Build a garden pond

Title: Build a garden pond

Author: BBC

Full Text & Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/ponds_build1.shtml
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
•Spade
•Spirit level
•Wooden pegs
•Butyl liner
•Pond insulation liner or old carpet
•Canes
•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.
Digging
•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: http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Retaining-Wall
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.

Text:
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.
Tips:
•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: http://www.hotelclub.com/blog/top-10-international-cuisine/
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] http://www.davidlebovitz.com/

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]http://www.italianfoodforever.com/

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] http://www.steamykitchen.com/

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]http://www.madhur-jaffrey.com/

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]http://marionskitchen.com.au/

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]http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/World-Cuisine/Latin-America/Mexico/Main.aspx

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]http://www.justonecookbook.com/

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]http://www.sbs.com.au/food/cuisine/spanish

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]http://souvlakiforthesoul.com/

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]http://shanedelia.com.au/

The Mother Sauces

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

Author: Danilo Alfaro

Full Text & Source: http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/sauces/tp/Mother-Sauces.htm
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: http://www.thekitchn.com/quick-reference-a-guide-to-her-108770
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.

DRIED HERBS AND SPICES

• 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.

FRESH HERBS

• 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.

SPICE BLENDS, RUBS, AND MIXES

• 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: http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Patio-Furniture/

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: http://www.curbly.com/users/lexybward/posts/15212-5-pieces-of-outdoor-furniture-you-can-build-yourself#!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

How to Make Outdoor Furniture

Title:How to Make Outdoor Furniture

Publishers/Authors: Fine Woodworking Editors

Full text & Source: http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/26430/how-to-make-outdoor-furniture
The Internet, 22/7/2014

Sample Text: Barbeque season is here but how is your patio furniture holding up? It’s never too late to whip up some new garden furniture–especially since many in the U.S. are heading into a long, three-day independence weekend.

FineWoodworking.com hosts a collection of outdoor furniture project and plans that you can build: See complete list below. A recent issue of our magazine included three outdoor chair plans. You can watch how to make one of them from start to finish in an eight-part video workshop. Watch the intro video below. Other projects on our site include an ipe table, a classic Adirondack, and more garden bench plans.

So, what’s on your agenda? Will you craft pieces for the outdoors this year? Or, if you recently made any projects, upload photos in our gallery. And, if you have any tips for fellow patio-furniture makers, be sure to share them in a comment below.

More outdoor furniture projects
A Classic Adirondack Chair
Our version updates the original design with a curved seat and back, making it even more comfortable for relaxing. It’s made of western red cedar, assembled with screws and carriage bolts.
Video: Assembling the Adirondack chair
Order the complete project plan
Sturdy Outdoor Chair
Joinery takes center stage in this chair designed by master furniture maker Hank Gilpin. It includes mortise-and-tenon joints, bridle joints, and lap joints.
Adirondack with a Twist
Michael Fortune designed this chair with comfort in mind. It’s loosely modeled on the traditional Adirondack chair but more comfortable and features more curves. Read 3 Outdoor Chairs for drawings on making this chair.
An Outdoor Table in Ipé
This 5-ft.-dia. table seats six. The top is made of boards surrounded by an outer frame constructed from 12 thicker segments. Gently curved legs attach to the base with mortise-and-tenon joints.
Order the complete project plan
A Japanese Garden Bench
A curved back rail and armrests, plus tapered back splats with a cross rail blend Asian esthetics and traditional Tudor style. The bench uses mortise-and-tenon joints throughout.
Order the complete project plan
The Lutyens Garden Bench
Designed more than 100 years ago by noted architect Edward Lutyens, this bench features a whimsical frame around classically regimented slats on the back and seat.
Order the complete project plan
Colonial Garden Bench
Inspired by outdoor furniture built during Colonial times, this bench has contoured back slats and arms that make for comfortable seating. Mortise-and-tenon joinery ensures a solid bench that will last for years.
Order the digital project plan
Build a Potting Bench
Build this redwood potting bench for yourself or the gardener in your life. It’s perfect for seed sowing, transplanting, and potting up cuttings.
Download the free plan

How To Build A Pergola

pergola

Title : How To Build A Pergola

Author: Rick Peters

Full Text & Source: http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to-plans/pergola/3352816

