Build a garden pond

Title: Build a garden pond

Author: BBC

Full Text & Source:
The Internet, 25/7/2014

Abstract: Ponds are probably the single most important wildlife feature that can be added to a garden, attracting a host of creatures from birds, to frogs and beneficial insects.

Text:Before you start
It’s easy to create a simple pond in your own garden. Always consider the following:
•The view of the feature from every angle of the garden and house.
•The type of pond – will you use a liner or a preformed pool?
•The size of the pond.
•The type of plants you wish to grow. Different plants require different depths of water.
•Avoid shady areas, especially near deciduous trees.
•Seek professional advice when constructing complicated designs and using electricity to operate pumps.
What to do
Time needed
Depends on the size of the pond
You will need
•Craft knife
•Hose – for marking out shape
•Plank – long enough to reach over pond
•Spirit level
•Wooden pegs
•Butyl liner
•Pond insulation liner or old carpet
•Paving or turf for edging
•Soft building sand
Marking out
•Define the perimeter of the pond, either with string, a length of hosepipe, or by trickling a layer of dry sand through your fingers.
• Remove the turf from the area and stack neatly away from the working place.
•Excavate the area with a spade to the depth of the first shelf. Mark the outline of the shelf with sand or string.
•Dig out the centre of the pond and either add additional shelves, or dig until the required maximum depth has been reached.
•Check each shelf is level.
Wildlife in mind
•Move the dug-out soil to another area of the garden.
•Check the sides of the pond following the profile you intended. It’s a good idea to give one side of the pond a gentle slope to offer animals, such as hedgehogs, a means of escape if they fall in.
Lining the pond
•Remove any lumps or sharp stones from the hole. Then spread a 3cm (1.2in) layer of soft builder’s sand over the area. This will help protect the butyl liner being punctured.
•A layer of pond underlay or old carpet above the sand will provide additional protection.
•Get a friend to assist in unfolding the butyl liner. Spread it evenly over the hole taking care not to damage it by dragging it on the ground. Secure the sides of the liner with bricks.
Filling up
•Start filling the pool with water and pull the edges of the liner so that it fits neatly over the contours of the pond.
•Continue filling the hole with water until the pond is full.
•Trim the sides of the liner leaving a 30cm (12in) overlap around the sides of the pond.
•Cover these with paving slabs, or if you want to create a more natural effect, lay turf up to the water’s edge.
•The liner should be covered to prevent sunlight causing it to perish. Position plants and add oxygenators. If you want to add fish wait six weeks until the plants are established.
Pond safety
According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA), children below the age of five are most at risk of drowning in garden ponds. The only way to avoid potential disasters is to not have a pond. There are, however, precautions that you can take to significantly reduce the chance of accidents.
Rigid steel mesh frames can be positioned securely over ponds. These can be obtained from security grille suppliers and metal stockholders who should be able to cut the mesh to size. Mesh should be heavy duty, ideally made from 6mm to 8mm diameter wire. Secure it firmly and it should support the weight of a young child. Ideally the mesh should be positioned above the water level.

Gardeners – How to Build a Retaining Wall

Title: How to Build a Retaining Wall

Authors: Leona, Vegas Clubs VIP, NADZo_0, Chris Hadley and 3 others

Full Text & Source:
The Internet, 25/7/2014

Abstract: Building a retaining wall will help reduce erosion, improve water drainage, and create usable garden space. It’s a great home-improvement project that can be completed in a weekend whether you’re a novice or an old hand. The following is a guide that will help you build your own retainer wall, tips and tricks, along with professional-grade guidance.

