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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cooking is an art as well as a necessity of our lives. It can bring great joy to both the cook, as well as those who partake of the well-prepared meal and it can also be a valuable and nutritious addition to our overall health and well being. One might think that cooking and science have little in common, yet that is simply not true, as cooking offers a wide variety of opportunities to teach science to our young. By sharing quality time cooking with our children, they can learn valuable lessons not only in the ethic of work and responsibility but also in the area of science.

Experimenting In The Kitchen

Simple scientific experiments can be conducted within the comfortable confines of ones own kitchen and the end results can be edible! What an approach to science! Yet because the students are learning in a comforting and enjoyable atmosphere, it is not like the stifled book-learning approach to science. Cooking offers the child a hands on and tangible experience, while at the same time teaching them a life skill they can use daily. Children from kindergarten to college can gain practical applications and life-long knowledge by using this approach. Some example of fun experiments parents can incorporate include making candyfloss and ice cream. Making ice cream, for example, allows the exploration of the freezing point of matter. One can also talk about the role of temperature, whipping and foaming during the process. Children can learn a wide range of science concepts while they enjoy the learning process. What is more is that they get to enjoy a tasty treat at the end of the process.

Difficult chemistry concepts such as radiation, convection, conduction, energy and carbohydrate chemistry may seem overwhelming to many students, yet exploring and appreciating these science concepts during our food preparation can makes it a fun and exciting adventure. For a start, one can study the various forms of heat transfer and their different roles it play in the cooking process. With regard to specific foods, milk and dairy products can be discussed as you use them in your cooking, such as how the cows produce milk, what milk is made of, the nutrients within the milk and the difference between fermented and non-fermented products.

Plants can also be easily incorporated into our discussions. Cooking vegetables is a science itself. Even preseving them, such as kimchi, is an excellent introduction to food nutrition and preservation. By the way, talking about kimchi, in it lives a host of live organisms which one can conduct experiments on. Moreover, it also gives you an excellent opportunity to talk about Korean culture and food. Concepts such as osmosis, pH value, density of the food, as well as dissecting the vegetables to identify plant tissue and structure can be explored too.

With the wide variety of creative ideas for experimentation, the kitchen is a wonderful learning laboratory for people of all ages.

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Kelvin Ho is the webmaster of "". He loves cooking and teaching students how to cook. Pick up cooking tips and resources at

Tips for Cooking Lobster

While it is true that if you can boil a pot of water, you can cook a Maine lobster - you have to make sure to avoid over or undercooking the lobster. Here's some tips for steaming, boiling and grilling lobster.

Steaming lobster
The ratio of lobsters to the pot is important; a 4-5 gallon pot is ideal for steaming 6-8 pounds of lobster. You should put 2 inches of salted water in the bottom of a large pot with a steaming rack on top of it. Bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat. Put in the live lobsters, one at a time, cover the pot, and start timing. Re-arrange the lobsters halfway through cooking.

Cooking times - (based on the lobster-to-pot ratio mentioned above)
1 pound - 10 minutes
1-1/4 pounds - 12 minutes
1-1/2 pounds - 14 minutes
1-3/4 pounds - 16 minutes
2 pounds - 18 minutes
2-1/2 pounds - 22 minutes
3 pounds - 25-30 minutes
5 pounds - 40-45 minutes

Boiling lobster
Fill a large pot with water with 3 quarts of water per 1-1/2 to 2 pounds of lobster. Add 1/4 cup of salt for each gallon of water. Bring the water to a boil and put the live lobsters in the pot one at a time, do not cover, and start timing immediately. Stir the lobsters halfway through cooking.