The Internet, 22/7/2014

Sample Text : Here’s a structure that won’t provide shelter from wind or rain, and is only marginally better when it comes to the midday sun. So, why build it? Because in the absence of walls and a roof, it defines an outdoor space without constraining it. It’s a unique architectural blend that places you both inside and out at the same time. The structure is called a pergola, and it’s just the thing to bring backyard landscaping to life. Pergolas were common features of Italian Renaissance gardens, often covering walkways or serving as grape arbors. Today, the same design can be used to define a passageway or frame a focal point in your yard. Add a climbing plant such as wisteria or, yes, grapevines, and your pergola will provide color and shade as well. 
Our pergola fits on an 8-ft. square, but it’s easy to modify it to suit your site. Cedar is our material of choice because it resists decay. Leave it unfinished and let it gradually turn gray. Or, apply a stain or sealer designed for exterior use. 

Installing the Posts
The posts are composed of pressure-treated 4 x 4 cores that are sheathed with 1 x cedar. We secured the post cores to a concrete pad with steel post-base anchors. If you’re not building on a pad, use longer posts and set them in the earth below the frost line. 

Attaching the Support Beams
Cut the four 2 x 6 cedar support beams to length, use a template to mark the curved notches at the ends and cut the notches with a jigsaw. Clamp the beams in place, and check that they’re level and that the posts are plumb. 
Then secure each end with four 3-in. No. 10 screws [4]

Adding the Crossbeams
The 2 x 6 crossbeams are notched to fit over the support beams. 
Cut the notches with a dado blade in the table saw [6], or lay out each notch and use a jigsaw to remove the waste. Install the crossbeam pairs at the posts first. When they’re in place, bore screwholes down through their top edges and screw crossbeams to the support beams [8]. Then add the three remaining pairs with similar spacing. 

Post Trim and Braces
Cut the post trimpieces to length and width. Note that you’ll need to notch some of the pieces to fit between the support beams, or you can make filler blocks to cover the post cores at these areas. Instead of trying for perfectly flush corners, we dimensioned the trim to leave a 1/8-in. shadow line, or reveal.  Secure the trimpieces to the posts with construction adhesive and galvanized finishing nails [9]. Use 2 x 6 stock for the diagonal braces. Cut the ends to length at 45 degrees, and use a flexible stick to lay out the shallow curve on the lower edge of each brace. Fasten the braces to the posts and beams with screws [10]Fitting the Top Slats
Cut the five 2 x 4 slats to length and shape the ends. 
Clamp each slat in place and mark the crossbeam notch positions [11]Capping the Posts
To make the post caps, cut square blanks and then set the table saw blade to 15 degrees for shaping the bevels. 
Use a longer board with a stop across the end as a sled to guide each blank through the blade [14]. Clamp the blanks to the sled when making the cuts. 

31 Quick & Easy Fat Burning Recipes

Title: 31 Quick-and-Easy Fat-Burning Recipes

Author: Health Magazine Online (Health.com)

Full Text & Source: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20678467,00.html
The Internet, 21/7/2014

Sample Text: Foods that fight fat

Losing weight—and keeping the pounds off—isn’t a quick or easy process, but a few simple diet tricks can be a big help along the way. Our favorites? Eating lots of protein, fiber, and healthy carbs, which boost your metabolism and keep you feeling full all day long.
If you’re not sure how to work these calorie-burning ingredients into your daily menu, start with these recipes. They all include at least one weight-loss superfood, and, best of all, they can be made in 30 minutes or less!
Broccoli & Feta Omelet with Toast
This easy breakfast recipe, which takes just 15 minutes start to finish, packs a one-two punch that will leave you feeling satisfied yet energized.
The broccoli provides filling fiber (and just 30 calories per serving), while the protein-loaded eggs curb appetite and will help stave off those late-morning cravings.

Health Food Recipes: http://www.health.com/health/food-recipes/

Eat Yourself Skinny Great Website

Title: Eat Yourself Skinny

Author: Kelly Hunt

Full Text & Source: http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/about
The Internet, 21/7/2014

Great website, easy to read with great low cal recipes for everyone

Sample Text: I’m a 20-something foodie with a passion for cooking and a huge desire to show that living a healthy lifestyle can actually be easy and fun! I love my dog, I love my life and I love that you stopped by my blog so that I can share all that and more with you! Cheers!

