31 October 2008

Beijing Hutong Tours

If you have enough time, besides the "Five Places You Must Travel in Beijing", I advise that you should stroll Beijing hutong.Because that the real culture of Beijing is "the culture of hutong" and "the culture of courtyard". How true that is. Often, it is Beijing's winding hutongs that attract tourists from home and abroad rather than the high-rise buildings and large mansions.The word "hutong" is Mongolian in origin, meaning a "water well". In the old time with the digging of new wells, came the new communities. Later it was referred to as narrow streets or lanes formed by quadrangles.

Like streets, hutongs have their names. Some have had only one name since their establishment and others have had a few names throughout their history. Beijing was once a consumer city. A lot of hutong names are linked to the names of food. Some are connected to the names of the places, the temples, daily necessities, trades, light industry, plants, people's names and even government's organs.
Food names, such as Miancha Hutong ( noodle and tea )
Temples, Baoguosi Hutong ( Baoguo Temple )
Daily necessities, Caomao Hutong ( straw hat )
Place names, as Inner Xizhimen Hutong
Plants, such as Liushu Hutong (Liushu means willow)
Light industry, as Damuchang Hutong ( big wood factory )
People's names, as Songguniang Hutong ( Ms Liu )
Government organs, as Jingcha Hutong ( Police Bureau )

Among the numerous hutongs in Beijing, Beixinqiao Hutong has the most turns. There are more than 20 in which you can easily get lost. The narrowest is Qian Shi Hutong (Money Market Hutong), measuring about 30 to 40 meters (32 to 44 yards), located in Zhubao Shi Street outside the Front Gate. The narrowest part is merely 40 centimeters (16 inches) wide, so when two people meet, they must turn sideways to pass each other. The longest one is Dong Jiaomin Hutong, with a total length of 6.5 kilometers (4 miles), lying between Chang'an Avenue and East Street and West Street of the Front Gate. The shortest one is Guantong Hutong measuring about 30 meters (33 yards).

When the new city of Yuan Dynasty was established, it is recorded that there were about 390 roads formed by the rows of quadrangles. Some of were called streets and lanes, and some "hutongs". There wre over 900 hutongs were listed in Qing Dynasty. The records increased to 1,330 by 1949. Now many of the old hutongs have been turned down and replaced by the high buildings and wide roads of today’s Beijing. Many citizens have to leave the narrow lanes where their families have lived there for generations, and residing in apartment buildings with modern facilities. However,some of Beijing’s ancient hutongs still survive, due to the local government's protection policy and people's request. Many have been listed as protected areas. So these ancient neighborhoods today provide a glimpse of the real life in the capital city as it has been for generations. Many hutongs are being restored and renovated.In Beijing, there are mainly two hutong areas well preserved - Shichahai area in Dongcheng District and Qianmen area in Xuanwu District. The hutongs in the area of the Bell Tower and Shichahai Lake are especially well preserved whch attract lots of tourists who travel the hutongs by pedicabs.

30 October 2008

About All Saint's Day

Oct 31th is Halloween, which origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

History of Halloween
The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

Today's Traditions

One of the verses about the pumpkins reminded me about pumpkins being used as "Jack-O-Lanterns" on Halloween. October 31, Halloween Day is celebrated by carving face into a hollow pumpkin, and placing a lighted candle in it at night for all to see outside by the front door of everyone's house. Children dress up in costumes of all kinds and go from house to house where there is a pumpkin or porch light on, saying "Trick or Treat!" The idea is that children will be given a candy or other small treat, otherwise they might play a trick on the homeowner, although a real trick is not the modern-day custom.

The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Hundreds of years ago, winter was an uncertain and frightening time. Food supplies often ran low and, for the many people afraid of the dark, the short days of winter were full of constant worry. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter.

Peking Duck

If you come to Beijing, the Peking Duck can not been missed.Among China's 1.3 billion people, there's one name that first comes to mind when the words "roast duck" are mentioned: Quanjude. Ask the Chinese what a visit to the nation's capital should involve and they will tell you that two things must be achieved: climb the Great Wall and eat a roast duck at Quanjude.

