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    Wednesday, 26 August 2009

    AAA Fruit Baskets

    Shop Fruit Baskets Now.Have you ever given a fruit basket to someone as a gift or to say thank you for something and then heard that the fruit that they received was bruised or spoiled? That is such an embarrassing experience and a complete waste of money at the same time. There are many different companies out there who sell fruit baskets but it is best to check out a few things first before choosing a company. This article will just mention a couple of things to keep in mind.

    First, find out who will be making the fruit basket. There are some companies who will outsource the fruit basket to the floral shop nearest to the recipient. The florist will be paid for making the arrangement and it is up to him or her to shop for the fruit and other cheeses nuts and wine that will go into the basket. They only have the fruit that is available at the grocery store they are shopping at.

    A better alternative is if the company you choose is in business through their own orchard. They will grow the fruit themselves which usually is a better selection of fruit than at a grocery store. Then they will package it and ship it to you. This is one way to keep the price of the basket as low as you can.

    Hope these tips have taught you a little more about fruit baskets. Next time you are shopping for a fruit basket, remember to check into where the fruit will be coming from and who will be in charge of delivering it.

    Fruit and Gourmet Baskets
    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 08:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Tuesday, 25 August 2009
    For those parents who've gotten their kids interested and participating in the kitchen, congratulations. The next dilemma is of course whether a particular recipe matches a child's skills and age, because a child who wants to help in the kitchen will only be frustrated if they're told they can't.
    If your child is old enough and has mastered basic cooking skills under supervision, perhaps it's time to introduce them to the joy and satisfaction of scratch cooking. I was shown this recipe when I was a boy and wanted to make a birthday gift for a family member. I think it's a great one for kids for several reasons:

    It has few steps, so it keeps their attention and boosts their confidence
    It's a simple "one-bowl, one-pan" recipe
    It's chocolate cake!
    In fact, a family member's birthday is an ideal time to suggest this recipe to the child who likes to cook. While you're at it, give them the freedom to decorate their masterpiece with whatever frosting or icing they choose -- and with other edible decorations from home or the store. Both you and your child will be extremely proud of their accomplishment -- and of course, again, everyone wins, right? Because did I already mention we're talking about chocolate cake here? (Wait -- did I already tell you how much I like chocolate cake?)

    [INSERT YOUR CHILD'S NAME]'S CHOCOLATE CAKE

    Serves 12

    4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped or broken into pieces
    1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
    1 2/3 cup boiling water
    2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
    2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    Grease and flour a 9-x-13-inch baking pan. In a large mixing bowl (to save time, just use the bowl that attaches to your countertop mixer), combine the chocolate, butter, and water. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the remaining ingredients and beat at low speed with an electric mixer until smooth.

    Pour batter into the prepared pan.

    Bake 35-40 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the cake's center comes out clean.

    Remove from oven and completely cool cake in the pan on a wire rack. Add frosting and decorations of your choice, then serve.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 09:08 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Monday, 10 August 2009

    Pocketbobs

    Anything that is handmade by you makes it more personalized and special for the one you are going to give your gift to. So if you are going to give jewelry as a gift to your loved one, then you may look into purchasing a handmade silver jewelry as one of your gift options.

    But before you purchase handcrafted jewelry, you have to consider to whom will you be giving these jewelries for. Since these are handcrafted jewelry, they may have come from one's own personal view and personal choice of craft. You may base your choice of jewelry depending on the occasion or what you think the person would like to get for that specific occasion. Whether it's a wedding anniversary gift, a birthday gift, or a valentine gift, you should give careful consideration to the occasion before purchasing the perfect gift.

    There are various collections of handmade silver jewelry for you, from necklaces, pedants, rings, bracelets, earrings, watches, and even Tiffany inspired jewelry. If you will be giving a necklace to your wife, you may look into the most common types of handcrafted necklaces that your wife may love to have, like bow necklaces, Buddha necklaces, or charm necklaces.

    Now, if you opt to choose silver jewelry that has been handcrafted elsewhere, you may opt to purchase ethnic jewelries which came from the Middle East. But you don't actually have to go there to buy these jewelries. There are jewelry stores which offers imported ethnic jewelries which may as well cost more than ordinary handcrafted jewelry collections.

    You may also opt to create your own handmade silver jewelry which can be a perfect hobby. However you will need guidance from a professional silversmith to help you create your own jewelry . You will have to follow certain instructions to help you out in handcrafting your own jewelry.

    There are many ways to acquire the best silver jewelry that can be handcrafted by you or anybody else who would like to give a personal touch to their special gift. It is easier to get hold of these jewelries, for there are a lot of options where to get them from -- even online. Try shopping online and search for the perfect piece of jewelry for that perfect gift.

    Pocketbobs
    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 05:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Monday, 10 August 2009

    Pocketbobs

    Anything that is handmade by you makes it more personalized and special for the one you are going to give your gift to. So if you are going to give jewelry as a gift to your loved one, then you may look into purchasing a handmade silver jewelry as one of your gift options.