Her recipe box: http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/category/recipe-box
Sections Include -
Appetizer Recipes
Beef Recipes
Bread Recipes
Breakfast Recipes
•Carribean Recipes
•Casserole Recipes
•Chicken Recipes
•Chocolate Recipes
•Clean Recipes
•Cocktail Recipes
•Crock Pot Recipes
•Decor
•Dessert Recipes
•Dip and Salsa Recipes
•Fat-free Recipes
•Fruit Recipes
•Guest Posts
•Holiday Recipes
•Home
•Italian Recipes
•Low-fat Recipes
•Main Course Recipes
•Mexican Recipes
•Paleo Recipes
•Pasta Recipes
•Pizza Recipes
•Pork Recipes
•Salad Recipes
•Seafood Recipes
•Side Dish Recipes
•Snack Recipes
•Soup Recipes
•Sponsor Posts
•Tone It Up
•Uncategorized
•Vegan Recipes
•Vegetable Recipes
•Vegetarian Recipes

Cook Yourself Slim TV Show

Title: Cook Yourself Thin

Authors: Harry Eastwood, Allison Fishman and Candice Kumai

Full Text & Source: http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/cook-yourself-thin
The Internet, 21/7/2014

Sample Text: Do you want to have your cake and eat it too? “Cook Yourself Thin,” an all-new series, offers viewers the skills and the confidence to give their favorite indulgent meals a healthy makeover by cutting the calories and doubling the flavor!
Based on the successful British series and popular “Cook Yourself Thin” cookbook, culinary experts Harry Eastwood, Allison Fishman and Candice Kumai show guests how to lose their unwanted inches by replacing extreme dieting with clever cooking. Each half-hour “Cook Yourself Thin” episode follows one guest as she learns simple ways to transform her favorite high-calorie meals into delicious, healthier fare.
The meals are prepared step-by-step, comparing the calorie count of the original version to that of the “Cook Yourself Thin” recipe. The guest is then sent home with the ingredients, tools and tips necessary to make healthy changes in the kitchen. After six weeks of living the “Cook Yourself Thin” lifestyle, each participant is visited at home by the hosts to check on her progress.

Recipes: http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/cook-yourself-thin/recipes
Sample recipes
Spicy Dinner Options
COOK YOURSELF THIN RECIPES!
Tortilla Soup
Kebabs With Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Chipotle and Marshmallow Sweet Potatoes
Tex-Mex Steak with Pepper Salsa
Chicken and Veggie Curry
Chicken Tacos With Lime Mayo
Spanish-Style Paprika Shrimp

Healthy Holiday Breakfasts
Mango Morning
Apple Mini Muffins
Orange Surprise
Banana Bread

Starters & Sides
Roasted Cauliflower
Garlicky Fries
Greek Salad Pitza
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Citrus Slaw
Veggie Couscous and Tomato Salad

Listen Up Aspiring Domestic Goddess – Handy Tips

Title: How to Be a Good Housewife

Authors: Bex, Krystle C., Maddmattg, CampSpot and 69 others

Full Text & Source: http://www.wikihow.com/Be-a-Good-Housewife
The Internet, 20/7/2014

