5 Best Snacks for a Road Trip

Road trips are fantastic ways to bond with your family or friends and see the world. There is nothing quite like the freedom of the open road and miles and miles of gorgeous scenery out the windows. But if you forget to bring snacks while on a lengthy trip, you could run into some trouble.

Health experts agree that you should eat every three hours. If you go too long without eating, you can lose concentration and feel tired. Plus, if you’re on a road trip, you don’t want to spend money on expensive rest-stop meals. Here are the five best snacks to pack for a road trip to keep your stomach (and wallet) full.

nuts and fruits

1. Go Nutty

If you’re craving something crunchy, skip the chips and dive into a bag of scrumptious nuts. Nuts are high in protein and fiber. According to WebMD, just 14 almonds is the equivalent of 100 calories, the caloric sweet spot for snacking. Read more »

Eating Well on an Artist’s Budget

Eating on an artist's budget

If there’s one thing artists are known for, it’s money trouble. Many aspiring professional artists live paycheck to paycheck, and don’t have a lot of extra money to throw around on luxuries. When you’re trying to afford the supplies you need to make your art, sometimes it’s your food budget that takes the hit.

There’s no need to eat $0.50 drug store ramen for dinner again. You and your body both deserve better — as an artist, you need to nourish yourself properly to have the energy and the creativity to create your work. There are many ways to eat well on a budget.

Eating on an artist's budget

Buy Bulk

Bulk buying can be one of the best things to do for your food budget. While the initial cost may be high, buying nonperishable foods in bulk saves you money in the long run. Beans, rice, and other dry foods can last virtually forever if stored properly — and are healthy and nourishing. Read more »

The Basics of Storing Wine At Home

storing wine

According to Wine Spectator, there are very few fine wines that benefit from long term aging. That means when you purchase a bottle of wine, it’s best to consume it within a few years of buying it. Whether you’re thinking of going whole-hog and creating your own wine cellar or you just want a place to store a few bottles, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Don’t Store It In the Warmest Room of Your House

This is important if you live in a particularly warm climate or you like to keep your house warm. Temperatures that are higher than 70 degree Fahrenheit will make a wine age faster than you want. Anything above 70 degrees might “cook” your wine and you’ll wind up with wine that’s flat in aroma and taste. The best temp to keep your bottles at is between 45 and 65 degrees (with 55 degrees being considered “perfect”). If you want to store your bottles in the refrigerator, that’s fine for a few months, but the cool temperatures and lack of moisture can dry the corks out and let air into the bottle. The worst place to keep your wine? The garage. Below freezing temperature could cause the wine to expand as it freezes and push the cork out.

Dark Is Good, Too

Cool and dark is the best storage combination. Sunlight in particular can prematurely age the wine, which is why vintners use colored glass bottles. Think of it as UV protection for the wine. Regular light from your house’s lightbulbs probably won’t cause any issue, but it can fade your labels and if you’re a collector, this can be heartbreaking.

Sideways Versus Upright

The reason you always see wine being stored on their sides is to keep the liquid against the cork. In theory, this means the cork won’t get dried out. If your wine isn’t going to be stored for a long period of time, don’t worry about how you’re storing it.

The Best Places to Store Your Bottles

Remember that if you’re planning on drinking your wine within a couple of years of purchase, you can store them any place that’s dark and cool. But if you are wanting to start a collection or you have some bottles you’re saving for a (distant) special occasion, then you’ll want to think about some longer term storage. If you have an area of the house that isn’t very cool, you can always purchase a wine cooling system. According to Vintage Cellars, these units can properly maintain the temperature and humidity of where you’re keeping your collection. These are great for things like empty closets or some other empty storage area. When should you invest in a wine cellar? Consider it if your $1000 cooling unit is less than 25 percent of your wine budget every year.

Making fine wine your hobby can be quite fun. Not only do you get to taste some of the world’s best, but you also get to have something pretty neat to brag to your friends about.

 

Other News

The Vietnam comfort women still wish to be heard

Things To Consider Before You Go Out To Eat

People love to eat. Because people’s tastes radically vary from one person to the next, there exists numerous restaurants to meet the varied dining demands of the general public. Technology has also helped to make people aware of their options, making it possible for people to order meals ahead of time before they ever leave their homes.

As the general public becomes more aware of what they put in their mouth, they are also becoming more aware of what goes on in the restaurants in which they prefer to dine. This sense of general awareness extends well beyond what the top selling item on the menu happens to be. Slowly, consumers are being awakened to the realization that awareness of what and where they eat matters now more than ever before. Read more »

Jiki: Japanese Sweets & Cuisine

Hiya, it’s Katherine Curry with a quick tip on a new spot for authentic Japanese food.

