Brewing Coffee – Tips For the Best Pot Ever

There is nothing like the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning. You drink it every morning. It awakens your senses, perks you up, and rejuvenates you for a long day ahead.

Coffee making is not a rocket science, but making a perfect cup is a combination of art and finesse.

You can acquire the expertise of coffee making if you keep a few things in mind while brewing your perfect cup of joe. Here are some of the tips which will help you make the best pot ever.

The first thing is to buy a good coffee maker. With various brands and models available in the market, it is often difficult to figure out what to buy, so the best way to avoid this confusion is to shortlist some products, go through the online reviews of these analyzing their key features, additional features, and pros and cons, etc., before making a choice.

The most important ingredient in coffee making is beans. It is best to buy whole beans and grind them just before use. Although, it is quite a tedious thing rather than using a teaspoon or 2 of coffee powder, but the difference in taste is the reward of your hard work.

If your coffee still doesn’t taste good, water maybe the culprit. Try using bottled or mineral water instead of tap water. Moreover, there are coffee makers with upgraded patented filters which filter out any taste-affecting particles from the water and offer you a perfect cup.

As the disposable paper filters contain bleach, chlorine, and dyes, it can also affect the taste of your beverage. Try replacing your old paper filter with a stainless steel or gold mesh filter.

The secret recipe for a perfect cup is 2 tablespoons of coffee per 6 ounces of water. Try using this ratio for the best pot ever.

Reheating can alter the taste of the brewed coffee. Most of the machines have timers that keep the coffee warm until it is consumed. If you don’t have one, pour your coffee into a stainless steel thermal flask which will keep it warm.

Cleaning and descaling of the coffee pot is a crucial step in enjoying a perfectly brewed coffee. If your machine doesn’t have autocleaning and descaling feature inbuilt, you need to clean the decanter at the end of the day. The easiest way to do this is by throwing the used paper filters and any remnants of the coffee immediately as it will affect the taste when a new batch of coffee is prepared the next day. The rest of the machine should be dismantled and each part cleaned with water and some vinegar if there are any hard stains.

Don’t use stale coffee for brewing. Although it is still safe to drink, one must not use the coffee beyond its freshness date.

These are the few tips to experience the rich flavour of freshly brewed coffee as though it was bought from your favorite cafe

What to Cook Your Vegetarian Guest

Are you used to making the same dishes that your family enjoys for dinner like meat loaf, chicken, or hamburgers? You have entertained many times before and are probably a great cook. But now a vegetarian is coming over for dinner. Some people don’t make anything special for vegetarians and let them eat what they can find to eat like side dishes. But you want to be a good host and make a main dish your vegetarian guest will enjoy.

Some people can be nervous about asking their guests who are coming to dinner what they like or don’t like to eat. If you don’t know what vegetarians eat ask your guests ahead of time what they eat. First of all it helps to know what kind of vegetarian they are.The ovo-lacto vegetarian eats eggs and dairy, the ovo vegetarian eats eggs, but no dairy, the lacto vegetarian eats dairy, but no eggs, and the vegan doesn’t eat eggs or dairy. People who eat fish and no other meat are called pescatarians and are not vegetarians. Many people have been misinformed that fish is a vegetarian food, which it is not. You don’t want to be one of the people making this mistake. Finding out what kind of vegetarian your guest is is a big step towards figuring out what to make for them.

Ask your guests what dishes they like. This is good advice for guests who are not vegetarian also because it will assure that the guest will like what dish you make. Vegetarians are used to people asking what they eat so they often have dishes to suggest.

If your guest has no suggestions the internet is a great place to look for recipes. You can also find a section of vegetarian cookbooks at your local library or bookstore. Some vegetarian recipes call for hard to find ingredients that are not carried at the average grocery store and that may be foreign to you. If you are not used to cooking vegetarian foods stick to some of the easier recipes using common ingredients.

Don’t be intimidated by making vegetarian recipes. Vegetarians eat many of the same dishes people who eat meat enjoy, minus the meat. Vegetarians like spaghetti, macaroni, rice, beans, burgers (veggie burgers), sandwiches, pizza, and many other dishes you already make and enjoy. You can make these same dishes listed, but simply don’t add the meat. Is it that simple? Well almost. If using any mix, dip, spread, soup, or anything you didn’t make from scratch read the ingredients. Some cornbread muffin mixes and soups have meat in them and some dips and spreads may have dairy or eggs in them even though they may not taste like it.