Sample Text: Are you a new housewife or are you just looking to really step up your game? Either way, this article will give you some great ideas for creating the perfect home and maintaining a healthy relationship with your husband.Cook (healthy) meals. Try to make healthy meals, to keep your whole family feeling their best, as well as keeping yourself healthy and strong (so you can deal with all the challenges in your day!). If you don’t know how to cook, try to learn! •Plan ahead, with the aim to have a delicious meal on the table when he gets home from work. It is often said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and it is absolutely true! Microwave meals are not suitable cuisine, so find a recipe book you like and start experimenting.
•Having a great meal ready is a good way to let him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. A good meal can be an expression of love and a warm welcome for your partner when he gets home.
Keep the house as clean as you can. Do your best to make your home a clean and pleasant place to live in. Having a clean house can reduce everybody’s stress and make things run much smoother. Prevent the constant search for the misplaced keys and the annoying dirty-dish odor by staying on top of the household chores. Do the laundry. Laundry is stressful and time consuming, plus leaving it around can make your home stinky! If you want to reduce your husband’s stress, help out by keeping the whole family’s clothing clean. With some careful planning, you can easily fit it into your day. You can even get the kids to help you fold! Have a schedule. You are like a general and your family are your troops. You have to keep everything running smoothly! Create schedules for cleaning and how you’ll get through your days, in order to help everything run better. Scheduling time is a great way to make sure more gets done in your day, since you’ll find yourself wasting much less time! Wake up early. Get a head start on your day to make everything go more smoothly. Oversleeping will only make you more tired anyway. Getting up earlier will make sure you get everyone’s lunches made and everyone dressed and ready to go without all the stress and scrambling to find that missing backpack. Create a healthy environment. Everyone in your family should come home to a healthy, empowering, uplifting environment. Do your best to make sure that everyone’s spiritual and emotional needs are being met, including your own, to make your home the best home it can be.
Part 2 of 4: Maintaining Your Relationship
Discuss expectations with your partner. Discuss realistic expectations, and how to meet them as best as you can. Do not presume that you have the same expectations because you may find out the hard way (through arguments) that you don’t. Sit down and talk it over. •The definition of a good housewife depends on which house you live in. It is also very culture-dependent.
•What are the things he is hoping you will keep up with in the home? What are his responsibilities in the home? If you are primarily responsible for keeping the house clean, he may take responsibility for cleaning up after himself: putting his dirty laundry in the hamper, putting his dishes in the dishwasher, etc.
•If you are also caring for young children during the day, you may be surprised by how difficult it is to also keep up with household tasks. Your husband may need to help significantly with the cooking and cleaning, if possible.
Maintain a respectable appearance. It is all too easy to stop paying attention to your appearance when you have a husband but maintaining attraction is a key element of a long-term relationship. While it was important to keep a good appearance during dating/courtship, it is even more important in a married relationship, or any committed relationship. Make sure you’re bathing regularly and wearing clean clothes. This is really about showing your husband that you still respect yourself….and you should respect yourself enough to take care of yourself! •If your husband oftentimes tells you he likes when you wear a certain garment or outfit, by all means, take the hint.
Treat him like an adult. It is important for your husband to still have control over his personal situations, like choosing his hobbies, his meals, his clothes, etc. When you are home a lot, it can be easy to want to take control of everything your husband does in the home, but this may not be your husband’s preference. It’s all right if you want to give him your input in a polite way, and of course fine if he asked you. Otherwise, let him have his space, just as you’d want yours. He’s a separate human being from you; always remember that.
Listen to him. A good wife listens to what her spouse has to say without interrupting. Show empathy and learn how to have great conversations. The key idea is that to be a good conversationalist, you should strive to listen more and talk less, by engaging the other person to talk more about his interests. That is the mark of humility, respect, selflessness, and generosity. •This will also set a good example and he should also listen to you more!
Find a balance in arguments, but avoid them if possible. Nagging never works, and will only serve to irritate your spouse. Not speaking your mind is just as bad. Husbands are not tyrannic creatures: if you find a balance in arguments, and take turns to speak, things will surely improve. Just remember to respect each other, and things will go much better. •Some arguing is normal. Don’t worry if this happens. You are different people and you will disagree sometimes! Just handle the arguments in a healthy way and everything will be okay.
Love your spouse for who he is. Don’t criticize him in an nonconstructive, cruel, or nagging way. Whatever your image of the ‘ideal’ man may be, everyone is unique in his own ways, so try to respect that. Before you try to improve others, try to improve yourself first. If you find things disagreeable about him, let him know in a mature, sensible and loving way: chances are that he will agree on some things and/or explain others, plus it will build trust between both of you and save unnecessary conflicts.
Part 3 of 4: Going the Extra Mile ………………………..Read online

Top 10 Irish Beers

Title: Top 10 Irish Beers

Author: Gayot

Full Text & Source: http://www.gayot.com/beer/top10irishbeers/main.html
The Internet, 20/7/2014