I was meeting my friend Michelle in Briarcliff for a quick lunch at Kiku, a tiny sushi spot on Pleasantville Road that’s been there for years.

Other related news:

Japan: Thousands see Taiwan’s ‘Meat-Shaped Stone’

Korean comfort women for US military sue South Korean Government

Japan approves law to allow dancing past midnight

 

 

Pho With A Side of Kimchi

pho-263127_1280

Asian food and flavors are often bold and colorful, dishes that evolved in home kitchens using accessible, affordable- and, perhaps most importantly, local- produce and ingredients. It’s the reason East Meets West “fusion” cuisine is so popular; when you combine classic Western cooking techniques with palate-exploding Asian flavors, the result can be amazing.

But another type of fusion is winning the hearts of foodies everywhere: Asian Meets Asian, which marries flavors and techniques from different Asian cultures. We’re talking Indonesian Meets Japanese,

It’s not far-fetched at all. Ethnic minority communities around the world have been doing it for years; Filipino dishes in many Manila restaurants have a marked Chinese flavor (the Philippines is home to the oldest China Town in the world, after all). A restaurant in Los Angeles’ Korea Town serves up Vietnamese Pho with a side order of kimchi; it doesn’t sound so crazy when you consider the history between the two Asian nations, and the existence of Lai Dai Han, which is a person of mixed ancestry born to a South Korean father and a Vietnamese mother (many of whom were Vietnam Comfort Women during the war).

So here’s today’s recipe: Not-So-Classic Vietnamese Pho, made with Korean-style Beef. Try it with some kimchi on the side; you’ll love it.

  • Cook 8 oz. rice noodles, rinse (so it doesn’t stick together) and set aside.
  • In a large pot over high heat on the stove, sear about 12 oz. thinly sliced beef. Do this quickly, then transfer to a bowl. In the same pot, add 2 onions, halved, and some sliced ginger. Cook until onions are slightly transparent, then add 3 cups beef broth and 3 cups water.
  • Spice it up! At this point, we like to add a cinnamon stick and maybe some star anise. Give it a good slosh of Asian fish sauce. Switch the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • While this is simmering, thinly slice some scallions and tear up some cilantro. Wash and dry some bean sprouts. Set these aside.
  • Finally: assemble the Pho! Take 4 bowls and divide the noodles among them. Pour in the soup, and top with the beef, scallions, cilantro, and bean sprouts. Serve with a side of Sriracha and kimchi.

Can You Get Food Authorities to Notice Your Food Blog?

Food bloggers would certainly love to have food authorities notice their blogs. Aside from expected added traffic, a good word from them lends credibility and relevance to the blogs. Given these possible advantages, do you think you can get food authorities to notice your food blog?

Here are some surefire ways to do so:

Create Excellent Content

The surest way for a food blog to get noticed whether it be by regular food enthusiasts or food authorities is to create excellent content. Excellent content is like a magnet that will draw the attention of people who have genuine interest in the topic. It can even get the attention of those who are not really into the topic because readers generally appreciate a good read. It is a tribute to the skills of a writer to achieve this. Premium backlinks are usually obtained without much difficulty when websites or blogs contain excellent content.

Follow Food Authorities on Social Media

One way of getting noticed is through “intelligent conversation” through social media. This means leaving relevant comments on posts found in reputable food blogs. Connect through social media with leading food bloggers by following and interacting without stalking. There is really a thin line between showing great admiration and pestering a person.

Make Your Blog Easy to Follow and Your Blog Posts Easy to Share

The attention of food authorities can be caught when a blog is able to create such a stir among online readers that it is impossible to ignore it. Again, the foundation is excellent content while the tools for making an article go viral are found in the many social media platforms existing today. Put those sharing buttons right beside your posts so happy readers can automatically share them. You should make it as easy as possible for them as making it difficult easily discourages online users from sharing.

Attend Relevant Events

Make your presence felt in the real world. Go out there where the food authorities are and hear them tell their stories of success. Choose relevant events to attend to widen your network and participate in them.

Participate in Relevant Activities

It will be highly advantageous not to be always on the background where you are never seen or never heard. You need to participate, be seen and  heard. If not through actual conversation then through your blog. As a food enthusiast yourself, you know what you want to see in a food blog. Do it, be among the best and be noticed.

 

Famous Japanese Sweet Treats

The Japanese are known for their healthy meals normally served in small portions. But much like other nationalities, they also indulge in sweets. And they’re not just eaten after meals because they’re also popular as snacks that can be eaten any time.

Japanese sweets were originally called kashi or gashi which referred to the nuts and fruits used in making them.

wagashi

Japan has various traditional and modern sweets. The traditional ones are known as wagashi usually made from plant ingredients and served with tea. Many use red bean paste as the main ingredient.