Plan and layout the site. Plan where your retaining wall is going to be using stakes and string, leveling off to ensure an even height and using a tape measure to ensure an even length. •Contact your local utilities office to confirm that there are no pipes or cables in your digging zone. Your local utilities office should perform this free of charge.
•If you want more of a random outline, lay out a line for your wall using a garden hose. Simply drape the garden hose out in the general area of the proposed wall utilizing its curves. Check to see that the shape is buildable and aesthetically pleasing, and then use landscaping paint or flour to mark the ground where the garden hose was.
Excavate the site. Using a shovel, dig a trench along the line you have laid out. It should be slightly wider than the blocks you will use for your wall. Check that the trench is as level as possible. •Enough space should be made to bury the bottom row of blocks at least 1 inch (2.54 cm) for every 8 inches (20.32 cm) of wall height. Factor into this equation a level of paver base that will rest on the bottom of the trench.
Tamp the soil level and lay down a paver base. Using a soil tamper — you can easily rent one for less than $20 — tamp (pack) down the bottom of the trench. Then, add 4 to 6 inches (10.16-15.24 cm) of patio paver base or rock dust to the bottom of the trench. Patio paver base is ideal because it is specially made gravel that compacts well and is sturdy. •Rake the paver base once it’s been applied, getting as much uniform coverage as possible.
•Go over the paver base one more time with a level, making sure that the trench area is a uniform height. If there’s uneven distribution add a little more or take away some paver base by raking.
•Tamp the bottom of the trench again, compacting the base a final time.
Tamp the soil level and lay down a paver base. Using a soil tamper — you can easily rent one for less than $20 — tamp (pack) down the bottom of the trench. Then, add 4 to 6 inches (10.16-15.24 cm) of patio paver base or rock dust to the bottom of the trench. Patio paver base is ideal because it is specially made gravel that compacts well and is sturdy. •Rake the paver base once it’s been applied, getting as much uniform coverage as possible.
•Go over the paver base one more time with a level, making sure that the trench area is a uniform height. If there’s uneven distribution add a little more or take away some paver base by raking.
•Tamp the bottom of the trench again, compacting the base a final time.
Start at the most visible edge of the wall, adding gravel or crushed rock to level the stone, if necessary. Add the first block to the trench, using a corner stone. Make sure it is level from front to back and side to side.
•Alternately, if there’s no edge to the wall that is more visible than another, start at the edge that will be closest to another structure (usually a house).
•If you’re building a straight or rectangular retaining wall, make sure that the backs of the blocks line up with one another perfectly; if you’re building a curved retaining wall, make sure that the fronts of the blocks line up with one another perfectly.
If necessary, cut off the top tongue of the base stones. Some contractors prefer cutting off the top tongue or groove from the base stones before laying them down. Check for sturdiness yourself and knock the tongue off the block with a hammer and chisel, if necessary. • •Understand that curved retaining walls with tongues may not benefit from the interlocking grooves. These grooves will need to be cut off with a hammer and chisel if the layout of the pattern does not fit the direction of the grooves.
Use coarse sand and a rubber mallet to level off the first layer of blocks, completing the entire foundation. If you took the time to level off the bed, laying the first row should be easy. Use coarse sand where necessary to get a level finish on your foundation. Hammer the blocks down with your rubber mallet.
If necessary, cut individual blocks to complete the first layer by simply marking them at the appropriate length and cutting with a mason’s saw. Always use proper protection when cutting.
Use crushed stone or gravel for backfill on your first layer of blocks. This will provide excellent support, keeping your bottom layer from slipping back with time and erosion.
Place a filter fabric over the backfill. This will prevent frost heave and keeps the soil from mixing with the backfill. Depending on how tall your retaining wall is, you may want to drape the filler along the back side of the trench or house, fill the trench with backfill until it’s anchored the filter fabric down, and then drape the fabric flat out, on top of the backfill.
Sweep the first layer with a broom to free up any dirt or dust.
Start your second layer with a staggered pattern, so that the top layer seams are offset with the bottom layer. You want each layer of blocks to be different from the one below it. For example, if the wall has straight edges on the ends, the next layer should start with a block that has been cut in half. •Place the blocks onto the foundation before applying the adhesive. See how they look; ask yourself whether you need to make any significant cuts before glueing. Lay out one whole row before moving on to the next step.
•If you’re working with blocks that have flanged tongues, simply line up the female groove of the top block with the male groove of the bottom block.
Once a layer has been provisionally laid out, apply the recommended adhesive to the bottom blocks and fit the top block overhead. Press down to make sure that each layer is secured tightly against the layer beneath it. Continue until retaining wall is its preferred height.
Add drainage pipes to your retaining wall if the wall is 2 feet (60 cm) or taller. Look for a perforated pipe and lay it down the length of the retaining wall, covering it up with breathable backfill.
Add topper stones if you desire them. Topper stones usually come in rectangular shapes, making them more difficult to install in curved retaining walls. If you need to cut topper stones to fit the curve in your retaining wall, follow this trick: •Lay stones #1 and #3 out in their pattern.
•Lay stone #2 on top of #1 and #3, drawing lines on #1 and #3 where stone #2 overlaps them.
•Cut stones #1 and #3 along those lines.
•Line up #1 and #3 into place, snugging #2 in between.
•Repeat, placing stone #4 on top of stones #3 and #5.
Place topsoil in the basin created by the retaining wall. Add plants, vines, or flowers as necessary. Your retaining wall is ready to be enjoyed.
•While excavating, cut straight down with the shovel to avoid disturbing the surrounding soil.
•If the retainer wall is to be built along a slope, make stepped trenches so that only one layer of blocks will be below the soil at all points. Also, build it at the lowest end first.
Make sure the cement mortar is not too wet. This to ensure the block is strong enough.
•To cut a block in half, mark a line around the middle with a brick chisel. Then, position the brick chisel on the line and strike it with a small sledgehammer.