Text: The Best Stouts, Ales and Lagers Brewed in Ireland
Ireland might be a small island off the coast of a somewhat larger island, but its breweries are big business. Guinness, which dominates the Irish beer market at home and abroad, is brewed in nearly 60 countries and sold in more than 100. Its parent company Diageo also owns Smithwick’s, Harp and Kilkenny. Then there is Heineken International, which owns Beamish and Murphy’s. Those who find the dominance of multinational conglomerates disconcerting can take comfort in the expanding craft beer segment, including brands such as O’Hara’s and Porterhouse. GAYOT’s Top 10 Irish beers run the range from strong, rich and full-bodied for sipping to light and crisp — perfect for thirst-quenching and as a companion for spicy foods. To get a full taste of what the Emerald Isle has to offer, line up the following selections and have a tasting.
STOUTS
Guinness Draught
The milkshake of beers, this “meal in a bottle” has that roasted malt flavor and hint of chocolate we’ve come to expect from most full-bodied beers. A rich and creamy Irish favorite, this hearty brew is best straight out of the bottle or, if it’s canned, from a tulip-shaped pint glass. Ask your bartender for a “perfect pint,” an optimal pouring method which, according to the company, should take 119.53 seconds. Can’t wait that long? Just think of how happy you’ll be when that fluffy white cloud forms at the top of your glass, distinctive of “draught” or nitrogen-infused brews. Warning: May put hair on your chest.
Guinness Black Lager
Designed to lure pale beer drinkers over to the dark side, Guinness Black Lager is not a lighter version of the brand’s famous stout, but a whole different beer. Instead of stout’s creamy thickness and full body, black lager offers the crisp carbonation and light hops of its paler cousins. Yet, it still retains some of the stout’s roasted barley character, which gives the lager its dark color and fuller flavor. At just 4.5 percent alcohol by volume, Guinness Black Lager works great as a session beer and adds welcome diversity to the Irish brewery’s stout-heavy line-up.
Harp Lager
Not everyone wants a beer to taste like a milkshake. Luckily for them, there’s hope — Harp. This crisp summery lager, which comes from a country better known for its stouts and leprechauns, has a bitter beginning that quickly that turns to clean and refreshing. This classic lager is smooth and solid.
CREAM ALES
Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale
Kilkenny has friends in high places. Guinness brews it; Diageo, the world’s largest producer of spirits (Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Jose Cuervo, Bailey’s and Guinness) carries it; and Smithwick’s, Ireland’s oldest brewery, is where it originated. The beer is older than some countries, with a heritage dating back to the fourteenth century, and until recently, Dubliner Pub in Washington, D.C. was the only place in the United States that carried it. Kilkenny has since become widely available. The taste can be described as Smithwick’s with less hops and a creamy head like Guinness. The amber brew has the rich aroma and flavor of toasted malt. It’s all at once sweet and creamy, offset by some bitterness and is available in both draught (nitrogen-infused) and canned forms.
ALES
Murphy’s Irish Red
Irish red ales get their reddish hue from the small amounts of roasted barley they contain. Some manufacturers artificially color their beers red, and as a result some beers labeled “red ales” are not truly so. In America, darker amber ales are also sometimes labeled as “red ales.” Murphy’s Irish Red was originally brewed as Lady’s Well Ale in 1856. Lady’s Well, located across from the company’s brewery in Cork, has been a religious site for Catholics since the eighteenth century. Dutch beer juggernauts Heineken International purchased the brewery in 1983. This true Irish red is dry, crisp, hoppy and very carbonated with some signs of fruit and caramel.
STOUTS
Murphy’s Irish Stout
The lightest and sweetest of Ireland’s Big Three (Guinness, Beamish and Murphy’s), Murphy’s Irish Stout is the “nice guy” of the group. But don’t be deceived — that just means you can drink more of ‘em. Think chocolate milk topped with a double shot of espresso and finished with a one-inch thick head of caramel-infused creamy goodness. Since the company’s acquisition by Heineken in 1983, Murphy’s has been enjoying a reputation as one of the fastest growing stout brands in the world. Have a Guinness for dinner, but save this one for dessert.
STOUTS
O’Hara’s Celtic Stout (Carlow Brewery)
Carlow Brewery is what you would call old school. Its name comes from Carlow, a small town located in Ireland’s historic Barrow Valley region and home to a once-thriving craft beer scene. In the 1800s, crafting your own beer was a popular practice among the inhabitants of Carlow, but this ended with the takeover of small breweries by big business. Carlow Brewing Company, founded in 1996, is reviving this olde tyme way of producing beers long lost, motivated by the belief that their way of manufacturing beers is superior to modern methods. O’Hara’s Celtic Stout is true to the original Irish stout. It’s a robust, full-bodied combination of hops and roasted barley, providing both sweetness and a roasty bite with no artificial additives. Just hops, barley, yeast and water — that’s it. (Really makes you wonder what you’re drinking in all those other beers.) If you’re looking for the real deal, this is it.
ALES
O’Hara’s Irish Wheat (Carlow Brewery)
Ireland is famous for its stout, but this Irish wheat beer is worth checking out. Also known as Curim Gold Celtic Wheat, O’Hara’s Irish Wheat is an easy-drinking golden ale. On the nose, it displays hints of banana, peach and plum, which balance the bitter hops on the finish. Mild and smooth on the palate, the beer’s wheaty flavor profile lacks the stronger wholegrain flavors typical of many American hefeweizens. At just 4.3 percent alcohol, the Irish Wheat works well with food or as a session ale.
STOUTS
Porterhouse Brewing Co. Oyster Stout
Established in 1996, Porterhouse Brewing Company is Ireland’s largest independent brewery. Beginning with a Dublin pub, the company now operates bars as far afield as New York and London, bringing their craft brews beyond the Emerald Isle’s shores. Porterhouse Brewing Company makes a varied range of stouts, ales, lagers, seasonal and specialty beers, including their popular oyster stout. The name is not a misnomer. While not all oyster stouts are actually made with the bivalve mollusc — some were simply designated as such because pubs served them with oysters — Porterhouse actually shucks fresh oysters into the conditioning tank. Fortunately, you won’t find them floating in your pint, but you should get a hint of their flavor — not full on, as if you were eating fresh seafood, but more subtly, as in Asian foods made with oyster sauce. The result may not be your typical Irish stout, but it still has the characteristic rounded malt flavors, creamy mouthfeel and smooth finish. Vegetarians beware!
Smithwick’s Irish Ale
This beer is so old, it dates back to the fourteenth century when monks would brew their own next door to the Smithwick’s brewery. The ruins of the original Franciscan abbey that once stood there can still be seen. Smithwick’s is Ireland’s oldest operating brewery, the major ale producer in Ireland and, along with Guinness, part of Diageo. Like Murphy’s Irish Red, this is a red ale characterized by caramel maltiness and a hint of hops.