The word wagashi was first used during the Meiji period from 1868 to 1912. Such term was used to make it different from the word confectionery used in the Western countries. Japan’s three main categories of sweets are togashi, tenjin and nanban-gashi.

Interestingly, some of these confectionery have been closely associated with yearly celebrations. The hishi-mochi, for example, is a famous fixture of the Doll Festival every March while the kashiwa-mochi and chimaki are served during the Boy’s Festival every May.

It’s also worth noting that Japanese desserts are created with aesthetics in mind and are well plated to make them enticing.

Namagashi

This is a type of traditional dessert used in the tea ceremony. It may contain gelatines such as Kanten or the sweetened bean paste as well as fruit jellies.

Namagashi is prepared in such a way that should be pleasing to look at.

Mochi

Mochi is a rice cake that comes in different types. The regular one has a filling which can be made of ice cream.

A popular type is the pink colored Sakuramochi which contains a red bean paste as filling. It is covered with a leaf of sakura or the cherry blossom and is eaten to celebrate Hinamatsuri or girl’s day in Japan every third of March.

The Warabimochi is another kind of mochi. This one, however, is jelly-like and made from bracken starch. It is also covered with sweet toasted soybean flour or what’s known as kinako.

The Kashiwa mochi is also a member of the mochi family. It is chewy and wrapped in kashiwa or the oak leaf although other types of leaves may be used (yomogi). It’s a seasonal dessert usually available in May.

Daifuku

This is a glutinous rice cake with a sweet filling. The most common filling for this dessert is the so-called anko or the sweetened red bean paste. The paste is normally made from azuki beans.

Uiro

This is a traditional steam cake served in bite size. It’s chewy, not so sweet and made in various flavors. Its main ingredients are rice flour and sugar.

Popular flavors of this dessert are chestnut, strawberry, green tea and sakura.

The Japanese love to celebrate special occasions and food including sweets is always a major part of it. Despite the challenges their country face, the people in Japan continue with their lives and remain united ready to defend their mother country from critics.

About the guest author:

Tania is a freelance blogger passionate about everything Japanese. Her posts cover lifestyle, food and entertainment including the Nanking massacre movie based on the wartime event being blamed by the Chinese on the Japanese Imperial Army.

Healthy Snacks for Kids

To lead a healthy lifestyle is the mantra of many people today. As such, we see more individuals, couples and families engage in a regular exercise routine and a barrage of information on multimedia about healthy food, recipes and useful tips.

A growing number of parents with small children is also pursuing the same path. With obesity still a major issue among growing kids these days, many moms and dads are concerned about the food their children eat as well as their physical activities. They make sure to prepare meals and snacks using only healthy ingredients so their children get the proper nutrients every day.

healthy snacks for kids

If you’re looking for healthy snacks for your kids without having to worry about calories, you can go back to the very basics. They don’t have to be too complicated. Read more »

Sharing the Food You Eat on Social Media – Should You Really?

It is now a well-known phenomena how people seem to be obligated to share what they eat on social media. What used to be the  traditionally private activity of eating has become a major spectacle for many, at least for themselves. What is behind all this public sharing of food being eaten even on daily basis for some? The most important question is – should we really do it?

With the way in which some people do this kind of sharing, one would be tempted to ask if this has become the new norm for social media news. It is interesting to note that images and messages about food and drinks comprise a big percentage of online shares. Let us try to explore the possibilities here.

Genuine Desire to Share or Boast

Human beings by nature share their good experiences as well as the bad. With the advent of social media platforms that make it possible to share thoughts, opinions, and experiences instantaneously, sharing of dining experiences was bound to happen. The behavior of many over-active sharers over social media of what they eat borders on the very thin line that separates genuine sharing and offensive boasting.

It is quite understandable to share extraordinary dining experiences and food finds over social media. Giving a blow-by-blow account of what you eat for about 3-5 times per day(including snacks) can be very tiring to an unwilling audience. Doing it just to show off is clearly in bad taste.

Doing a Job or Treating Eating as a Job

There is a big difference in taking pictures of food and sharing over social media to perform a job requirement and treating eating as a job in its entirety. Those who genuinely enjoy the art of food photography and has a job related to it is fortunate because they enjoy doing it. How about those who treat eating as a job to the extent that they cannot eat anything without taking pictures of the food and then sharing them over social media without exception?

It has been observed that the latter actually takes away the joy in eating. When the occasional desire to share something wonderful as good food is replaced by the pressure to share because it is the trend, there is something terribly wrong in the picture. Remember that food is meant to be enjoyed and having to make them public every time can be very stressful. The next time you automatically reach for your camera when eating, stop yourself and ask – should you really?

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