The first restaurant to bear the name Quanjude opened in 1864 during the reign of the Qing Emperor Tongzhi. Due to its high standards, the restaurant’s fame spread rapidly and for many years the supply of roast ducks could hardly satisfy the demand. For this reason, the restaurant was rebuilt and expanded in 1948. In 1954 a branch (known as Hongbinlou) was opened in West Chang?an Boulevard and another in Wangfujing Street in 1959. These additions, however, still did not solve the problem, and with the opening of the Quanjude at hepingmen in 1979, it was no longer necessary to make a reservation a week in advance to taste Beijing’s most famous culinary delight.

Dietary culture
While many have heard of "Peking Duck," few realize that the Quanjude restaurant has a menu list of over 400 dishes consisting entirely of duck. Of course there are the mainstays, like the famous Quanjude Roasted Duck, Quanjude Mustard Duck Web, Quanjude Boiled Duck Liver, Quanjude Seasoned Duck Gizzard, Quanjude Shredded Duck Wing, and Quanjude Quick Fried Duck Heart. But there are also pages and pages of more unusual duck selections. There's a duck dish for every body part: tongues, livers, skin, gizzards, breasts, and the appetizing duck-feet webs. Even the duck egg is included in the menu as a dish named "Crystal Duck."

With its long history, Quanjude roast duck enjoys a high reputation among domestic and overseas consumers for the peculiar roast technique and outstanding quality. It ranks the first not only in Chinese Famous Dishes, compiled by all-China famous chefs under the organization of Ministry of Commerce in 1958, but also in Elite of Chinese Famous Dishes, published by China and Japan in 1982. In many cases, Quanjude lists the first among famous restaurants.

28 October 2008

Five Places You Must Travel in Beijing

If you come to Beijing, and don't have enough time to travel all of the sight in Beijing, I advise that you must go to travel the five Places, or you may have a pity.

The first Place is Tiananmen Square.Located at the center of Beijing City is Tiananmen Square, where you can visit Tiananmen Tower, Monument to the People's Heroes, Great Hall of the People, Mao Zedong Memorial Hall and see the national flag raising ceremony. Thousands of people come to the Square every day. It is the must place to visit in Beijing City.Tiananmen Square is the geographical center of Beijing City. It is the largest city square in the world, occupying an area of 440,000 square meters (about 109 acres), and able to accommodate 10,000,000 people at one time. The square is a conglomeration of splendid and beautiful flowers and the red national flag which flutters in the wind.

The Second place is The Forbidden City.The Forbidden City, also named Palace Museum, is the most magnificent and splendid palace complex in China and one of the five world-famous palaces with the Palace of Versailles in France, Buckingham Palace in England, the White House in the U.S. and the Kremlin in Russia. it is to the north of Tiananmen Square. Rectangular in shape, it is the world's largest palace complex and covers 74 hectares. Surrounded by a six meter deep moat and a ten meter high wall are 9,999 rooms. The wall has a gate on each side. Opposite the Tiananmen Gate, to the north is the Gate of Divine Might (Shenwumen), which faces Jingshan Park. The distance between these two gates is 960 meters, while the distance between the gates in the east and west walls is 750 meters. There are unique and delicately structured towers on each of the four corners of the curtain wall. These afford views over both the palace and the city outside. The Forbidden City is divided into two parts. The southern section, or the Outer Court was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation. The northern section, or the Inner Court was where he lived with his royal family. Until 1924 when the last emperor of China was driven from the Inner Court, fourteen emperors of the Ming dynasty and ten emperors of the Qing dynasty had reigned here. Having been the imperial palace for some five centuries, it houses numerous rare treasures and curiosities. Listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1987, the Palace Museum is now one of the most popular tourist attractions world-wide.

The third place is the Great Wall.A Chinese saying goes that He who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man. The Great Wall, (Wanli Changcheng) literally means the Ten Thousand Mile Wall, is a great fortification in ancient China. The section at Badaling is the most famous of all due to its proximity to Beijing City and condition of restoration. The imposing Badaling Great Wall climbs up and down, twists and turns along the high mountain ridges. It fully shows the lofty quality of ancient Chinese labor people.Badaling Great Wall, with more than 1000 meters above sea level, occupies a commanding and strategic position. It is a defensive outpost of the Great Wall. It is called "Bada" as it stretches in all directions.

