coffee” wrote a wise commentator in 1902, “as the aroma of the coffee opens the portals of the soul, and the story, long hidden is winged for posterity.”

It couldn’t’ be said better than that.

Today, mostly all of us all enjoy a nice cup of coffee. Whether it is a cuppa joe, java, cuppa brew; cuppa jolt; mud or high test, this writer needs a cup first thing in the morning.

Whether it be decaf, caffeinated, flavored, roasted of whatever suits your fancy, we all have to admit that it is the first thing we look for in the morning to get us all jump started. For some of us, it is also the first thing we look for in mid afternoon when we get that tired feeling around 3:00 p.m. and need the quick pick me up.

Okay, so some of us drink it with our dessert after dinner too…..

Resources:
Mark Pendergrast, Uncommon Ground, New York, Basic Books, 1999
WWW – Coffee Universe, HISTORY OF COFFEE, www.coffeeuniverse.com
WWW Big Site of Amazing Facts HISTORY OF COFFEE, www.bigsiteofamazingfacts.com
WWW Starbucks THE ROAST STORY, www.starbucks.com
WWW National Geographic’s COFFEE, www.nationalgeographic.com
WWW National Coffee Association of USA, Inc., THE HISTORY OF COFFEE, www.ncausa.org

Source:

  1. History of coffee
  2. TLC Diet
  3. The History of Coffee | Starbucks Coffee Australia

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The best Drink for a Hot Day at the Beach

As we know, during the summer many people celebrate their day at the beach by consuming large quantities of beer, wine or alcohol related mixed drinks.  In reality, alcoholic beverages may be the worst possible choice for having fun under the hot summer sun.  Humans, basking or playing under the burning summer sun, will dehydrate more quickly.

The best drink for a hot day at the beach is a nice cold bottle or cup of fresh water.  Under normal conditions most people require at least 2 liters of water each day; however, during the summer months being under the hot sun will require more water intake.  The human body is comprised approximately of 60 percent water,  As we lose water daily, we must replace it gradually and consistently throughout the day.  Approximately, 20 percent of our daily water replacement is provided by the foods we eat.  The rest of our water replacement must be accomplished by drinking water or fluids that have water in them.

Without a continuous supply of water, our body would go into shock from dehydration.  Especially in summer heat, dehydration does not take very long to occur.  Dehydration remains one of the worst problems during the summer months at beaches.  The loss of salts, vitamins and minerals increases the likelihood of dehydration.  In order to maintain your body’s peak performance during hot weather, electrolyte supplements or electrolyte drinks, such as Gatorade, G2 and others, are a wonderful aid to divert dehydration and energy meltdown. 

Many people like to drink juices but most have a high content of natural or added sugar, which may increase the possibility of dehydration.  Most soda or soda pop has high levels of sugar and/or caffeine, which also adds to dehydration.  Tea and coffee also have high levels of caffeine.  So while many people like to enjoy beer, wine and alcoholic mixed drinks, tea and coffee during their time at the beach, the best drink for a hot day at the beach is cold, fresh water. 

The more water you drink during your stay at the beach the better your body will perform under the blazing summer sun.  Water with some electrolyte supplements will keep your body functioning at peak performance and will prevent dehydration, which could lead to other more critical and debilitating issues.  Drinking water and letting your body hydrate consistently under the hot summer sun will make your day at the beach more enjoyable.

Source:

  1. 1000+ ideas about Beach Alcoholic Drinks on Pinterest | Alcoholic …
  2. Butter for a Healthy Holiday
  3. Ten Cool Summer Cocktails – Forbes

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Why Food is the Ultimate Gift

Why is food the ultimate gift? Because everyone eats. Not only does everyone eat, we all need food as fuel for our bodies to function properly. In this age of health consciousness, what a better gift to give someone than the very energy their bodies need to stay healthy and active.

There are so many different varieties of food available and so many ways to present them. With all the cooking accessories to go with them, you could put together the ultimate gift of food for anyone with just a little thought. And it is possible to give a gift of food for any occasion.

Children love gifts of food, especially if it is already prepared. Give them Fruit of the Month baskets or a gift card to their favorite restaurant or ice cream parlor. Home-made cookies or other treats are always appreciated, even if they are healthy snacks.