Five Best Beers For A Party

Title: Five Best Beers For A Party

Author: The Kitchn

Full Text & Source:http://www.thekitchn.com/the-beer-fridge-5-best-beers-to-serve-at-a-partybeer-sessions-168925
The Internet, 20/7/2014
You love beer. I love beer. But do you know if your guests love beer? If you’re facing a big crowd with lots of different tastes, here are five great brews to have in the fridge.
• Sam Adams Lager
• Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
• Rogue Dead Guy Ale
• Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
• Oskar Blues Ten Fiddy Imperial Stout
The idea here is to hit a range of tastes. Sam Adams is the “safe” beer: most people recognize it, like it, and will drink it if their favorite beer isn’t around. The Sierra Nevada pale ale and Rogue’s Dead Guy are also fairly familiar, but push the edges a little. The pale ale will appeal to folks who like bitter beers while Dead Guy is sweeter and maltier.
The last two are for your beer lovers or folks wanting to try something different. They might be a little extreme for people who usually drink Corona and Bud Lite, but you’ll make your guests who like more intense beer flavors very happy. You could really replace these two with any new, favorite, extreme, or otherwise mind-blowing beer you’ve recently discovered.
Which five beers would you recommend having on-hand for a crowd of mixed beer drinkers?

Time to Think Pink!

Title: Time to Think Pink!

Author O’Brien’s Wines (Nice Wine Blog)

Full Text & Source: http://www.obrienswine.ie/blog/entry/Time-to-Think-Pink
The Internet,20/7/2014

Sample Blog: Time to Think Pink!

As I look out the window this afternoon it’s hard to believe it, but apparently there’s lots of glorious sunshine predicted for this weekend.
I for one will definitely be seizing the all too rare opportunity to sit in the sun with a nice glass of rosé and what better time to take advantage of our amazing 3 for 2 offer.
With up to eleven wines to choose from there are plenty of options and I have picked a few of my personal favourites from the offer.
As you can see from the selection below we have a broad variety of styles of rosé included in this mix & match deal, so whatever you are planning this weekend we have the perfect wine for you!

L’Ostal Cazes Rosé € 13.99 3 for 2
This is ground-breaking a new rose from the fabulous Lynch-Bages owned estate. Using their high altitude with just a touch of skin contact, this is aromatic and packed with flavour.
This rose is one the best wines we have tried from the whole of the Languedoc; a beautiful strawberry scented dry rose that is superb with barbecued food.