With these tips you are ready to host a vegetarian for dinner. You are probably already a great cook so it won’t be hard to use these skills to make a vegetarian meal. Your vegetarian guest will probably be more than happy to help provide suggestions on great vegetarian dishes. But if you want to plan a meal by yourself you are now prepared to look online for easy recipes or just make one of your favorite dishes sans the meat. Start getting ready for that next party or get together.

Foods Necessary to Keep the Lungs Healthy

Indoor and outdoor air pollution affects our lungs on a daily basis. It is especially important for people who suffer from lung illnesses such as asthma or emphysema to take care of their lungs. Fortunately, there are several foods that are scientifically proven to keep your lungs in good shape.

Water- Nothing can live without water in some form or another. Water can help in a variety of ways. Drinking water helps soothe throat irritation and makes it more comfortable to talk, sing, or shout. These activities are vital because they exercise our lungs by pushing air in and out of our bodies at different rates, expanding and retracting our lung muscles and working the diaphragm. When a chest cold comes on, inhaling steam from a hot shower can help break up congestion in the sinuses and lungs, making it easier to breathe. Just drinking more water helps the body recover from illnesses that affect the lungs such as influenza and stops it from becoming pneumonia.

Carrots, Apricots, and Oranges- These orange colored snacks contain cancer fighting vitamin A which is important for repairing the lining of the lungs and the windpipe preventing lung infections which can be deadly for children with asthma. They also contain a good amount of vitamin C, an anti-oxidant which also has been linked to better lung function. It helps rid the body of toxins including what the lungs have inhaled throughout the day. Oranges contain iron which transfers oxygen to the bloodstream faster. Red and orange fruits and vegetables also contain carotenoids which have been known to assist in the prevention of lung cancer. All of these fruits and vegetables can be tossed into a salad for an easy lunch.

Onions- One of the cheapest and most variable vegetables is also one of the healthiest. Some experts consider onions a super food. It contains vitamins C, an antioxidant, B, which fights cancer, and queretin which helps prevent lung disease. Almost anything cooked on a stove requires onions for flavoring. They are excellent in stir fry, on top of meat, or deep fried in batter as onion rings.

Meat, Fish, and Eggs- Protein is an essential nutrient to every part of the body as it helps rebuild tissue and keep the respiratory muscles going even under distress. Fish contains fatty acids that reduce inflammation and healthy fats to maintain good muscle health. Most of these contain B vitamins which research suggests reduces the risk of lung cancer. For vegetarians and vegans, beans and fortified cereals are an important part of a healthy lung diet.

Dark Leafy Vegetables- Cruciferous vegetables like kale and broccoli have shown that they can reduce the risk of lung cancer by as much as half. They contain B vitamins like meat and eggs but are also rich in antioxidants which dispel pollution from the body. Out of all the dark green vegetables, broccoli is known to be the most beneficial when it comes to lung function.

Make Your Own Tomato Juice

If you love tomatoes, you’ll enjoy a glass of tomato juice. This is especially true if it’s freshly made by you with fresh, ripe tomatoes. Making tomato juice is not as difficult as you might think. Follow the instructions below and you’ll be drinking homemade tomato juice in no time.

What You’ll Need

Lemon juice
Jar funnel
Jar grabber
Large pot
Spoons and ladle
Pressure canner
Canning jars
New lids and rings

What to Do

Step #1: Choose your tomatoes. The best ones to use for juice are beefsteak, Roma, Lemon Boy, and Better Boy. You need about 23 pounds for 7 quarts or 14 pounds for 9 pints.

Once you have your tomatoes, wash them, slice off the bruises and remove the stems.

Step #2: Wash the jars and lids. While you don’t need to sanitize them, it’s a good idea to do it. You can simply place them in the dishwasher on the sanitizing cycle.

Step #3: Cut up the tomatoes and place them into the pot. You can use a juicer, but there’s a higher likelihood the juice will separate when you use it.

Heat the tomatoes in the pot until boiling. Crush the tomatoes as they are heating up and boiling. While the tomatoes are boiling and you’re crushing them, add more tomatoes to the pot.

Step #4: Simmer the tomatoes for five minutes after you’ve added all the tomatoes.

Step #5: Use a sieve to remove all the skin and seeds from the tomatoes in the pot. Put the tomatoes back in the pot and heat it up again.

