Cookware, Wine Cellars & More

When outfitting your home with top quality equipment designed to facilitate premium food and beverage preparation it can be complicated – there are so many choices it’s hard to know what’s right for you. Many folks swear by induction compatible cookware while others must have cast iron or enamel clad cast iron; some folks insist on aluminum while old school cooks often prefer copper. The reality is that most cooks have an array of cookware in assorted materials ranging from metal to ceramic and glass – there really is no one size fits all cookware solution.
It is important to look at design and construction when selecting better quality cookware. You will find that craftsmanship really does make a difference. Handles should be securely attached to the pot or pan if they are not cast as part of it; lids should have a snug fit and pans should be flat and smooth to properly conduct heat. Fancy ornamentation is pretty if you simply want to display your cookware, but it can be awkward to work with and hard to clean – clean lines and smooth finishes are more practical.
Wine storage is another area where there are hundreds of options and you can easily spend thousands of dollars and still not achieve a satisfactory result. For most folks wine fridges beat cellars as a storage option – they are cost effective and take up minimal space. The average wine refrigerator holds 12 or 24 bottles but you will find some competitively priced models which hold as many as 48 bottles yet use a very small footprint. A wine chiller is another great option when you have very limited space.


Always Read

I grew up seeing my father reading his newspapers every morning while having breakfast. He even required all of us to read the newspapers until it became a habit. I took to the habit without hassle because I have always loved to read while my brother complained about it from to time. To this day, reading newspaper is a daily habit that I have been trying to instill to my nieces for years now. 

Why read the paper when you have the TV, internet and radio? Aside from the fact that I like the smell and feel of paper (like my dog, Kibol, who would always love to roll over our used newspaper whenever he has the chance), reading the papers actually improves your reading comprehension, grammar and composition. The articles are easy to read so there would be no need to look for the dictionary most of the time. They are simple and concise because the rule of answering the what, where, when, who and how would always be answered on the first paragraph. And of course, the daily paper carries a variety of subjects and features that there are topics for just everyone. 

Why am I babbling about reading the newspapers, you might wonder. I just read a school-required paper done by a niece and an inspection report done by a colleague. Both papers were done so badly with the latter just a teeny-weeny better that I was tempted to redo them myself. Both are from the generation of cellphones, facebook, computer games and the whole shebang of the internet. I know that my niece prefers to do the malling and the most reading she did outside from school was reading the text messages from her cellphone. Not sure about the colleague but I suspect that reading is not a hobby of hers too.
When one reads, there is a certain way of difference one writes or says. I could be wrong but one thing is for sure, reading helped me tremendously not only  in school and at work but it also helped a lot the way I look at things in life.


How to Eat Healthily on Holiday in Italy

Italy is famous for its history, beautiful countryside and stunning architecture, but one of the biggest reasons why millions of people holiday there each year is because of the amazing foods and wine. If you’ve ever experienced real Italian food, then you’ll know then there’s a big difference to the way it is served outside of Italy, with emphasis on grains, vegetables, olive oil and beans.

Furthermore, the amount of red meat used in Italian cooking is limited, with the majority of the ingredients coming from plants. It just goes to show how healthy traditional Italian food really is, showing how easy it is to stay in shape whilst travelling. Let’s take a look at how to eat healthy in Italy on holiday.

Fast Food Joints

This isn’t just a rule for holidaying in Italy, it’s a rule forever! There’s nothing good or nutritional that comes from eating in fast food establishments, and if you’ve been eating healthy for a number of weeks prior to your holiday, then a Big Mac meal or some processed meat and carbohydrates will certainly cause distress to your bowl movements.

Over the last ten years, there have been a number of fast food chains that have begun to spring up all over Italy, excluding the big dogs like McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut. The continued commercialisation of Italy will cause even more of these high calorie, high fat fast food chains to open, meaning people might just turn to a quick burger in a time of hunger need. However there’s nothing nutritional in these meals, and you’ll be much better off spending the extra time finding a traditional place to eat.

Restaurant Eating

Italy is the home of traditional cooking, but don’t be fooled into thinking that every restaurant offers the same style, ingredients and favourite traditional dishes. When it comes to tourism, the more successful businesses are the ones who find and adapt to niches in the market, and there’s always money to be made with western food!

If you’re eating at a real traditional Italian restaurant, you should see that the menu only offers the best local ingredients combined with grains, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats – basically all the best parts of the Mediterranean diet. As soon as you see that dreaded burger on the menu, keep on walking! Instead of settling for an easy meal, why not rent a car from Auto Europe and undertake your own traditional food road trip.

Processed Ingredients

If you want to keep healthy on your holiday to Italy, then watching out for processed ingredients is a must – even in supposedly ‘traditional’ places to eat. Cream based products really give the game away, as well lots of menu dishes containing red or processed meat. Not only will these dishes contain high amounts of calories, but they’ll also have their fair share of saturated fats, meaning you’ll find it hard to keep the weight off.

Limit Your Portions

There’s nothing wrong with pasta, especially the way the Italians cook it. However the Italians also love to feed, and their portions are traditionally huge! That much pasta on a regular basis, no matter how good it tastes, will be wasted carbohydrates, meaning it will just go straight to your wasteline.

Summer Is Almost Over

Yeap, summer's end is just around the corner and for those who are planning on a summer trip it is better to get planning and moving soon. Already, the rains are starting to come but the good thing is the rains come only in the late afternoons and/or early mornings.

On my part, I want to bring my mother on another trip but her schedules are always on the haywire. I could not risk buying plane tickets and booking hotel accommodations in some parts of the country and cancel them at the last minute. Not giving up yet though. As soon as she says "Go!", all systems are on fast forward.  In the meantime, I am doing the kayak lesson for a day next week just to pass one weekend.