Mas Belles Eaux Rosé € 13.99 3 for 2
Owned by Bordeaux superstar estate Pichon-Longueville, this domaine is excelling in premium Languedoc wines. This rich, dry Rosé is one of the region’s finest.
Try this with pan fried tiger prawns in chilli and garlic for a perfect pai

Domaine de Nizas Rosé € 14.99 3 for 2
Structured, serious rosé from this highly acclaimed Languedoc estate. Owned and run by Goelet Estates (Clos Du Val).
Everything here is estate grown and bottled and the results show in this concentrated food-friendly rosé.

Rizzardi Chiaretto Rosé € 13.99 3 for 2
Rich, concentrated and bursting with ripe strawberry and raspberry fruit, this is a sumptuous rosé.
This is the perfect Spring summer drink: lovely as an aperitif or matching fresh pasta. For a match made in heaven try this with pork/ chicken stir-fry.

Los Vascos Rosé € 13.99 3 for 2
Los Vascos is the Chilean branch of world famous DBR Lafite. The quality is stellar and you will find this to be one of Chile’s best rosés.
A real treat for wine drinkers let alone fans of good dry rosé, this is structured, dry, full-flavoured rosé that delivers buckets of vibrant fruit. A new star.

O’Brien Wines Also Supply: Wines, Champagne, Ales, Cider, Lager, Irish Craft Beers & Stout
About Us
“O’Briens Wine Off Licence Group is Ireland’s largest family owned drinks retailer. We ship directly and exclusively from over 55 wineries worldwide. We have a strong relationship with each of our suppliers which enables us to offer our customers a range of excellent quality wines at the very best value. We also work with local suppliers to deliver a complete range of over 1,000 wines and the largest beer and spirits offering in the country”.
Please Note— Free Delivery to anywhere in Ireland for all orders over €60 – See more at: http://www.obrienswine.ie/blog/category/food-and-wine#sthash.JViKI4Dn.dpuf
Head Office General Email: info@obrienswine.ie
Head Office Telephone: +353 1 2693139
Head Office Fax: +353 1 2697480
Store Locator: http://www.obrienswine.ie/store-locator

Six Wines to Bring to a Dinner Party

Title: Six Wines to Bring to a Dinner Party

Author: Scott Jones

Full Text & Source:http://www.cookinglight.com/entertaining/wine/dinner-party-wines
The Internet, 20/7/2014

Sample Text:
Match Wines to your Host or Hostess’ Personality
Is your dinner party host or hostess a wine connoisseur or a novice? Does he or she stick to comfort-food basics or go all organic? Or are they just downright hard to please?
Well, we have you covered with the perfect wine suggestions to impress your dinner companions—even the pickiest cook will be pleased with your gift.
Joel Gott, Unoaked Chardonnay, California, 2011 ($18)
This crisp chardonnay packs a two-punch combo. Palate-cleansing acidity easily cuts through a rich casserole, but this weighty white also has enough heft to tackle baked pasta or mashed potatoes.
For the Dark Chocolate Indulger
Lapostolle, Casa Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile, 2010 ($14)
A deep, intense chocolate bar calls for an equally powerful, rich red. The bold tannins in Lapostolle’s Casa Cab balance out dark chocolate’s bittersweet edge while allowing the wine’s red berry flavors to shine through.

Ask a Sommelier: The Best Party Wines

Title: Ask a Sommelier: The Best Party Wines#

Author: Hayley Daen

Full Text & Source: http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2013/12/best-wine-for-party-champagne-riesling-wine-recommendations-sommeliers-new-years-holiday-parties.html
The Internet, 20/7/2014