The fourth place is The Summer Palace.As its name implies, the Summer Palace was used as a summer residence by China's imperial rulers - as a retreat from the main imperial palace now known as the Palace Museum (or 'Forbidden City') - a pleasureground in the countryside, yet near to the city.The Summer Palace is virtually a museum of traditional Chinese gardening that uses rocks, plants, pavilions, ponds, cobble paths and other garden styles to create a poetic effect between different scenes. When you stroll around the Summer Palace, you will constantly find the area changing.

The fifth place is The Temple of Heaven.The Temple of Heaven in the southern part of Beijing is China's largest existing complex of ancient sacrificial buildings. Occupying an area of 273 hectares, it is three times the area of the Forbidden City. It was built in 1420 for emperors to worship Heaven. The principle buildings include the Altar of Prayer for Good Harvests, Imperial Vault of Heaven and Circular Mound Altar.The Altar of Prayer for Good Harvest, 38 meters in height and 30 meters in diameter, stands on a round foundation built with three levels of marble stones. This towering triple-eave hall is under a three-story, cone-shaped glaze-tile roof in blue color crowned with a gilded knob. A circular wall of polished bricks known as the Echo Wall encloses the Imperial Vault of Heaven. The Circular Mount Altar, south to the Imperial Vault of Heaven, is where the emperor prayed to heaven. At the center lies a round stone called the Center of Heaven Stone that echoes when a visitor speaks loudly when standing on the stone.

Besides these place to travel, you should have a rest and taste the beijing cuisine.According to a Chinese saying, no visit to Beijing is complete if you miss seeing the Great Wall or dining on Roast Duck. As a famous and delicious food with very long history, Beijing Roast Duck is an excellent choice if you want to understand more about Chinese cuisine, culture and customs.

22 October 2008

Export-tax rebate rise set to boost industries

CHINA will raise export-tax rebates on textiles and garments from November 1 - the second increase in three months - to help struggling China industries plagued by weaker global demand.

Tax rebates on shipments of textiles and garments will be increased to 14 percent, the Ministry of Finance said in a Website statement yesterday.

China last lifted the rebates by 2 percentage points to 13 percent on August 1.

The ministry also said that the rebate on the exports of toys would be increased to 14 percent from 11 percent and the amount on furniture shipments would rise to 13 percent from 11 percent.

Rebates on exports of selected ceramic, plastics, mechanical, electrical and medicinal products will also be lifted by 1 to 2 percentage points, according to the finance ministry.

The State Council, China's Cabinet, said over the weekend that it would push forward policies to spur growth through measures including raising tax rebates for exporters and cutting some of the administrative fees involved in property transactions.

The moves were aimed at maintaining steady economic expansion and shielding the country from turmoil in the international markets, the government said.

China's economic growth was 9 percent in the third quarter, the slowest in five years.

China's exports of garments reached US$87.1 billion in the first nine months of this year, up 1.8 percent year on year, according to Customs data. The growth increase was 21.2 percentage points lower than a year before.

A rising yuan and increasing production costs have driven a lot of smaller Chinese toy producers out of business. A total of 3,631 toy exporters, or 52.7 percent of the industry's total, were closed in the first seven months, according to Customs.

Commerce Minister Chen Deming said in September that the government would help labor-intensive exporters to overcome difficulties they were facing as global demand faltered.

Chen also encouraged them to be innovative by upgrading their products to meet challenges.

Despite the higher rebates, industry analysts said that Chinese textile and garment manufacturers would still face difficulties in coping with rising input and labor costs.

The initiatives may herald more stimulus policies by the government, such as measures to spur domestic demand and to offer credit support to firms facing a capital crunch, analysts said.

"The tax-rebate rises won't make a big impact on textile companies, but it reflected the government's determination to help the export sector," said Zhang Bing, a Sinolink Securities Co analyst.

"Giving some credit support and direct subsidies to those companies as the next step will likely achieve better results."


21 October 2008

SPA, A Fashion Relaxing Mode

Nowdays, the pressure of work make people tired both body and spirit. So, the modes of relaxing are welcomed by people such as Yoga, Spa etc.