Teenagers may want to receive the Pizza of the Month. Older children sometimes like to have cook books that have the recipes they like. This way they can prepare their own favorites whenever they like. You could also tailor the gifts to their individual tastes. If your nephew is a burger-holic, for example, give him a cook book of the best burgers. If your sister is a vegetarian, give her a meat free recipe book, etc.

Adults are a little easier to please. They will accept any gifts of food, from jars of jelly,(home-made or not), to elaborate gift baskets of their favorite foods. You can even go so far as to give them mail order meat, veggies or seafood. If you know someone who loves to barbecue, give him a meat sampler with seasonings and utensils for his birthday or Father’s Day. You could give your friend who likes to bake a set of cake pans, some decorating tools and assorted flours, flavorings and a cake baking book for Christmas. You could even give an elderly or handicapped person a gift of food from some of the many businesses that deliver the food already cooked and frozen to their homes. All they have to do is re-heat and eat. These can be arranged to arrive all year round. Needless to say, the possibilities are endless.

Food is always the ultimate gift because everyone HAS to eat, and if you know what someone likes, you can help provide them with not only food they need, but food they want and like as well.

Source:

  1. The Ultimate Gift Guide For Food Lovers And Cooks – Huffington Post
  2. How to Get Off Coffee
  3. Amazon.com: The Ultimate Gift: Drew Fuller, James Garner, Abigail …

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Whisky Scotch Scottish Scotland Whiskey Alcohol Drinking

The first thing one must do when drinking ‘scotch’ is to make sure that it is indeed, scotch. Something calling itself “a Scottish whiskey” is likely neither Scottish nor a good whisky. A note declaring “distilled and bottled in Scotland” is a different matter.

Drinking from a tulip shaped glass, or a snifter, is the best way to enjoy a god whisky. There are glasses designed just for whisky, however, if you cannot find one of these then anything with a wider base than top will suffice. The narrow top allows the aromas to gather and will prevent you from taking gulps of whisky, forcing you to sip and savour it; the only good way to enjoy any good whisky. Sip, savour and wait for the ‘finish’ or aftertaste.

Those, I’m afraid, are the only certainties when trying a scotch whisky for the first time. Do not let anyone persuade you that there is a single way to enjoy all whiskies; there is not. Every whisky is different. Every single one of them. Your own palate will also prefer one way of drinking to another. However, to get started on the drinking…

Smell your whiskey once it is in the glass. Think about those smells, try to describe them. Is it smokey, peaty, crisp, heady, fruity? The more time you put into considering your whiskey, the more you will get out of it (and the longer it will last). Swill it around the glass, take another sniff. Notice anything different?

Now look at your whisky, let it swirl gently around the glass. See how it clings to the sides and creates little rivulets? The mark of a fine scotch. Now, again, try to describe what it looks like. Is it clear, honey coloured, pale, dark?

Here is where we get a little more complicated. Most scotch whiskys are best served at room temperature, however, some people will prefer them cold. Some will be more appealing neat, some with a little water and others with ice. Some scotch works best with a lot of water and ice; a way of drinking whisky that is popular in Japan and known as “mizuwari.” However, there is no telling exactly how you will prefer any particular scotch; so start neat and work from there. If you are in a bar then ask the bartender for advice on serving, but do not take his word on the best way to drink any whisky; just try it out for yourself.

Personally, I prefer most scotch at room temperature with a little water, but there are exceptions. Contrary to popular belief, a few drops of water does not dilute the taste of scotch. It does, in fact, enhance many whiskys. The addition of pure, cold water will allow new flavours and aromas to be released, changing the taste and bouquet. You can actually see the reaction take place in the glass as the water hits the whisky. This will not always improve the whisky for your particular palate, but it is worth testing, just to discover the vast difference it can make.

The taste of a scotch will not only depend upon how long it has been in the cask (though the length of time spent in the bottle will change nothing) but also where that cask was. An Islay whisky will likely be smokey and heavy. A Highland will probably be light and crisp. A Speyside might be salty. Once you know what kind of taste you prefer (I like a peaty, smokey scotch) then you can look out for other whiskies from the same area, or with a similar description.

Just remember the basics; start neat and warm. If the scotch has been served to you cold, let your hands warm it.

Do not stick to one particular way of drinking.

Do not be afraid to admit to liking a mixed whisky, some can be better than the odd single malt.

Work your way around Scotland and do not stick to one type of scotch; they are all worth trying out and each will give you different experience.