Cooking times - (based on the lobster-to-water ratio mentioned above)
1 pound - 8 minutes
1-1/4 pounds - 9-10 minutes
1-1/2 pounds - 11-12 minutes
1-3/4 pounds - 12-13 minutes
2 pounds - 15 minutes
2-1/2 pounds - 20 minutes
3 pounds - 25 minutes
5 pounds - 35-40 minutes

Pre-boil your lobsters in a large pot of boiling water for 5 minutes then remove the lobsters and plunge into a large bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. Drain the lobsters and store in a refrigerator if you do not plan to grill them right away.

Place a lobster on its back on a cutting board. Then, using a large sharp knife split the lobster down the middle. Remove the black vein from the tail, the tomalley from the body and the sand sac located near the head. You can baste the lobster meat with some oil or butter and then grill the lobsters flesh side down for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the flesh is just beginning to look opaque. Turn the lobsters over, baste with more oil and continue to cook for 4 to 5 minutes longer, or until the lobsters are thoroughly cooked.

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Author Barney Garcia is a proud contributing author and enjoys writing about many different topics. Please visit my web sites @ and

Friday, December 18, 2009

What To Look For In Cooking Schools

As they say, the greatest way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Is it any wonder why most women painstakingly toil and learn the art of cooking? Hence, most people who know how to cook would normally teach the others who do not know. They started having some sessions with every dish being taught every time the supposed to be teacher to his or her supposed to be student. As the time went by, this kind of teaching the others howto cook had been an invigorating activity. And so, gradually cooking schools were built, maybe with those who first taught cooking.

I. Culinary Schools - A Brief Rundown

Since its inception and practice, cooking schools had continuously provided their students, first, with the basics of cooking. Thereafter, they advanced to the next level until their students had the confidence to progress their learning on their own. The first sessions of classes incooking schools before are not as organized as it is today. Nevertheless, the growth of the cooking schools can be traced back to the very first informal session they had before. Since then, cooking schools gradually develop into a more organized way of teaching somebody how to cook.

II. Choices

The problem is too many cooking schools. As a potential student, of course you will want to attend the very best learning institution that you can.

1. Is it accredited?
In most instances, it always takes a certificate in order to prove one's worth to an employer. In this case, a good cooking school should be accredited, and not just by so-and-so company but a valid accrediting agency. From its accreditation, you can now tell its length of service in the business. So those who have been in the business for at least 6 years are good enough, right?

2. Do you need a job right away after your training?
If so, then it's best to choose cooking schools that can give you career advancement right after your training. Good cooking schools require their students to have on-the-job-training within restaurants and hotels. In turn, it will be good exposure for you especially if you want to work for them in the future.

3. Are you particular with the student-teacher ratio?
If so, then choose a cooking school that offers at least a maximum of 15 students per instructor. This is to facilitate ease of teaching and improve better comprehension among the students. A smaller class size is better especially if the session includes mostly of a one-on-one approach.

4. Do you have a tight budget?
Normally, good cooking schools cost a lot more than the typical cooking schools. So, if you are really determined to start your cooking lessons, it's a must that you have the budget for it. Otherwise, you might just end up with a cheap one but cannot give you the right techniques as far as cooking is concerned.

5. You need a good instructor for a good cooking school, right?
That is, if you really want to know how to cook effectively and professionally. So, it's best that you check on the background of the instructors in the cooking school that you chose to enrol with. Find some helpful information if they are good enough teach you the art of cooking.

6. Proximity
Can you endure a long ride going to the cooking school? If not, then it's best that you choose a good cooking school that is located within your locality. This will give you a shorter time for commuting.

7. Is it private or a public?
If you go for public cooking schools, you might save a hefty amount of money because they are cost cheaper than the private ones. But then again, the quality of the school facilities and instruction may suffer because the government may not have allotted a budget for the school.

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For more great Culinary School related articles and resources check out

Making Cooking An Enjoyable Experience

The art of cooking is a joy for many people, while some seem to dread it like the plague! Many factors contribute to this love or hate relationship that so many have with cooking; personality traits, prior cooking experiences, knowledge passed down from one generation to the next. Some non-cookers have simply never been taught properly in the ways to prepare food. Others simply were not interested in learning because their mother, father or other guardian always did the work. Yet, cooking can be made into an enjoyable experience with a bit of creativity and some knowledge
on the process. Those who cannot even boil water can learn, and with time, even become experts in the art of cooking!