    But before you purchase handcrafted jewelry, you have to consider to whom will you be giving these jewelries for. Since these are handcrafted jewelry, they may have come from one's own personal view and personal choice of craft. You may base your choice of jewelry depending on the occasion or what you think the person would like to get for that specific occasion. Whether it's a wedding anniversary gift, a birthday gift, or a valentine gift, you should give careful consideration to the occasion before purchasing the perfect gift.

    There are various collections of handmade silver jewelry for you, from necklaces, pedants, rings, bracelets, earrings, watches, and even Tiffany inspired jewelry. If you will be giving a necklace to your wife, you may look into the most common types of handcrafted necklaces that your wife may love to have, like bow necklaces, Buddha necklaces, or charm necklaces.

    Now, if you opt to choose silver jewelry that has been handcrafted elsewhere, you may opt to purchase ethnic jewelries which came from the Middle East. But you don't actually have to go there to buy these jewelries. There are jewelry stores which offers imported ethnic jewelries which may as well cost more than ordinary handcrafted jewelry collections.

    You may also opt to create your own handmade silver jewelry which can be a perfect hobby. However you will need guidance from a professional silversmith to help you create your own jewelry . You will have to follow certain instructions to help you out in handcrafting your own jewelry.

    There are many ways to acquire the best silver jewelry that can be handcrafted by you or anybody else who would like to give a personal touch to their special gift. It is easier to get hold of these jewelries, for there are a lot of options where to get them from -- even online. Try shopping online and search for the perfect piece of jewelry for that perfect gift.

    Pocketbobs
    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 05:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Monday, 10 August 2009

    Politely placing the napkin on your lap and keeping your elbows off the table may be the etiquette essentials here in the good ol' USA but when it comes to hanging with friends and colleagues around the world, etiquette often takes on new meanings. Foxy talked to some international friends and did some digging on Kwintessential.com to find these important tips to keep in mind before you socialize or break bread with pals from across the ponds.

    Coffee Break  We may gulp lattes all day long, regardless of what time it is here, but in many European countries cappuccinos and other coffee drinks made with milk are enjoyed during the morning hours only. Espresso is what's consumed in the afternoons and evenings. So, don't be surprised when you get a funny look from the waiter after ordering your double latte with extra cream after that pesto pasta lunch.

    No Ketchup Please  Many French chefs are appalled if guests add condiments like ketchup and mustard to their culinary masterpieces before taking the first bite. They think it masks the true taste of the food -- so get used to your "pommes frites" without that dousing of ketchup.

    Oops, All Gone  Here in the States, it seems we've been taught to always clear our plates. In China on the other hand, if you gobble up every last morsel it could be insulting to the host as it means that he/she hasn't provided enough food. Keep things on the up and up and leave a few bites left. We're guessing it's probably best not to ask for a doggie bag, either!

    Heads Up  In Thailand, no matter how adorable someone's child is, resist the urge to give them a friendly pat on the noggin. It's taboo to touch the head, which is a revered body part.

    No Sharing  No matter how mouthwatering your palak paneer is, offering someone a taste from your plate is a big no-no in India, since it's considered unclean. Enjoy your dinner and rave about it all you want, but keep it to yourself.

    A Few Pointers  In India, if you want to call someone over, never use your finger to point or wag -- it's seen as condescending and insulting. Instead, hold your hand out, palm down, and scoop with your fingers. You'll get much better results!

    Better Than Butter  While dining out in Spain, get used to the idea of bread without butter. Ask for it at a restaurant and you'll most likely be told they don't have any. The preferred practice is to dip bread in olive oil -- and if you ask us, it's much yummier anyway!

    A - O - K  Never give anyone in Brazil the "OK" hand signal (using your thumb and pointer finger to make an O)... it's an obscene gesture that's likely to get you labeled both ignorant and extremely offensive!

    Meat 'n' Milk 
    In Israel, unless you know otherwise, assume that a household keeps kosher. That means mixing meat and dairy is not allowed. So no milk in your coffee after a belly-busting beef dinner (and no cheese on that burger, either!).

    Sticky Splinters  We're all familiar with the wooden chopsticks you get at Asian restaurants. They come stuck together, and you snap them apart which usually leaves a few stray splinters on the end. If this happens in Japan, holding the chopsticks between your palms and loudly clattering them together is a big insult to the waiter or sushi chef because it indicates that his utensils are cheap. Instead, rub one chopstick against the other gently.

    Throw In The Towel  In a Japanese restaurant, if you're given a hot rolled towel, use it only to wipe your hands. It's generally considered rude to wipe your face with (although at more informal restaurants, people may occasionally be seen doing it).

    Service With A Smile  Here in the US, many of us are used to serving ourselves and digging in family style at meals. But in China it's common for the host to place food on the guest's plates, so resist the urge to scoop up another helping of rice -- practice sitting back and relaxing, and enjoy letting the host put you on a pedestal.

    Sole Purpose  Think twice before sitting too casually in Egypt, or even stretching out your gams. Showing the soles of your feet or shoes is considered to be terribly rude -- yes, even if you're sporting Jimmy Choos!