World’s Best Cuisines

Title: World’s Best Cuisines (Travel blog)

Author: Food & Wine ( Dave Emery)

Full Text & Source:
The Internet, 25/7/2014

Food and travel go together like love and marriage; you can’t have one without the other, and if you do, it’s bound to be unsatisfying. Unless, of course, you’re one of those people who regards eating as a chore. Oh, the horror! This post goes out to all you foodies out there; the ones who go to bed dreaming of your last meal and wake up thinking of your next one.

1. French cuisine
No points for guessing our number one pick. Yep, it’s French cuisine – the “crème de la crème” of the culinary world. French cooking has its roots in the Middle Ages when it brought rich banquets to the French Revolution. In today’s world, it’s known as “haute cuisine” and is as popular as the arts. Good pastries, cheese, bread and wine are where it’s at when it comes to French cuisine. [French recipes]

2. Italian Cuisine
Italian cuisine is positively ancient with roots stretching back to the 4th century BC. It evolved via the discovery of the New World which brought potatoes, tomatoes, pepper and corn on the list of ingredients. An Italian meal is structured into several sections: antipasto (the appetiser), primo (pasta or rice dish), secondo (meat course) and dolce (dessert). Italy is also famous for over 400 kinds of cheese, including the famous Parmigianino Reggiano, and 300 types of sausage. [Italian recipes]

3. Chinese cuisine
Did you know that Chinese cuisine is eaten by a third of the world’s population every day? Here’s another bit of trivia for you – most Chinese food is prepared in bite-sized pieces because knives and forks as weapons. Usually, every person at the table is given a bowl of rice while the other dishes are shared by one and all. Peking Duck, anyone? [Chinese recipes]

4. Indian cuisine
Sadly, only one part of the Indian cuisine is known to the world. The Indian food served in restaurants worldwide is North Indian, also known as Mughlai or Punjabi. There are three other categories of Indian cuisine which don’t get much airtime: South, East and West. The foods are mostly vegetarian, but many include lamb, goat, chicken and fish. Indian cuisine is usually very spicy, so slow and steady is the name of the game if you’re not used to fiery food. [Indian recipes]

5. Thai cuisine
Thai food alone, with its balanced mix of hot, sour, bitter and sweet, is a good enough reason to visit Thailand. Thai dishes are all about fresh herbs and flavours like lime juice, lemon grass and coriander. If you’re looking to get a kick of out your lunch, try the raw beef or fermented fish paste. Or for something to turn heads at your next dinner party, how about deep-fried insect larvae? [Thai recipes]

6. Mexican cuisine
Got a hankering for some iguana, insects, rattlesnake or spider monkey? Mexican cuisine has it all covered. Known for its varied flavours and spices, the food of Mexico is a result of the Spanish conquistadores’ interaction with the Aztec culture.. The French also had their part in the story, adding baked goods, such as sweet breads and the ‘bolillo’ (meaning ‘French bread’). [Mexican recipes]

7. Japanese cuisine
What’s not to love about Japanese food? We can see why it’s rapidly becoming a worldwide trend. White rice and soybeans are the staples of most Japanese dishes. In the 2014 Michelin Guide, 14 restaurants in Tokyo and Shonan maintain their three stars. A Michelin three-star rating is considered the ultimate international recognition in the culinary world. Nice work, Japan. [Japanese recipes]