Spas are carefully designed to provide you with the perfect hot water experience. Enjoy precious time with family and friends. Spend an intimate evening with someone close to you. Relieve aches and pains. Take pleasure in quiet solitude to rejuvenate your spirit. Or do all of the above as the mood strikes you. Soaking in hot water while enjoying the soothing hydro massaging jet action of a Clearwater Spa may mean different things to different people, but one thing will always remain the same: your Clearwater Spa will give you the best hot water experiences you will ever have.Now spas are available to the common man and they can get a spa installed outdoors. Outdoor spas are placed outside the house, either in the garden or in the courtyard. Fitness areas that consist of pools also can install these spa tubs adjacent to them. This can help people to experience the unique experience of spas right at their doorstep.

Feet First
Let your feet do the resting. A foot reflexology massage targets pressure points on the feet to relieve tension from head to toe.

Saving Face
You only have one face, so treat it beautifully. Aviva offer facials designed specifically for ladies and men.There is a wide range of facial treatments to choose, from the basic to the exquisite. Let our spa consultant recommends the right program for you, regardless of your sex, age or skin condition.

Skin Deep
Ensure deep skin cleansing with treatments like the MarineWeed Scrubs and MudWraps which involve skin brushing, gentle exfoliation, relaxing scalp massage and an application of warm algae, rich in minerals and enzymes. Helps reduce water retention, boost metabolism and eliminate toxins.

Body Bliss
Heighten bodily sensory responses with special oil treatments. Aviva offers the Botanis and Aromis Body Massage with specially blended essential and herbal oils, applied in a full-body aromatherapy massage.

Taking The Waters
Experience a hydrotherapy treatment in a tub and you will feel invigorated all over. For the first-timer, 15 minutes is all you need as the treatment really gets your blood circulation going. You can choose a Detoxifying with Mineral Salts, Energising Yang with Ginseng or Refreshing with Green Tea. This "taking the waters" spa ritual dated back to the Romans and has been updated since.

Flying High
Don’t let long-haul flights bring you down. Counter jet-lag quickly and effectively with our JetLag Reliever. This treatment promotes speedy recovery after air travel and includes a SkinRefresh Spa Facial and an invigorating Aromis Head & Shoulder Massage. We are just a few minutes away from Changi Airport by taxi.

16 October 2008

Chinese Eight Cuisines

China covers a large territory and has many nationalities, hence a variety of Chinese food with different but fantastic and mouthwatering flavor. Since China's local dishes have their own typical characteristics, generally, Chinese food can be roughly divided into eight regional cuisines, which has been widely accepted around. Certainly, there are many other local cuisines that are famous, such as Beijing Cuisine and Shanghai Cuisine.

Shandong Cuisine
Consisting of Jinan cuisine and Jiaodong cuisine, Shandong cuisine, clear, pure and not greasy, is characterized by its emphasis on aroma, freshness, crispness and tenderness. Shallot and garlic are usually used as seasonings so Shangdong dishes tastes pungent usually. Soups are given much emphasis in Shangdong dishes. Thin soup features clear and fresh while creamy soup looks thick and tastes strong. Jinan cuisine is adept at deep-frying, grilling, frying and stir-frying while Jiaodong division is famous for cooking seafood with fresh and light taste.

Shandong is the birthplace of many famous ancient scholars such as Confucious and Mencius. And much of Shandong cuisine's history is as old as Confucious himself, making it the oldest existing major cuisine in China. But don't expect to gain more wisdom from a fortune at a Shandong restaurant in the West since fortune s aren't even indigenous to China.

Shandong is a large peninsula surrounded by the sea to the East and the Yellow River meandering through the center. As a result, seafood is a major component of Shandong cuisine. Shandong's most famous dish is the Sweat and Sour Carp. A truly authentic Sweet and Sour Carp must come from the Yellow River. But with the current amount of pollution in the Yellow River, you would be better off if the carp was from elsewhere. Shandong dishes are mainly quick-fried, roasted, stir-fried or deep-fried. The dishes are mainly clear, fresh and fatty, perfect with Shandong's own famous beer, Qingdao Beer

Sichuan Cuisine
Sichuan Cuisine, known often in the West as Szechuan Cuisine, is one of the most famous Chinese cuisines in the world. Characterized by its spicy and pungent flavor, Sichuan cuisine, prolific of tastes, emphasizes on the use of chili. Pepper and prickly ash also never fail to accompany, producing typical exciting tastes. Besides, garlic, ginger and fermented soybean are also used in the cooking process. Wild vegetables and animals are usually chosen as ingredients, while frying, frying without oil, pickling and braising are applied as basic cooking techniques. It cannot be said that one who does not experience Sichuan food ever reaches China.