    Lip Service  No matter how parched your lips may be, when traveling in Zimbabwe, never lick your lips while looking at someone of the opposite sex. While it may seem innocent enough to you, they consider it an obscene gesture.

    Baby Steps  Have a friend in Russia who's expecting a babe? Go ahead and browse all you want, but don't give them anything until after the little one arrives. It's considered bad luck to do so sooner.

    Now take a look at America's Worst (and Most Common) Etiquette Mistakes.


    For more tips on living stylishly, check out The Foxy Files, and our latest book, Curves Rules And Flat Is Fabulous: Sexy, Stylish Looks For Every Figure.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 11:41 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Tuesday, 04 August 2009

    Can eating garlic ward off mosquitoes? If it's true, I'll start pounding garlic shakes right now. After enough evening barbecues with Terminator-strength DEET, I'll happily try any non-toxic solution. But before I jam cloves into a juicer, I thought I'd ask EatingWell, an expert source for good health and good food, for the answers on garlic and a few other food-related quandries.

    EatingWell's 5 Summer Food Mysteries Solved


    True or False? Eating garlic wards off mosquitoes.

    False. Researchers at the University of Connecticut tested the theory. It didn't work, but maybe because the participants didn't eat enough, say the scientists.
    Tip: Conduct your own experiment and eat as much garlic as you can with these 20+ amazing garlic recipes.


    True or False? Watermelon isn't very nutritious; it's all water!

    False. Watermelon is mostly water: 92 percent. But it also has its share of nutrients. One cup of watermelon provides good amounts of vitamin C and red watermelon contains lycopene, an antioxidant that's associated with reduced risk for certain types of cancer.
    Tip: Get some nutrients into you with these sweet & savory watermelon recipes.

     

     
    True or False? Licking ice cream is more satisfying than eating it with a spoon.

    True, according to Kay McMath, a food technologist for New Zealand's Massey University. "Flavor in ice cream is released when the fat-which carries the flavor-is warmed to at least body temperature," says McMath. When you lick ice cream it coats the tongue and fully warms the frozen treat. A spoon, on the other hand, insulates the ice cream. And then there's the psychological aspect of savoring the treat more slowly: you just cannot lick ice cream as fast as you can spoon it.
    Tip: Try these 5 recipes for healthier homemade ice cream.

     
    True or False? A piña colada can have as many calories as a cheeseburger.

    True. Both have about 400 calories. Some of summer's most popular drinks can boost your daily calorie tally substantially. A margarita has about as many calories (367) as a hot dog with cheese and chili (375). And, from a calorie perspective, drinking a wine cooler is like eating a generous scoop of potato salad.
    Tip: Get healthier recipes for your favorite summer drinks.

     
    True or False? The antioxidants in raspberries help keep your heart healthy.

    True. Two antioxidants found in raspberries -- anthocyanins (where raspberries get their red) and ellagic acid -- are associated with increased levels of "good" HDL cholesterol and lowered blood pressure, two positives when it comes to heart health. The yummy berries are also loaded with vitamin C and are high in fiber. |
    Tip: Be good to your heart with these 10 summery raspberry recipes.

    For more summer fun, check out 10 of the Freakiest Ice Creams.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 11:43 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Saturday, 01 August 2009
    After a cooking demonstration in Seattle recently, I was approached by someone who asked, "Everyone seems to be cooking with extra virgin olive oil. What's so special about it?" Well, plenty actually...

    Grades

    First, extra virgin olive oil is the highest grade of olive oil that you can buy. Ordinary olive oil and even premium virgin oils can lack taste and color because they are made in a way that is destructive to the taste of the olive. Also, beware of "light" olive oil, which is simply a variation of regular refined olive oil; the name does not mean that it offers fewer calories and fat.

    Nutrition

    Although an average tablespoon of olive oil holds around 14 grams fat, the majority of those are nutritionally beneficial monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. Butter, on the other hand, averages 12 grams of fat, and eight of those grams are saturated fat. Olive oil also wins out because it contains Vitamin E, beta-carotene, and antioxidants.

    Taste

    Taste is one of the main reasons people like to cook with olive oil instead of various vegetable oils. Oils like Canola or soybean are tasteless fats, so olive oil provides more flavor and better textural results when cooking or baking. My friend Renee Frigo, founder and CEO of Lucini Italia Co., agrees, "Tuscans have been baking with extra virgin olive oil since the 1800s. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is traditionally used in savory baked goods like focaccia bread, chestnut cake, and pizza. However, many Italian bakers use extra virgin olive oil in their cookies and cakes because it provides a moisture and silky texture that can not be achieved with butter."

    Of course, don't get me wrong. I still occasionally cook with butter and enjoy it on breakfast toast, but I also appreciate that more restaurants are serving table bread with olive oil--it's a delicious and healthier alternative.

    Selection

    Consumer demand for olive oil has created a market for increasing varieties and selection. Those with experienced palates shop for olive oil like they would wine and can find bottles with their favorite flavors by understanding growing regions, as well as the quality and season of harvest.
    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 01:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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