8. Spanish cuisine
Paella, tapas, churros and fried potatoes are just a few of the tasty treats dished up by the food-loving Spaniards. Yum, yum and yum! Let’s just ignore the fact that Spanish cooking uses the most oil among all Western and Central European cuisines. Oh well, at least it’s olive oil which is good for the old ticker. If you’re looking for something to wash down your Spanish feast with, Sangria is the answer (a drink made of red wine, fruits and a splash of brandy). [Spanish recipes]

9. Greek cuisine
Olive oil, vegetables, feta and herbs like oregano, mint and rosemary are all the rage in Greek cooking. Significant influence from the Turkish and Italian cuisine can be seen in popular dishes like Moussaka, Tzatziki and Spanakopita (spinach pie). Eating in Greece is a different experience from Greek restaurants in other countries – ‘gyros’ for example (like a Donner Kebab) is considered as junk food by Greeks. [Greek recipes]

10. Lebanese cuisine
Lebanese cuisine dishes up all the goodness the Middle East has to offer. Foods are generally Mediterranean, high on vegetables, low on meat and full of flavours. We can’t get enough of the mezze – a selection of dips, pickles, salads and nibbles with Arabic bread. Lebanon is also famous for the Arabic sweets, Tripoli being referred to as the ‘Sweet Capital‘ of Lebanon. [Lebanese recipes]

The Mother Sauces

Title: The Five Mother Sauces are the Basis of All Classical Sauces

Author: Danilo Alfaro

Full Text & Source:
The Internet, 25/7/2014

In the culinary arts, the term “mother sauce” refers to any one of five basic sauces, which are the starting points for making various secondary sauces or “small sauces.”

They’re called mother sauces because each one is like the head of its own unique family of sauces.A sauce is essentially a liquid plus some sort of thickening agent along with other flavoring ingredients. Each of the five mother sauces is made with a different liquid, and a different thickening agent — although three of the mother sauces are thickened with roux, in each case the roux is cooked for a different amount of time to produce a lighter or darker color.
Below we will break down the five mother sauces and show examples of some of the small sauces that can be made from each mother sauce.
1. Béchamel Sauce Recipe
Béchamel is probably the simplest of the mother sauces because it doesn’t require making stock. If you have milk, flour and butter, you can make a very basic béchamel.
Béchamel is made by thickening hot milk with a simple white roux. The sauce is then flavored with onion, cloves and nutmeg and simmered until it is creamy and velvety smooth.
Béchamel can be used as an ingredient in baked pasta recipes like lasagna, and also in casseroles. But it’s also the basis for some of the most common white sauces, cream sauces and cheese-based sauces. Here are some of the small sauces made from béchamel:
•Crème Sauce
•Mornay Sauce
•Soubise Sauce
•Nantua Sauce
•Cheddar Cheese Sauce
•Mustard Sauce
2. Velouté Sauce Recipe
Velouté is another relatively simple mother sauce. Velouté sauce is made by thickening white stock with roux and then simmering it for a while. While the chicken velouté, made with chicken stock, is the most common type, there is also a veal velouté and fish velouté. Each of the veloutés forms the basis of its own respective secondary mother sauce. For instance, chicken velouté fortified with cream becomes the Suprême Sauce. Veal velouté thickened with a liaison of egg yolks and cream becomes the Allemende Sauce. And the fish velouté plus white wine and heavy cream becomes the White Wine Sauce.
Small sauces from velouté can be derived from the velouté directly, or from each of the three secondary sauces. For example:
•Normandy Sauce
•Bercy Sauce
•Hungarian Sauce
•Mushroom Sauce
•Aurora Sauce
•Poulette Sauce
•Shrimp Sauce
•Herb Seafood Sauce
3. Espagnole Sauce Recipe
The Espagnole Sauce, also sometimes called Brown Sauce, is a slightly more complex mother sauce. Espagnole is made by thickening brown stock with roux. So in that sense it’s similar to a velouté. The difference is that espagnole is made with tomato purée and mirepoix for deeper color and flavor. Moreover, brown stock itself is made from bones that have first been roasted to add color and flavor. The espagnole is traditionally further refined to produce a rich, deeply flavorful sauce called a demi-glace. The demi-glace is then the starting point for making the various small sauces. A demi-glace consists of a mixture of half espagnole, half brown stock, which is then reduced by half. For a short-cut, you could skip the demi-glace step and make the small sauces directly from the espagnole. You’ll lose some flavor and body, but you’ll save time. Here are some examples of small sauces made from espagnole:
•Marchand de Vin Sauce (Red Wine Reduction)
•Robert Sauce
•Charcutière Sauce
•Lyonnaise Sauce
•Chasseur Sauce
•Bercy Sauce
•Mushroom Sauce
•Madeira Sauce
•Port Wine Sauce
4. Hollandaise Sauce Recipe
Hollandaise is unlike the mother sauces we’ve mentioned so far, but as you’ll see, it is really just a liquid and a thickening agent, plus flavorings. Hollandaise is a tangy, buttery sauce made by slowly whisking clarified butter into warm egg yolks. So the liquid here is the clarified butter and the thickening agent is the egg yolks. Hollandaise is an emulsified sauce, and we use clarified butter when making a Hollandaise because whole butter, which contains water and milk solids, can break the emulsion. Clarified butter is just pure butterfat, so it helps the emulsion remain stable. Hollandaise sauce can be used on its own, and it’s particularly delicious on seafood, vegetables and eggs. But there are also a number of small sauces that can be made from Hollandaise: •Béarnaise Sauce
•Dijon Sauce
•Foyot Sauce
•Choron Sauce
•Maltaise Sauce
•Mousseline Sauce
5. Classic Tomate Sauce
The fifth mother sauce is the classic Tomate Sauce. This sauce resembles the traditional tomato sauce that we might use on pasta and pizza, but it’s got much more flavor and requires a few more steps to make.
First we render salt pork and then sauté aromatic vegetables. Then we add tomatoes, stock and a ham bone, and simmer it in the oven for a couple of hours. Cooking the sauce in the oven helps heat it evenly and without scorching. Traditionally, the sauce tomate was thickened with roux, and some chefs still prepare it this way. But in reality, the tomatoes themselves are enough to thicken the sauce. Here are a few small sauces made from the classic tomate sauce:
•Spanish Sauce
•Creole Sauce
•Portuguese Sauce
•Provençale Sauce