If you eat Sichuan cuisine and find it too bland, then you are probably not eating authentic Sichuan cuisine. Chili peppers and prickly ash are used in many dishes, giving it a distinctively spicy taste, called ma in Chinese. It often leaves a slight numb sensation in the mouth. However, most peppers were brought to China from the Americas in the 18th century so you can thank global trade for much of Sichuan cuisine's excellence. Sichuan hot pots are perhaps the most famous hotpots in the world, most notably the Yuan Yang (mandarin duck) Hotpot half spicy and half clear.

Guangdong Cuisine
Cantonese food originates from Guangdong, the southernmost province in China. The majority of overseas Chinese people are from Guangdong (Canton) so Cantonese is perhaps the most widely available Chinese regional cuisine outside of China.

Cantonese are known to have an adventurous palate, able to eat many different kinds of meats and vegetables. In fact, people in Northern China often say that Cantonese people will eat anything that flies except airplanes, anything that moves on the ground except trains, and anything that moves in the water except boats. This statement is far from the truth, but Cantonese food is easily one of the most diverse and richest cuisines in China. Many vegetables originate from other parts of the world. It doesn't use much spice, bringing out the natural flavor of the vegetables and meats.

Tasting clear, light, crisp and fresh, Guangdong cuisine, familiar to Westerners, usually chooses raptors and beasts to produce originative dishes. Its basic cooking techniques include roasting, stir-frying, sauteing, deep-frying, braising, stewing and steaming. Among them steaming and stir-frying are more commonly applied to preserve the natural flavor. Guangdong chefs also pay much attention to the artistic presentation of dishes.

Fujian Cuisine
Consisting of Fuzhou Cuisine, Quanzhou Cuisine and Xiamen Cuisine, Fujian Cuisine is distinguished for its choice seafood, beautiful color and magic taste of sweet, sour, salty and savory. The most distinct features are their "pickled taste".

Jiangsu Cuisine
Jiangsu Cuisine, also called Huaiyang Cuisine, is popular in the lower reach of the Yangtze River. Aquatics as the main ingredients, it stresses the freshness of materials. Its carving techniques are delicate, of which the melon carving technique is especially well known. Cooking techniques consist of stewing, braising, roasting, simmering, etc. The flavor of Huaiyang Cuisine is light, fresh and sweet and with delicate elegance. Jiangsu cuisine is well known for its careful selection of ingredients, its meticulous preparation methodology, and its not-too-spicy, not-too-bland taste. Since the seasons vary in climate considerably in Jiangsu, the cuisine also varies throughout the year. If the flavor is strong, it isn't too heavy; if light, not too bland.

Zhejiang Cuisine
Comprising local cuisines of Hangzhou, Ningbo and Shaoxing, Zhejiang Cuisine, not greasy, wins its reputation for freshness, tenderness, softness, smoothness of its dishes with mellow fragrance. Hangzhou Cuisine is the most famous one among the three.

Hunan cuisine
Hunan cuisine consists of local Cuisines of Xiangjiang Region, Dongting Lake and Xiangxi coteau. It characterizes itself by thick and pungent flavor. Chili, pepper and shallot are usually necessaries in this division.

Anhui Cuisine
Anhui Cuisine chefs focus much more attention on the temperature in cooking and are good at braising and stewing. Often hams will be added to improve taste and sugar candy added

About Chinese Wedding Feast

It is ceremonious and busy of Chinese wedding. In the wedding day, the host will prepare abundant cate for the guests.The Wedding Feast is one of the main Wedding Costs in wedding. Certain types of Chinese food are commonly served at the Chinese wedding banquet, which include fish, roast suckling pig, pigeon, chicken cooked with red oil, lobster and desert bun with lotus seeds stuffed inside. The pronunciation of fish is the same as "abundance", meaning the newlyweds will have plentiful of wealth. Roast suckling pig is usually served whole, a symbol of the bride's purity (virginity). Pigeon implies peaceful future. Chicken also means phoenix, cooked in red oil to symbolize the wish for a prosperous life ahead for the newlyweds. Lobster is literally called "dragon shrimp" in Chinese. Having lobster and chicken together at wedding banquet indicates that the dragon and the phoenix are hormones together, and the Yin and Yang elements in this family is balanced.