Enjoy!

Source:

  1. Scotch whisky
  2. Dandelion Greens Health Benefits
  3. Know your Whiskey: The Difference between Bourbon, Scotch, Rye …

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Sweet Potato Casserole Ideas

Sweet potatoes have many health benefits. Sweet potatoes are high in complex carbohydrates, beta carotene, potassium, folic acid, vitamin C and vitamin B6.

Sweet potatoes are very important in traditional southern dishes. If you sit down to a Sunday table in the south, more than likely you will find a sweet potato casserole on the table. Every good southern girl knows how to prepare one for her special guests and also for special holidays such as Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. There are many variations of sweet potato casseroles. Most sweet potato casserole dishes have been handed down from generation to generation. Each generation may add its own special ingredient or it may vary slightly.

Sweet potato casseroles can be made using fresh sweet potatoes or canned sweet potatoes. Whatever you decide to use, the aroma of this delicious casserole will make your mouth water and delightfully tempt your taste buds. After you’ve tasted it, you’ll be sure to want another helping.

Sweet Potato Casserole

6 sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sweet milk
1/2 stick margarine, melted
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Topping

1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup flour
1 cup pecans
1 stick butter, melted

In a large stockpot, cover sweet potatoes with 1 inch of water; boil for 20 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain, allow to cool and remove skins.
Preheat oven to 350 degree. Grease or butter one 2 quart casserole dish.
Place potatoes in a mixing bowl and with an electric mixer, beat on low speed until potatoes begin to break up. Increase speed to medium high and blend until smooth.
Reduce speed and add sugar, eggs, milk, margarine, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour mixture into the casserole dish.

Prepare topping by mixing topping ingredients. Sprinkle on top of sweet potatoes mixture.
Mix will be a little stiff. You can also sprinkle mini marshmallows on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until hot and browned. Serves 6.

Sweet Potato Casserole

1/2 stick margarine, melted
1 can sweet potatoes
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sugar

Mix all ingredients and place in a casserole dish.

Topping

1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 stick margarine, melted
1 small can crushed pineapple

Mix all ingredients and spoon over the top of the sweet potato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes. Serves 4-6.

Source:

  1. Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe – Allrecipes.com
  2. Ideal Protein Products
  3. Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe | MyRecipes.com

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Vegetarian Recipes

CHEESE AND TOMATO PASTA

This is a good filling meal but it wont break the bank and does not take too long to prepare.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

500g pasta
2 cans of tinned tomatoes
3 large onions
100g tomato puree
4 cloves of garlic
5 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
400g medium cheddar cheese
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
4 pints water
black pepper to taste

Put pasta in saucepan add salt and water, boil until pasta has softened.
Meanwhile make sauce as follows :-

Chop onions and press or chop garlic.
Place in a large pan and fry gently in the olive oil until softened but not browned.
Add tinned tomatoes, dried herbs, sugar and tomato puree.
Stir well together and cook for about 10 mins at medium heat.

While this is cooking grate cheese.
Drain pasta and put onto dinner plates.
Pour sauce over pasta.
Sprinkle grated cheese on top.
Sprinkle black pepper to your taste over cheese.

Source:

  1. Vegetarian Recipes – Allrecipes.com
  2. Magic Bullet Reviews
  3. 80 Vegetarian Dinner Recipes – Easy Ideas for Vegetarian Meals …

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Suggestions for Cooking with Leeks

Leeks have a funny-sounding name and most people don’t know a thing about them, except that they look as funny as their name sounds. But the truth of the matter is, the leek is a delicious vegetable that has a variety of uses.

If you have ever cooked with an onion, then you can certainly start cooking with leeks. Leeks are a wonderful substitute for any member of the onion family if you want something with only a mild onion taste. My favorite soup recipe is a potato and leek soup; it’s absolutely delicious and it’s amazingly simple to make, which I’m sure will make it a favorite in your book, too.

To make a potato and leek soup, you’ll need a few potatoes and two leek sheaths. You might also want to add a couple of cloves of garlic, but the most important part of this soup is really the leeks. You might want to choose potatoes that are great for soups, such as golden potatoes. But, if you don’t have these on hand and you have russets, feel free to use them. First, you have to cut up your ingredients. Chop the leeks as you would if you were chopping celery. Put the leeks in a colander and wash thoroughly, since this vegetable grows in the dirt. Do the same to your potatoes. In a big pot, heat a couple of pats of butter. Add your garlic, if you’re adding any. When the garlic is aromatic, add the onions and leeks. Sautee until the leeks are softened. Now, add enough water to fill the pot a little less than half of the way. You want enough water to cover the potatoes, and then some extra. Allow to boil. Once it has boiled, turn the heat off, and let stand to cool a bit so you can blend the ingredients together (either using a hand blender or a tabletop blender). Garnish with chives, cream, or parsley.