Sample Text: With the holiday season fully upon us, we all need something festive to drink. Whether we’re toting it with us to a cocktail party or serving it to guests, there are certain wines that work especially well for a party. We asked wine experts from across the country what they like to open when it’s party time.
Here’s what they had to say…
“Right now it’s rosé! It’s a myth that we should only drink pink wine from the most recent vintage and only during the summer. Many of the rosés out there are crisp and dry, which makes them great to enjoy on their own or with a variety of party snacks. No need to worry about specific food pairings or having purple teeth at a party!” —Theresa Paopao (Ribelle)
“In the winter, I love Cru Beaujolais. It is relatively inexpensive, but it’s totally drinkable and is a crowd pleaser.” —Shannon Tucker (Foreign Cinema)
“For parties, I tend to gravitate toward things in a box. From one-liter boxes of organic Sangiovese in a Tetra Pak (Fuoristrada Sangiovese 2010 is my favorite) to five liters of organic Bonarda or Barbera from the Pedmont (go with Cascina Roera Langhe Rosso).” —Liz Vilardi (Belly), (The Blue Room), and (Central Bottle Wine + Provisions)
“Bubbles! Always bubbles. I’m crushing on Melaric Cabernet Franc. Its tiny pink bubbles are a little funky and something different. Most people don’t treat themselves to sparkling wine. I think it’s special and love to drink it any chance I get.” —Sarah Egeland (Smallwares)
“My favorite wine to bring to a group of friends is Pierre Peters Cuvée Reserve Champagne, in magnums. First of all, who doesn’t love Champagne? Secondly, it’s from one of the greatest producers of ‘Farmer Fizz’ ever. In addition to that, even though it is a non-vintage wine (and priced like a NV!), it is secretly an undeclared vintage wine! Currently 2008. (To be clear, only the Magnums are all one vintage).” —Joe Camper (DB Bistro Moderne)
“Riesling is the king of party wine. The light body and fruity palate is very approachable to non-wine drinker and experienced winos. My absolute favorite is Riesling in a magnum bottle. It is the sexiest bottle shape out there and will sure make a conversation starter.” —Bank Atcharawan (Chada Thai & Wine)
“It really depends on the party and the time of the year, but right now I would say my go-to party wine is Rhone Valley for red, and Alsace for white. These wines are really well suited for this time of the year because they have a really nice spice, and go well with seasonal ingredients. My favorite in the magnum format is Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe, “La Crau”, 2009.” —Pedro Goncalves (Oceana)
“Champagne! Or sparkling wine in general because it is always festive and celebratory. I am huge fan of rosé Champagne (all year round!). Magnums are always more fun! If you have enough people, opening any large format bottle is always a show stopper and conversation starter.” —Jessica Brown (The Breslin) and (The John Dory Oyster Bar)
“For party wines I believe in going with the classics. Let’s be honest, people are there to socialize and have fun, not to learn about a grape they’ve never heard of. I also believe in serving white wines—when you are socializing all night no one wants purple teeth or a dry mouth from too much tannin. Chablis is my favorite party wine—light and crisp enough that it is refreshing, and delicious enough that guests keep drinking more and more, ensuring that they have a good time. Picking up a village level Chablis from an iconic producer like Dauvissat will make any wine geeks at your party happy without emptying your bank account.” —Jeff Kellogg (Maialino)
“My go-to party wine is definitely Cru Beaujolais. I try to find good producers that distribute in magnum format (1.5 Liters) because the great examples are honestly almost too easy to drink, and single bottles are never enough to go around. Cru Beaujolais (especially from the villages of Morgon and Fleurie) is one of the most versatile wine regions for medium-bodied red wines out there and can serve as a charming wine to drink with snacks or can pair with a whole array of dishes from Mexican to Thai and in between.” —Eduardo Porto-Carreiro (DBGB Kitchen and Bar)…………………

Cocktail Hour

Title: Cocktail Recipes; Ranging from classic to eclectic, browse our cocktail recipes to find the right libation for every taste, occasion, and season.

Author: Martha Stewart

Full Text & Source: http://www.marthastewart.com/275676/classic-cocktails/@center/276959/cocktail-hour
The Internet, 20/7/2014

17 Classic Cocktail Recipes
19 Whiskey Cocktails
23 Rum Cocktails
18 Tequila Cocktails

Sample Text:
Manhattan
Food and drink trends may come and go, but these classic libations are never out of style. Make happy hour even happier with our tried-and-true recipes.
Yes, this all-American barroom standard was created on the island that gives it its name. The combination of rye or bourbon with bitters and sweet vermouth has been a classic for more than a hundred years.
Ingredients
 2 1/2 ounces bourbon or rye
 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
 2 dashes Angostura bitters
 Ice cubes
 Maraschino cherry, for garnish
Directions
Step 1
Shake bourbon, vermouth, and bitters over ice. Strain into a cocktail glass; garnish with cherry.
Step 2
Shake bourbon, vermouth, and bitters over ice. Strain into a cocktail glass; garnish with cherry.

Party Cocktails A-Z

Title: Party Cocktails

Author: Food Network

Full Text & Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/cocktail-party.html
The Internet, 20/7/2014

Sample Text: Cocktail Party

Bring your cocktail party to life with inventive ideas for elegant drinks and easy appetizers guests will love.

Recipes: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/articles/sandras-cocktail-party/sandra-lees-south-beach-cocktail-party.html