Some of Chinese wedding banquet menu:
Barbecued Whole Suckling Pig
Braised Stuffed Whelk
Stir Fried Sliced Scallops & Prawns
Braised Shark’s Fin w/ Crab Meat
Braised Sliced Abalone
Deep Fried Crispy Whole Chicken
Stir Fried Lobsters in Supreme Soup
Steamed Whole Fish
Fried Rice w/ Shrimp & Pork
Braised E-Fu Noodles
Sweet Red Bean Cream w/ Lotus Seed
Fancy Cakes

Some of photos:

Barbecued Whole Suckling Pig

Deep Fried Crispy Whole Chicken

Steamed Whole Fish

14 October 2008

Have A BBQ

It is not too hot or too cold in Autumn, so, it is time to go out for a trip or have a picnic. Having a BBQ is a good idea at this season.Invite your friends, dirive your beloved car, take the delicious food with you, enjoy the sun of Autumn... Is it so comfortable and agreeable? don't hesitate, now, make a decision.

Prepare for BBQ
Before having your BBQ, you must buy the material of BBQ.

I suppose the obligatory foods would be sausages and burgers (try making your own with a twist!). You can have any type of chicken - maybe wings in a sticky marinade or some marinaded chicken breasts.

A lot of people love a steak cooked on the barbecue as well.
Seafood is also really nice. You can wrap some salmon fillets and cook them over the coals. Its really delicious.

If you are looking for vegetarian options (which you should cook first) then try some vegetable kebabs and vegetarian sausages. The fish will also probably go down a treat.

Set a table with some mixed salads, cous cous, dressings, bread rolls, sauces and a dew deserts. They'll love it!

BBQ tool
Any guy with serious grilling skills knows that the best BBQ depends on having the proper BBQ tools and equipment. Unfortunately, many backyard cookout chefs step up to the flames armed with little more than a fork and a spatula. Where's the fun in that?

One of the great benefits of owning a grill—gas or charcoal—is that it provides the perfect excuse to buy some really cool tools.

1. Fork
You gotta love the name of this cleverly designed barbecue fork that looks like a weapon from Braveheart. It has two long, stout tines—as any respectable BBQ fork should have—and a 13-in.-long hardwood handle. However, what makes this fork nasty (in a good way) is that protruding from each side of the main tines are two sharpened spikes designed for flipping over slabs of meat with just a twist of the wrist. This fork just might be the perfect gift for the carnivore in your life.

2. Dual Grill/Griddle Pan
This versatile grill-top accessory takes the frustration out of cooking small and delicate foods, such as vegetables, seafood and fruit, that have a tendency to fall through cooking grates. It's also useful for searing all cuts of meat. The split-personality pan has a solid, ridged griddle on one side (for steaks, chicken and fish) and a perforated grill (for shellfish and vegetables) on the other. It measures 12 by 16 in., and is finished with nonstick porcelain enamel for easy cleaning.

3.Deluxe Interchangeable Branding Set
Unlike any meat-branding BBQ tools I've ever seen, this kit comes with two branding irons and an entire alphabet of capital letters—plus an ampersand symbol—so you can personalize grilled meats for your guests. Simply clamp up to three letters into the branding iron, then set it over the grill. Once it's hot, press the iron against the cooked meat to brand it.

Besides those above, there are other tools you should prepare such as Barbecue Mitt.

12 October 2008

An Environment Friendly Floor Material

Choosing a new floor material is not as easy as it sounds—especially for a kitchen. The floor must look good, be low maintenance and stand the test of time.

Today's choices range from traditional hardwoods to laminate to stone to ceramic tile. But another popular choice among homeowners is bamboo.