Step #6: In each jar, add two tablespoons of lemon juice. For seasoning, you can also add one teaspoon of salt to each jar. Once you’ve done that, simply pour the tomatoes into the jars. Make sure to leave at least a � inch at the top for expanding room.

Step #7: The last step is to can them using a pressure canner or a water bath. It usually takes about 10 to 20 minutes. Once the canning is done, you just have to let it cool to room temperature or place in the fridge. You can then store your canned tomato juice.

Seasoning is everything with tomato juice. For more flavor, you can add herbs to it such as basil or parsley. As you get better at canning tomato juice, you’ll find a combination of seasoning that gives you the best tasting juice. It will be juice you can’t find anywhere else because it’s your very own.

Cold Soups or Hot Soups, Which One is The Ideal Meal

There are many soups that are called “comfort foods” and this is because there really is nothing that can compare to the feeling of cradling a warm vessel of delicious soup in your hands on a cold day. However, soup is also a summer food when you make it with fresh vegetables and sip it cold under a shady tree.

Additionally, the smoothie craze has led more and more people to give a lot of different cold soups a try as well because they are often quite close in taste and texture to healthy smoothies.

Just think of that wildly popular favorite known as gazpacho. This is something that usually has very little salt and relies instead on the freshest herbs, garlic, vegetables, and a bit of healthy vinegar to give it zing. Whether eaten as a snack, a meal substitute, or the first course of a larger meal, it is one of the cleanest and most invigorating foods you can ever experience. It is, as many say, “like drinking a summer day”.

Naturally, many people want a nutritious hot soup as well, and though cooking and processing can decrease the nutrient counts of some foods, there are ways to still enjoy the pleasures of warm and hot soups while also getting a lot of “bang” for the buck. For instance, the classic miso soup recipes can deliver a high number of enzymes, nutrients, and loads of protein. Whether enjoyed with or without noodles, these hot or warm soups really give a ton of nutrition.

If you are more concerned with fiber, you can get a classic “cream” soup by using roasted or boiled potatoes (or other starchy vegetables) and pureeing them for a soup base. This would allow you to gently heat the mixture, rather than boiling it and killing off a lot of enzymes. You could make everything from a creamy broccoli mixture to a classic “chowder” without the dairy and fat. Bean soups work in this way as well, and you can easily puree half of the cooked beans to make an amazingly “creamy” result. Blending beans really adds flavor and texture and is a “trade secret” of vegetarian and vegan soup fans.

We suggest you have a good mix of hot and cold soup recipes on hand. These should put an emphasis on cold soups because it means that they are, technically, “raw” and full of enzymes and nutrients in a way that cooked and processed foods just cannot be.

Like all foods and recipes, however, you do want your soups to be made from the finest whole and fresh foods. While it can be tempting to purchase vegetables that are not in prime condition, thinking that because they are going into the soup pot their “ugliness” won’t matter, but just think of the nutrition they have already lost. You want food to bring vitality and to do that it needs to be made from the best ingredients. The keys are fresh, organic, and local (whenever possible).

For The Love Of Tea And Your Health

February is American Heart Month. Have you kept your New Year’s Resolutions? Do you remain committed to better living and taking better care of yourself and your family? February is a good time to remind everyone to “Do something good for yourself, drink tea.” Second only to water, tea is a very popular beverage whether it is enjoyed hot or cold. Drinking tea can be part of a healthy diet.

January was National Hot Tea Month and it was hotter than ever and all over the news from numerous new product launches to wide-reaching reports on the health benefits of tea. Have you seen all of the research about tea and its health benefits?

Decades worth of research shows that tea-the second most consumed beverage in the world- may help prevent chronic diseases, promote weight loss, improve heart health and slow progression of certain types of cancer and type 2 diabetes to name just a few of its health benefits. Research about the important role of tea in human health continues to be compelling. Thanks to the Tea Council of the USA and the Tea Association of the USA’s sponsorship of the Fifth International Symposium on Tea & Human Health, held on September 19, 2012 at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the research studies presented at the Symposium were published by the leading nutrition publication, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in its December 2013 issue and featured 12 new articles about the relationship between tea and human health.

To highlight one of the reports published through the AJCN, Tea Catechins are Cardioprotective: Numerous studies suggest tea supports heart health and healthy blood pressure, and appears to be associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, including stroke and heart attack. New research, published in the AJCN provides further support.