Cooking With A Purpose And A Plan

Often, we stumble into the kitchen and open the refrigerator only to stare into it blankly with no idea of where to begin. We just want something, and we want it now! Yet, cooking with joy is obtained when there is a purpose for your cooking and a plan to help you. The purpose for cooking could be that you want to provide healthy, whole and nutritious food for your growing children and your husband or wife. You want them to have the healthiest bodies that they can, and you have a desire to see them thrive. This motivation can serve to give you joy in your cooking experience, knowing that you are giving them the best that their bodies deserve.

Another great way to begin to enjoy cooking is to have a plan. Having a meal planned out in advance takes the stress and struggle of deciding away from last-minute preparations. Planning helps to ensure that you will have the right ingredients on hand in order to make your dish, and you will not be frustrated with coming up with a meal and then give up. With a plan, you can calmly prepare the meal even while listening to music or talking to a friend on the phone. This will help you be more relaxed at dinnertime as well.

Having the right attitude toward cooking goes a long way in making it an enjoyable experience. It is true that some tend to be more natural when it comes to food preparation, but that is no excuse for not attempting to cook a healthy meal. Anyone can learn to cook simple and tasty meals for themselves and their loved ones each day. Do not let a long-standing distaste for cooking sway you into sticking with your TV dinner rut. This is not only bad for your health but it is an expensive way to eat. Letting your children help you in the kitchen can also create fun as well as become a great learning experience for them.

With all the easy and exciting ways to simplify your life, cooking should definitely be a part!

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About the Author:

Kelvin Ho is the webmaster of "". He loves cooking and teaching students how to cook. Pick up cooking tips and resources at

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Philippines Food and Drinks Market: Emerging Opportunities

The Philippines has emerged as one of the rapidly growing food and drinks industries in the Asian region over the recent past. The country is characterized by various factors, such as its growing young affluent population, rising disposable income and rising consumer awareness regarding health and safety concerns. With these factors, the demand for health food and drinks is surging high, says our new research report, “Philippines Food and Drinks Market: Emerging Opportunities”.

The country exports foods to several countries, including the US, Europe and some Asian countries. However, the ongoing financial turmoil is forcing the country to look at alternative destinations such as the Middle East and Africa. In line with this, it is striving hard to get a share of highly lucrative global halal food industry, explains the report.

This report is an in-depth study that evaluates the past, current and future market trends in the food and drinks industry of the Philippines. This report has been made to help clients in analyzing the opportunities, challenges and drivers critical to the growth of the industry.

The research provides detailed overview of the consumption patterns of the Philippines in various food segments like consumption of milk, fruits, vegetables, meat etc. The beverage segment talks about the type of beverages, their sales and consumption patterns among the Filipinos.

It also offers an insight into various emerging segments in the Philippines food and drinks industry. Some of these include halal food industry, organic food, food exports, processed food etc.

The report provides five-year industry forecast (2009-2013) on various food and drinks segments. The forecasts are given on:

- Consumer expenditure
- Meat
- Fruit
- Vegetable
- Fish
- Milk
- Coffee
- Alcoholic drinks
- Soft drinks
- Bottled water
- Wine market

Key player profiling

This report gives the brief profiling on the major players in the Philippines food and drinks industry, including San Miguel Corporation, Jollibee Foods Corporation, Pancake House, Inc., and Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc.

For FREE SAMPLE of this report visit:


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About RNCOS: RNCOS, incorporated in the year 2002, is an industry research firm. We are a team of industry experts who analyze data collected from credible sources. We provide industry insights and analysis that helps corporations to take timely and accurate business decision in today's globally competitive environment.