For a twist on your omelets, try adding leeks instead of onions. For a more sophisticated flavor to your pot roasts, barbeques, etc., try adding leeks. They impart a unique flavor that’s somewhat onion-y but has something more. Leek and onion bisque is also a wonderful dish to try if you are having company over. It’s made with heavy cream, cream cheese, white wine, sour cream, onions, and leeks. It is prepared in much the same way as the potato and leek soup, but you’ll be adding more dairy products.

Leek tarts, leek quiches, grilled and creamed leek all should also be part of your culinary repertoire. You’ll be able to surprise everybody with a type of vegetable that’s not often tasted! So, try some leeks and introduce this lesser-known member of the onion family into your home!

Source:

  1. Our Favorite Leek Recipes – Bon Appétit
  2. Are Almonds Good For You
  3. Leek Recipes | Martha Stewart

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Wal Mart Great value Extra Raisin Bran Cereal

Wal-Mart Great Value Extra Raisin Bran Cereal

For several weeks I couldn’t find my favorite cereal on the shelves of my local Wal-Mart. I nearly panicked, worrying that Wal-Mart had discontinued their Great Value Extra Raisin Bran Cereal.

Indeed, the cereal had been pulled from the shelves, but to my great relief I later found it in new packaging. This made me worry again, confronted by the question why did they change the packaging?

Rarely is a food product with extra ingredients worthy of the title. Great Value Extra Raisin Bran is an exception. Actually, it’s a very accurate description. Once I read the box, I realized that Wal-Mart changed the packaging to better reflect the quality of their product. They didn’t change the cereal, however, and that made me very happy.

I feel a little guilty promoting Wal-Mart because the mega-company is poised to rule the universe. Wal-Mart needs competition and I try to shop at other stores whenever possible. With that said, I must give Wal-Mart props for this cereal because it’s one of the few generic brands that’s cheaper AND higher quality than the name brands.

I hate buying raisin bran made by Kellogg’s and Post because they skimp on the raisins. Before I discovered Great Value Extra Raisin Bran, I was forced to add raisins. Sometimes, I would just buy plain bran flakes and add all the raisins.

Great Value Extra Raisin Bran is packed with raisins. Sometimes when I dip my spoon in and deliver a big scrumptious bite, I get hit by raisin overload and spit a few back out. This is impressive considering that I once consumed so much raisin bran that my mother warned me that I might turn into a raisin. The raisin-to-bran ratio is ridiculous and I feel that I get more than my money’s worth.

Shake the box before opening it because most of the raisins settle to the bottom. If you forget to shake it, your first bowl will be mostly flakes and your last bowl will be mostly raisins. Shake it for about thirty seconds to evenly distribute the contents.

I feel like a big dork when I shout my love for raisin bran from the rooftops. But this is a great product and it deserves more praise. If you’re a raisin bran fan like me, you can’t go wrong buying Wal-Mart’s Great Value Extra Raisin Bran Cereal.

Source:

  1. Great Value: Extra Raisin Bran Cereal, 20 Oz – Walmart.com
  2. Are You Getting Enough Vitamin C?
  3. Great Value Extra Raisin Raisin Bran Cereal, 25.5 oz – Walmart.com

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Steps to Making Bourbon

Bourbon is the quintessential American liquor. Born of the Whiskey Rebellion in the late eighteenth century, bourbon’s unique qualities are now regulated by law and include that it must be made from a mash of at least 51% corn, distilled under 160 proof, and aged at least two years in charred new oak barrels. Although location is not regulated, most bourbon producers are in Kentucky, where they find the spring water has the ideal mineral balance for the taste of bourbon.

Bourbon begins with a mixture of ground grains known as a “mashbill.” Most bourbon is 60 to 80% corn, with smaller quantities of rye and malted barley. A few distillers use a small amount of wheat. The grains are ground into a very fine flour.