Humans have been drinking tea for some 5,000 years, dating back to the Paleolithic period. Modern research is providing the proof that there are real health benefits to gain from enjoying this ancient beverage.

Tea is good for you and also provides a restful, mindful break to a busy day. Tea can be uplifting, energetic, and calming at the same time. When you know you are doing something good for yourself and you share the experience with others, tea becomes your go-to drink and puts you on the road to healthier living. Do something good for yourself, drink tea.

Ice Cream in the Winter

Although winter is now officially over, it still counts as far as ice cream goes. In January, when my husband was eating an overfilled cone, no fewer than three people stopped to ask him where he had found it. This post is an attempt to help those dedicated souls who are seeking this creamy treat in the chilly season. Let me outline the rules I will follow: first, these places are all in Manhattan and all on the West Side. Second, I will deal only with the real thing-frozen yoghurt, soft serve, sherbet and ices have their place, but I am limiting myself to the hard core-the full fat-the true ice cream.

Many years ago, when I was a refugee from the west coast, I heard that Baskin Robbins was finally coming to New York. We mounted an intrepid band of ice cream eaters and motored up to Bronxville to find it. Yes, the 31 flavors were all there including our beloved Rocky Road, its most famous flavor since 1945. B&R has retained its high quality and mostly good flavors (does anyone really want bubblegum?) and deserves to be recognized for its pioneering spirit. Go to the web to find a location near you. Westsiders, please note 606 Tenth Avenue and 1342 Amsterdam.

Coldstone Creamery at 162 West 72nd Street has an illustrious history as the originator of stuff-mixed-in-ice-cream-on-the-spot. Oreo cookies, M&Ms, nuts and candy canes are mashed into your ice cream by a muscular server. Frankly, I’m in this mostly for the mix-ins—-the ice cream is merely a delivery system and is OK for those who like quantity over quality.

Haagen Dazs is now represented on the West Side mostly by pints in Duane Reade stores (not bad if you’re in need) but the fresh stuff can still be found on the Upper West Side at 2905 Broadway @ 113 St. I might almost have to compare their hot fudge with the legendary Will Wright’s. Growing up in Los Angeles, we would go to Will Wright’s and order one scoop of the chocolate burnt almond ice cream (whole toasted almonds in it and on top) with fresh whipped cream and the best hot fudge in the world. You couldn’t eat a second scoop. When Will retired, he did not sell his shops-he closed them down. No one who knew them has ceased to mourn for them. But Haagen Dazs has a pretty good substitute. I think HD’s natural flavorings are the best and it has the distinction of an extra high fat content. Yum.

And now, Emack and Bolio’s. This little store on Amsterdam just below 79th Street does a rollicking business even in winter from its tiny storefront. We had a great banana ice cream reminiscent of Howard Johnson’s very fine version-maybe better-we have to do more research to make up our minds.

Ben and Jerry’s, at Broadway and 104th Street, for 35 years has stood for IC with a conscience. Family farms, solar energy, global warming, oil-drilling in ANWAR, Fair Traded coffee and vanilla, a children’s playground in Gabon and of course, humane farming-they never stop. Although B & J sold in 2010, the company is still progressive. What’s more, their product is still great. Named for favorite celebrities or issues, Cherry Garcia, Cow Power, Chunky Monkey and Hubby Hubby are full of very large chocolate chunks, nuts, fruits and marshmallows. Some purists might say-too much-I say, bring it on.

Cooking Ways of Slow Smoky Pulled Pork BBQ

Barbecues are great for making non vegetarian recipes. The barbeque pork lovers are increasing day by day from every part of the globe as it adds a different smoky flavor to the pulled pork meat. The smoke infused inside the meat appeals every barbecue lover. With the advent of modern charcoal smokers, barbeque is still considered much better for cooking at home and in restaurants.

Slow cooked barbeque smoker cooking allows preparing pork at slow temperatures which makes it tender enough so that the meat falls right apart as you pick it up. The technique of barbecuing makes it much tastier and adds crispy texture to it.

The cut of meat for pulled pork is called pork shoulder or shredded pork as the cut of meat comes from the shoulder.

Many crowd pleaser recipes can be made with BBQ pulled pork. It can be easily served to the guests without taking much time. And, you will be amazed at how easy it is to cook and present to your guests.