More Classic Sauces:
•Sauces for Meat and Pork
•Sauces for Fish and Seafood
•Sauces for Chicken & Poultry

More Sauce Recipes:
•Hollandaise Sauce Demo
•Beurre Blanc Sauce Recipe
•How to Make Mayonnaise

More Sauce Recipes:
•How to Make Gravy
•Meat Glaze Recipe
•Red Pepper Coulis

A Quick Guide To Every Herb & Spice In The Cupboard

Title: A Quick Guide To Every Herb & Spice In The Cupboard

Author: The Kitchn

Full Text & Source:
The Internet, 25/7/2014

Ever get coriander confused with cumin? Or wonder if saffron is really essential to the flavor of a dish? As much for our benefit as for yours, we’ve put together this quick reference guide to all the most common (and some uncommon) herbs and spices!

For any herb or spice listed below, click on the name to read the full description. We’ll continue adding to this list as we cover more of the seasonings we use in our cooking.


• Asafoetida (Asafetida) – Used as a digestive aid in Indian cooking, asafoetida has a strong odor that mellows out into a garlic-onion flavor.

• Achiote Paste and Powder – Reddish-brown paste or powder ground from annatto seeds with an earthy flavor. Used primarily in Mexican dishes like mole sauce, chochinita pibil, and tamales.

• Allspice – Similar to cloves, but more pungent and deeply flavored. Best used in spice mixes.

• Annatto Seeds – A very tough reddish-brown seed with a woodsy aroma and an earthy flavor. Called Achiote Paste (see above) when ground, this is used to flavor many Mexican dishes.

• Bay Leaf – (also: Indian Bay Leaf) Adds a woodsy background note to soups and sauces.

• Caraway Seed – These anise-tasting seeds are essential for soda bread, sauerkraut, and potato salad.

• Cardamom – This warm, aromatic spice is widely used in Indian cuisine. It’s also great in baked goods when used in combination with spices like clove and cinnamon.