Bamboo Flooring is certainly one of the upcoming materials in today's floor market. With many many advantages over traditional hardwood flooring it has certainly been a kind of shooting star amongst the different new floor types used. Amongst many its durability and hardness make bamboo very resistant.

With a very short rejuvenating cycle of about 5 years bamboo can be harvested much faster than most softwoods. Softwoods usually have a 20 to 30 year harvest cycle. But keep in mind that bamboo is better compared in a review to hardwood than any softwood or pine flooring.

Installing bamboo flooring over a wood sub-floor is no more difficult that installing other wood flooring, and many homeowners find self-installation to be a great way to save money. However, installation over concrete takes more skill and expertise, and may not be worth the money you'd save by installing it yourself. Before you begin the project, it's important to assess your capability and motivation to do the job yourself.

Once you've committed to installing your bamboo floor, make sure to order an additional 7-9 percent flooring to allow for waste and cuts. Also, carefully examine the bamboo flooring for consistent color, finish, quality, and damage before you begin. As with all projects, read and have a thorough understanding the manufacturer's installation instructions, policies and warranties because the time spent in these early stages can greatly improve the quality of your finished product.

The basic concepts for installing bamboo flooring are the same as for installing other hardwood flooring. The sub-floor must be flat, smooth, clean and preferably dry -- especially if installing onto a concrete surface (and you probably should consider laying a vapor barrier between the sub-floor and bamboo. Most bamboo floors are not covered under warranty if installed in a bathroom, washroom, saunas, or other similar wet locations -- but check with the manufacturer you want to choose to make sure. Remember, bamboo flooring is a natural product that will warp or swell with extended exposure to moisture, and shrink with extended exposure to heat.

09 October 2008

It's Time to Eat Crab

The best time to eat crab is Autumn, from September to November. Now, crab is selled in the market. How to choose the best crab that is delicious? How to cook crab?How to eat crab?

How to Buy Fresh Crab?
Never buy (or cook) a live crab unless it’s still alive and vigorous, with its limbs still moving. The best way to see whether a crab is still moving its limbs is to lift it—hold the crab by the rear end to avoid the its pincers, especially if it is large. Note that crab pincers, unlike lobster pincers, are seldom secured by rubber bands. If you’re uncomfortable about lifting the crab yourself, ask the person selling the crab to you to do it. If the crab’s legs hang slack when lifted, don’t buy it.

How to cook crab?
Crab is delicious cold or hot. It can be cooked whole and served as a main dish, or it can be bought cooked, canned, or frozen. From there, it can be prepared in any number of ways and used to make hors d’oeuvres, salads, sandwiches, soups, and omelets. It’s also tasty in sauces and pasta dishes. Crab can be used to replace shrimp, lobster, and other shellfish in most recipes.

Steaming is the traditional way of cooking blue crabs around Chesapeake Bay, the region with which they’re most closely associated. Other crabs can also be steamed.

Cook raw crabs by boiling - 20 minutes for crabs up to 1kg and 10 minutes per kg after that. Allow the crab to cool and then twist off the claws and legs. Knock the underside of the body on the chopping board and push your thumbs on the crab's back to prise the body section away from the shell. Remove and discard the stomach sac (just behind the mouth) and the soft gills (dead man's fingers) - these are readily identifiable and will come away easily. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the brown meat from inside the shell, not forgetting the crevices where the claws and legs join the body. Crack the legs and claws with a rolling pin or nutcracker and prise out the white meat using a skewer.

How to eat crab?
There are several steps for eating crabs:
1.Remove the crab’s legs and pincers by holding them at the base near the body of the crab and gently twisting them.
2.Once you’ve removed the legs, open them with a nutcracker or other heavy utensil to remove the flesh inside.
3.Unfold the tail from underneath the crab (it looks like a little tab tucked up against the crab’s underbelly), and twist it until it breaks off. Throw it away.
4.Remove the plastron (the underside) by putting your thumb against the edge of the shell at the spot where you twisted off the crab’s tail. Set aside the plastron once you’ve removed it.
5.Remove the flesh from inside the shell with a fork. Discard the entrails and appendix, which are located behind the mouth. Some recipes call for crab to be served in its own shell. If that’s the case, be careful not to damage the shell when removing it.
6.Cut the plastron in half with a kitchen knife. You may also be able to just break it in half using your hands.
7.Use a fork to remove the flesh from the alveoli (cavities) located within the plastron.