Before using the barbecue it’s recommended to remove dirt from it. Use soap and water to clean the grill and remove any leftovers as it might change the taste of your pork meat.

Take your pork meat from the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature prior cooking it. The reward for planning ahead will be a juicier piece of meat.

Always pick your pork meat properly. The pork butt is less skinny so it can be smoked very easily.

Rub your pork meat with spices and herbs, salts which will add a tinge of taste to it. Use oil all over the front and back beforehand so that it is absorbed into the pork meat properly. You can also put some good amount of seasoning over the pork which will add flavors to it.

You can use a meat temperature checker which can help in keeping the temperature constant throughout the BBQ smoking process and result into good cooking of pork from inside.

Once the barbecuing process starts use indirect heat otherwise it won’t be able to cook it properly and it will remain uncooked at the center.

The pork can be barbequed in two ways actually one is the slow cooker and other is low heat. By using the barbeque method of slow cooking the pork will not be over cooked and will never dry up eventually. Other method of cooking on low heat or smoker cooking is to place the pork on the racks so that the smoke will start to form meats own juice.

Once the smoking is over which ends the cooking process. Now pull the pork pieces with fork and hence your BBQ pulled pork is ready to be served with bun or rolls or your favourite sauces. Some can enjoy them with the sandwiches or can be served alone.

Texas Recipe- All Fired Up Grilled Pork Tenderloin

If you’re looking to show some impressive culinary skills to that special someone or just to show off to your friends, this Texas recipe will leave them speechless from the taste of the food to the professional looking presentation, while remaining relatively easy for you to prepare. This fine recipe was made by Anne Connally out of Dallas Texas, and is one of the most delicate and equally delicious parts of a pig, especially if you consider With the flavorsome grilled pork tenderloin, this type of dish is without a doubt one of the most popular Texas foods found in places such as Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston.

An important part of cooking pork tenderloin is finding a ‘rub’ that suites you and your company’s’ taste. Many Texas foods use rubs as an enhancer for many different type of meat. A ‘rub’ is a terrific way to add a completely new depth of flavor to your meat. It allows the flavors and ingredients to marinate on the surface of the meat, as well as soak deep into the meat leaving you with a flawless and evenly spaced flavor throughout the tenderloin. If you don’t know how to make a rub, don’t worry. This Texas recipe provides you with an easy, effortless way to create your own delicious rub.

You should always make your rub prior to preparing or cooking your meat. You should start this part of the Texas recipe with a small mixing bowl using the following ingredients:

1 tbsp Garlic, freshly minced
1 tsp Salt, or to taste
1 tsp Black Pepper
3 tbsp Coffee beans (unflavored), freshly ground in large pieces
2 tbsp Olive Oil
3 tbsp Balsamic vinegar

To make the rub, you will gradually mix each ingredient in your mixing bowl. Your product will be a tasteful rub to compliment your tenderloin. Once you have finished preparing your coffee rub, your next step is to take a portion of the coffee rub and spread it over a section of the tenderloin, repeating this until you have covered the tenderloin evenly and have used the entire rub. In this Texas recipe, you should have one package of pork tenderloin, which typically consists of 2 or 2 � pounds. While you are busy applying your rub, make sure to start your grill so that you will have a decent fire with medium heat ready to go once you finish putting on your rub.

After that, you’ll be ready to grill this appetizing Texas recipe. Put your tenderloin over the fire and let it cook for a total of 20 minutes, rotating the meat as you go. During this time, you can pull out your favorite savory grilling and dipping sauce. For this Texas recipe, we use Dean’s All Fired Up! Grilling and Dipping Sauce. Using � cup of the sauce, brush the sauce over the entire surface of the meat making sure to get all sides and use multiple layers of sauce. This is going to accentuate the flavor of the rub and the meat, while providing its own spice and flavor. Let this cook for another 5-8 minutes before removing the tenderloin from the grill. Once you have it off the grill, place the tenderloin on a cutting board and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting it into medium sized slices. Lightly douse the remaining sauce on the tenderloin slices before serving a delicious Texas recipe.

As promised, your company will be astonished by your culinary art when you present them with this Texas food favorite and with a rather quick, inexpensive, and easy cooking method by using this Texas recipe. The impressive depth of flavor and tenderness through the tenderloin will have them asking you to cook them more Texas foods all the time!