• Cayenne Pepper – Made from dried and ground red chili peppers. Adds a sweet heat to soups, braises, and spice mixes.

• Chia Seeds – No, these seeds aren’t just for growing crazy terracotta sculptures! Nearly flavorless, they can be ground into smoothies, cereals, and baked goods for extra nutrition and texture, or even used as a vegan egg substitute.

• Cinnamon – (also: Vietnamese Cassia Cinnamon) Found in almost every world cuisine, cinnamon serves double duty as spice in both sweet and savory dishes.

• Cloves – Sweet and warming spice. Used most often in baking, but also good with braised meat.

• Coriander – Earthy, lemony flavor. Used in a lot of Mexican and Indian dishes.

• Cumin – Smoky and earthy. Used in a lot of Southwestern US and Mexican cuisine, as well as North African, Middle Eastern, and Indian.

• Fennel Seed – Lightly sweet and licorice flavored. It’s excellent with meat dishes, or even chewed on its own as a breath freshener and digestion aid!

• Fenugreek – Although this herb smells like maple syrup while cooking, it has a rather bitter, burnt sugar flavor. Found in a lot of Indian and Middle Eastern dishes.

• Garlic Powder – Garlic powder is made from dehydrated garlic cloves and can be used to give dishes a sweeter, softer garlic flavor.

• Gochugaru – This Korean red pepper spice is hot, sweet, and ever-so-slightly smoky.

• Grains of Paradise – These taste like a cross between cardamom, citrus, and black pepper. They add a warming note to many North African dishes.

• Loomi – Also called black lime, this is ground from dried limes. Adds a sour kick to many Middle Eastern dishes.

• Mace – From the same plant as nutmeg, but tastes more subtle and delicate. Great in savory dishes, especially stews and homemade sausages.

• Mahlab – Ground from sour cherry pits, this spice has a nutty and somewhat sour flavor. It’s used in a lot of sweet breads throughout the Middle East.

• Nutmeg – Sweet and pungent. Great in baked goods, but also adds a warm note to savory dishes.

• Nutritional Yeast – Very different from bread yeast, this can be sprinkled onto or into sauces, pastas, and other dishes to add a nutty, cheesy, savory flavor.

• Oregano – Robust, somewhat lemony flavor. Used in a lot of Mexican and Mediterranean dishes.

• Paprika – (also: Smoked Paprika) Adds a sweet note and a red color. Used in stews and spice blends.

• Rosemary – Strong and piney. Great with eggs, beans, and potatoes, as well as grilled meats.

• Saffron – Saffron has a subtle but distinct floral flavor and aroma, and it also gives foods a bright yellow color.

• Sage – Pine-like flavor, with more lemony and eucalyptus notes than rosemary. Found in a lot of northern Italian cooking.

• Smoked Paprika – (also: Paprika) Adds sweet smokiness to dishes, as well as a red color.

• Star Anise – Whole star anise can be used to add a sweet licorice-y flavor sauces and soups.

• Sumac – Zingy and lemony, sumac is a Middle Eastern spice that’s great in marinades and spice rubs.

• Turmeric – Sometimes used more for its yellow color than its flavor, turmeric has a mild woodsy flavor. Can be used in place of saffron in a pinch or for those of us on a budget.

• Thyme – Adds a pungent, woodsy flavor. Great as an all-purpose seasoning.

• Vietnamese Cassia Cinnamon – (also: Cinnamon) Sweet and spicy. Can be used in both sweet baked goods and to add depth to savory dishes.


• Basil – (also: Thai Basil) Highly aromatic with a robust licorice flavor. Excellent in pestos, as a finishing touch on pasta dishes, or stuffed into sandwiches.

• Chervil – Delicate anise flavor. Great raw in salads or as a finishing garnish.

• Dill – Light and feathery herb with a pungent herb flavor. Use it for pickling, with fish, and over potatoes.

• Fenugreek – Although this herb smells like maple syrup while cooking, it has a rather bitter, burnt sugar flavor. Found in a lot of Indian and Middle Eastern dishes.

• Lemon Thyme – (also: Thyme) Sweet lemon aroma and a fresh lemony-herbal flavor. This is excellent with poultry and in vinaigrettes.