Dry Aged Beef A Delicious Obsession

Whether you are eating a sirloin steak, a sirloin tip roast or some other cut of beef, the fans of dry aged beef will travel far and wide to get the taste that they love. Usually dry aged beef that is aged over two weeks can create much higher prices for the consumer. But if you love the taste, texture and tenderness of this process, whether with sirloin steaks or a sirloin tip roast, you will pay the difference. Today, because of meat companies that sell on the internet, it is simple to have this delicious dry aged beef delivered right to your door.

When a cut of meat is about to be created into dry aged beef, it is placed in an exact temperature and humidity. Whether it’s sirloin steak or some other cut of beef, the moisture from the meat evaporates concentrating the flavor greatly. The natural enzymes break down the tissue which allows a much more tender piece of beef to emerge even if it’s a sirloin tip roast. Finally, after weeks of observing this meat, the butcher trims the crust off of the meat that has built up over the weeks. This leaves a piece of beef, whether it’s a sirloin steak or another cut, costing more because of this process.

After the above process is culminated, the dry aged beef will have a much stronger flavor than wet aged beef which truly becomes addicting. Along with the incredible flavor, the beef is very tender and the texture melts in your mouth. Also, some dry aged beef is aged for 2 weeks while others are aged for 3 or more. The longer the cut of beef is in this process, the stronger the flavor it will have.

Many people who have become dry aged beef lovers will not eat anything but beef or steaks aged with this process. To them, this method is superior to any other and they demand their sirloin steak or other cut of beef to have this distinct flavor and mouth watering tenderness. Of course, there are those who would disagree, but the majority of people that have grown to love this taste find that they cannot eat anything but dry aged beef. Just be aware that all beef is not created equal and you might just find that beef aged this way is your new obsession.

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For more resources regarding Mail Order Steaks or even about Filet Mignon Cut and especially about Buy New York Strip Steak please review these pages.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Find A Sushi Bar Anywhere You Live

You must go to a sushi bar if you are a person who always enjoys unlike international meal. A sushi bar is not a regular restaurant; it is just like any other modern western bar or pub.

Meant for group socialization and finger meal, a sushi bar allows for good meal to be served without it taking up space. With entertainment, be it shows, television or sports, the sushi bar blends western and eastern cultures.

However, it is main to realize that there are many differences between a sushi bar in Japan and a sushi bar in the United States or Canada. A sushi bar in Japan is a fast meal style eatery, where sushi is moved along a conveyor and is selected by guests. The guests then pay for their sushi based off of the color or size of the plate they have selected.

In western settings a sushi bar is just another grill or a regular bar or a closer example might be sushi restaurants themselves. In United States or Canada few sushi bars offerpresent previously prepared sushi foods you just need to pick and pay.

If you are a regular customer of American sushi bars, you may get astonished by visiting sushi bars in Japan. Japanese bars are more conventional and unlike American sushi bars, their sushi is usually very unlike and adherent to conventional and non vegetarian sushi styles. For example; octopus, squid and other sea meal mostly accompanied the sushi which can be terrible for those who are not easy with seameal.

The major dissimilarity in sushi restaurant and sushi bar is seating arrangement and the way in which they work. Lots of people regard sushi bars inexpensive and faster than the sushi restaurants. That is why sushi bars usually preferred only for delivery or take out and their sushi dishes are inferior to the sushi dishes which are available at standard sushi restaurants.

A variety of condiments accompany sushi dishes which can be used according to your choice. Soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger are the most common secondary items for eating sushi.

A conventional green tea called Ocha is usually taken with almost all the sushi foods. Sake or Ocha has been served at American sushi restaurants. As the status of the restaurant gets higher you might have Sake alternatively. Japanese usually give preference to Mecha over Ocha, which is also a loaded green tea.

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Serena Pulman Find more info on sushi bar menu and japanese sushi bar.