The grain is cooked into a mash. Each type of grain requires different cooking times and temperatures, and each grain is added to the cooker at a different point in the process. After cooking, the mash is cooled.

When water is added to the mash, the resulting mixture has a neutral pH, which doesn’t allow the yeast to work. To acidify the mixture, brewers add some of the stillage, the residue from the prior distillation, to the mash. The result is a slightly acidic mix where the yeast can work well. The acidic stillage is known as sour mash or backset.

Each distiller has its own yeast stock. Some of these yeast strains date back to before prohibition and are closely guarded secrets. Different yeasts produce different flavors, so each bourbon recipe has its own blend.

The cooled mash is placed in a fermenter with selected yeast. Yeast acts on the mash to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. After a few days, a “distiller’s beer” of approximately 12 proof comes out of this process.

The “beer” is heated and pumped into the top of a column still. Steam is forced up from the bottom of the still. When the steam meets the beer, the alcohol portion vaporizes and rises to the top of the column, where it is caught and recondensed. This intermediary stage is known as “low wine.”

The residual mash left at the bottom of the still is called stillage. Most of it is sold as animal feed and a small portion is used in the process as “sour mash.”

Most bourbons are distilled twice. The second distillation is done in a smaller still, though it is exactly the same process, and results in a higher proof product known as “high wine.”

Bourbon is aged in American oak barrels that are first “toasted,” a process that caramelizes the sugar in the wood, and then charred on the inside to produce a layer of charcoal. Barrels may only be used once to make bourbon.

Once the bourbon has aged to the satisfaction of the distiller, the barrels are emptied, and the bourbon is filtered to remove any impurities, such as charcoal residue from the barrels. The filtered liquid is then bottled in various types and sizes of containers.

Beyond this basic process, the details of production are what give each bourbon unique taste. The exact mixture of grains, the yeast strains used, the rotation of barrels during storage – all these factors go into making that precise liquid that you pour in to your glass and enjoy.

Source:

  1. Bourbon whiskey
  2. Are Onions Good For You
  3. How Bourbon Whiskey Is Made – Whisky.com

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Southern Collard Greens Hamhocks

This recipe is an old family favorite. Collard greens are a southern comfort food thats always a crowd pleaser at family functions such as Sunday dinners, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter or just with a nice mid-week soul food dinner. The seasonings here a basic guideline. The garlic I’ve added is not usually found in most recipes, but I’m a garlic lover and I think it adds a nice layer of flavor. You can certainly leave it out or reduce it to one clove if you enjoy more traditional greens. The bell pepper is also a little untraditional, but its one of my mother’s secret touches, and it doesn’t take much to make a distinctive difference. People always ask, “What is that, I like it?”

Remember that collard greens shrink substantially so take that into account if you’re serving a large crowd. Now, the key to great collard greens is seasoning them to your taste and cooking them long enough to bring the full flavor potential out of the dish. Cook them early and let them rest so that the flavors can meld and get happy with each other in there. Getting collards right can seem like a ritual only known to grandmas and favorite aunts, but with patience and the right recipe, yours can be just as good as the collards Mama used to make! Enjoy!

2 large bunches collard greens

6 cups of water

2 hamhocks

1 can of chicken or vegetable broth

2 cloves garlic chopped

1/4 cup bell pepper chopped fine or grated

2 tbsp salt

2 tbsp pepper

apple cider vinegar (optional)

2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Pull the leaves of the collards from the stem and soak in salt or baking soda for 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly. Strain the water from leaves and set aside. Bring water to boil in a large pot. Add salt and hamhocks to water. Reduce heat to medium to medium – high, cover the pot, and simmer (not boil) until fork tender. (Approx 1 hour)

Remove one or both hamhocks and begin pulling meat from the bone. Add broth, collards, pulled meat, bell pepper, garlic, and pepper to pot. Simmer (covered) on medium- low to medium for about 45 minutes, or until collards are desired texture. Stir occasionally, testing seasonings for more salt and pepper. (Leaving one of the hamhocks in the pot will add more flavor) Cook longer for softer texture.

When collards are desired texture, turn heat to low and add crushed red pepper and/or a splash of apple cider vinegar to taste.

Source:

  1. Collard Greens Recipe : Paula Deen : Food Network
  2. Cookie Diets are a Recipe for Weight Loss
  3. Southern Style Collard Greens Recipe – Allrecipes.com

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