• Marjoram – Floral and woodsy. Try it in sauces, vinaigrettes, and marinades.

• Mint – Surprisingly versatile for such an intensely flavored herb. Try it paired with lamb, peas, potatoes – and of course, with chocolate!

• Oregano – Robust, somewhat lemony flavor. Used in a lot of Mexican and Mediterranean dishes.

• Pink Pepper – Small and sweet, these berries are fantastic when marinated with olives or simply sprinkled on shortbread.

• Rosemary – Strong and piney. Great with eggs, beans, and potatoes, as well as grilled meats.

• Sage – Pine-like flavor, with more lemony and eucalyptus notes than rosemary. Found in a lot of northern Italian cooking.

• Summer Savory – Peppery green flavor similar to thyme. Mostly used in roasted meat dishes and stuffing, but also goes well with beans.

• Shiso – A member of the mint family, this herb is used extensively in Japanese, Korean, and South East Asian cooking as a wrap for steaming fish and vegetables, in soups, and as a general seasoning.

• Tarragon – Strong anise flavor. Can be eaten raw in salads or used to flavor tomato dishes, seafood, or eggs.

• Thai Basil – (also: Basil) A spicy, edgier cousin to sweet Italian basil. A must-have for Thai stir-fries, Vietnamese pho, spring rolls, and other South Asian dishes.

• Thyme – (also: Lemon Thyme) Adds a pungent, woodsy flavor. Great as an all-purpose seasoning.


• Baharat – Black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves. Used to flavor soups, tomato sauces, lentils, rice pilafs, and couscous, and can be a rub for meats. (Middle Eastern)

• Bouquet Garni – Thyme, parsley, and bay leaf. Used to flavor broths and soups. (Classic French)

• Chili Powder – Ground chilis, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and lots of optional extras to make this seasoning uniquely yours. Use for chili stew, beans, grilled meat, and tacos. (Mexican/Southwestern US)

• Chinese Five Spice Powder – Star anise, Szechuan peppercorns, fennel, cassia, and clove. Adds sweetness and depth to savory dishes, especially beef, duck, and pork. (Chinese)

• Curry Powder – Typically includes tumeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, and red pepper, but mixes can vary. Used primarily to quickly flavor curry sauces. (Indian)

• Dukkah – Includes nuts (most often hazelnuts), sesame seeds, coriander, and cumin. Great spice rub for lamb, chicken, and fish. (Egyptian)

• Garam Masala – Typcially includes cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin, coriander, nutmeg, and pepper. Sweeter than curry powder. Also used to season curry sauces. (Indian)

• Herbes de Provence – Usually savory, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, and sometimes lavender. Use as a marinade or dry rub for roast chicken, fish, and vegetables.

• Pickling Spice – Most often, bay leaf, yellow mustard seeds, black peppercorns, allspice, coriander. Used for pickling vegetables in vinegar.

• Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix – Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Used for seasoning pumpkin pie, but also great in other spiced baked goods.

• Ras el Hanout – Cardamom, clove, cinnamon, paprika, coriander, cumin, mace, nutmeg, peppercorn, and turmeric. Use as a spice rub on meat or a simple condiment. (North African/Moroccan)

• Za’atar Seasoning Blend – Thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds. All-purpose seasoning for many Middle Eastern dishes like grilled meats, grilled vegetables, flatbread and hummus. (Middle Eastern)

Are there any herbs or spices you’ve been wondering about? Let us know and we’ll start adding them to the list!

(This post was originally published February 14, 2010 and last updated March 29, 2011)

DIY Furniture

Title: DIY Patio Furniture

Author: Danger is my middle name

Full Text & Source:

The Internet, 22/7/2014

Abstract: It’s great to spend some time outdoors, especially if you have some comfortable and attractive patio furniture. Make you own with these DIY patio furniture projects!

More outdoor furniture projects

Title: 5 Pieces Of Outdoor Furniture You Can Build Yourself

Author: Lexy. B. Ward

Full Text & Source:!bjYNqs
The Internet, 22/7/2014

Abstract: Shopping for outdoor furniture can be a ghastly task. Why not build your own? Here are five pieces to inspire you to break out the tools!

Sample Text: 1. Use pallet boards to create a simple set of furniture