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08 October 2008

Floor Mat Make Our Life Comfortable

When you enter into a home, you may find most of family put a floor mat on the entrance of the door. This is because the floor door can make the floor clean and beautiful.It gives your floor protection from dust and rust. These mats are used for various purposes. Some use it to give the room a unique look. So it acts as ornamental while some others use it for protection against dust. Mostly people use it for protection. The covers also give protection from slippery things like water, grease, oil, etc. So it diminishes the risk factor of having an accident in home or office.

Floor mats are made of various materials like coconut fiber, jute, reed and sisal. Some times some other synthetic materials are used to reduce the cost of the Floor mats. The quality of the mat varies from material to material which it quite normal. The one main disadvantage of the floor mate gets discolored very quickly when exposed for long in the sunlight. A special floor mat that make from river rocks is great for when your feet want the great outdoors while the rest of you wants air conditioning. This floor mat won’t set you back in terms of money, and it looks pretty nice when all is said and done. Go ahead, you know you want to line the bottom of your shower with river rocks.

Most floors are simply too hard for safe and effective exercising. Any exercise trainer will tell you that before beginning a workout, it is essential that you stretch. Stretching loosens your muscles and joints so that they are ready to absorb the impact and movement of a workout. Having an exercise floor mat allows you to expand your stretch routine.

A floor mat will also enhance your ab workout. Sit-ups and crunches can wreak havoc on your back. The foam inside of a mat has enough "give" to let your back move freely without resistance.

And, of course, a floor mat is absolutely necessary for yoga and pilates. Many yoga and pilates positions necessitate the use of the floor, and without a good mat, you will miss out on many benefits and even run the risk of doing damage to your back and muscles.

06 October 2008

How to Organizer Your Closet?

In a room especially in a bedroom, there is always a closet in which the host put their clothes and other things. But many people don't know how to organize the closet, the closet is disorder and the things are put ruleless.

Here are some tips that can be used for organizing that closet:

1.Usage Of Shoe Racks
The disadvantage of having shoes scattered all over the floor is that the space can look very cluttered, and one pair can't be separated from another. Instead of using shoe bags that hang over the door, shoe racks should be used instead. Do not buy racks that have a slight slant, non-heeled shoes will not stay in place when stored in this kind of rack. Buy flat racks that has two shelves or more, or shoe caddies that can hold nine to twelve shoes.

2.Try Drawer Organizers
Drawers tend to be messy, with small stuff like hosiery, socks and office supplies stored in them. Drawer organizers can help owners retrieve their items in an instant. And there are no hassles in installing it too - most drawer organizers are plastic containers and dividers that be easily inserted inside.

3.Usag of Closet Rod
closet Rod is A straight, round rod installed in a clothes closet to hold clothes hangers. We can hang the clothes that needn't two-double such as the business suit.

4. Install Additional Shelves
For more storage space, an additional shelf can be installed between the shelf that is at eye-level and the ceiling. This can be used to store items that are not used as frequently.

5.Arrange Items According
To The SeasonRelegate items of the current season at the front of the closet. During the summer, Gather wool clothing and put them at the back of the closet, then put the summer outfits up front.

6. Use Specialized Organizer
For items like belts and tie hangers, revolving tie racks can be used to organize long items to keep from getting the tangled.

7. Install Hanging Storage For Places With Small Spaces
Hanging storages are perfect for those urban dwellers who live on small, compartmentalized condominium units. These organizers are made especially for items like dresses, shoes, and sweaters. They can be attached easily on closet rods, and this is most effective for cluttered closet floors.

You also can choose a closet organizer, a closet organizer is a wonderful invention to come to the private world of closets, and it is revolutionary for both pack rats and neat freaks alike. Closet organizers are sets of shelves, hooks, racks, boxes, and storage bins that transform a closet from a dark haven of chaos to a bright, organized area where everything is in its place. These organizers can be a mixture of accessories brought together from different sources, but often, entire kits are sold with matching shelves, racks and bins that fit together and compliment one another.