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    Wednesday, 29 August 2007

    De-boning, a key component that perhaps began in England many centuries ago. It was used to unite poultry, fowl and game birds into one roasted meal, which was and still is a clever idea to say the least. Certainly, it was a tradition 'fit for a King' as it was actually prepared for many Kings and visitors in the past. As the years transgressed, many stories began to unfold while few countries began preparing the dish in restaurants.

    When the French began living in Canada and the United States they played a huge role in de-boning birds, while their unique seasonings made history. These people were called the Cajuns and Creoles, who later became founders of the Louisiana Cajun and Creole cuisines as we know it today.

    After being exiled from Canada by an irritated King, many Cajun and Creole people took up residency in New Orleans, Louisiana. Many of them being poor, lived off the land, and used their own seasonings (made from scratch) to flavor local foods. Since that time, a large number of Cajun and Creole cuisines began to surface, and, for this reason, the turducken period began to spread out in America.

    What is a turducken (tur-duc-ken)? Well, take a de-boned turkey stuffed with a de-boned duck stuffed with a de-boned chicken. Season it with Cajun or Creole and it becomes a Louisiana cuisine. But that's not all... out of the ordinary stuffing is added in between layers of meat, which makes this dish even more irresistible. With a choice of dressing such as, cornbread, shrimp-crawfish rice jambalaya, sausage or seafood stuffing, you get one of the world’s supreme meals of all times.

    Unlike turkey, the turducken carries its own unique blend of delectable flavors. The fat from the duck keeps the roast moist and tender, which also enhances the flavor. Now ask any bird lover the following... "I'll bet, YOU can't eat just one serving." When the money is put where the mouth is... get ready to accumulate because you, my comrade, will win that bet every time.

    As the infamous turducken continues to grow in both Canada and all the way through the United States, Americans have shown a superior interest. This three-headed bird is mostly celebrated each year during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, as online orders and sales begin to skyrocket. With that said, it's also true that many Americans tend to make excuses to devour this dish--whenever the occasion strikes them. One example is, on Sundays when NFL football games are being played.

    So how does one get a turducken on his/her plate? Well, you have two choices:

    1. Pick a recipe that you like and prepare/cook your own turducken--see "Stuffed Shrimp Turducken" for different recipes

    2. For a off the rack Louisiana turducken, just order it online. Simply have it delivered frozen to your residence. Follow the easy instructions for defrosting, preparing and cooking. Pop it in the oven and take a look at! A turducken you and your guests will never forget.

    Order Turducken Online for further details.

    Food And Wine Pairings

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 08:42 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Tuesday, 28 August 2007
    There is no mystery to why gourmet truffles taste so good - all you have to do is use the best chocolate. Despite being decadently delicious, truffles are actually easy and quick to make.

    Dark Chocolate Truffles (and Easy Variations)

    1/4 cup unsalted butter

    3 tablespoons heavy cream

    4 ounces of dark chocolate, chopped

    2 tablespoons liqueur (choose any flavor: orange, coffee, black current, raspberry, etc) (Tip: if you are making chocolate-orange truffles, add 1 teaspoon orange zest.)

    Combine the butter and the cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in the chopped chocolate, the liqueur, (and orange zest if you are making chocolate-orange truffles) and continue stirring until it is smooth.

    Chill until the truffle mixture is firm (2-3 hours). Shape into balls and finish them as you wish. (Note: If the mixture is difficult to work with, you may need to chill it longer).

    Finishing Truffles

    You can dip your truffles in melted chocolate (light, dark or ivory) or chocolate compounds. Just remember that if you use real chocolate, you may need to temper it if you want a beautiful presentation.

    When dipping the truffles, use dipping forks to remove them from the pan. Allow the excess chocolate to drip off and place them on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. If you want to sprinkle the truffles with nuts (try crushed toasted almonds - yum) or coconut, do so before the chocolate hardens. You can also make decorative stripes on the chocolate by melting a contrasting color and drizzling it over the top of the truffle

    You can also roll the un-dipped truffle in cocoa powder, powdered sugar, coconut, chocolate cookie crumbs, or anything else that you like.

    Chocolate truffles make beautiful and welcome gifts. You can make a variety of truffles at Christmas time or for an up-coming wedding. Place individual truffles in paper candy cups. Then put four truffles in a pretty box (you can buy confectioner's boxes at many online stores) and wrap with ribbon. Or, of course, you could eat them all by yourself!

    This article is courtesy of Rachel Holman, editor of Cocoa Expression express yourself with chocolate.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 11:31 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Saturday, 25 August 2007

    If there is one thing we all love I think we can all agree it would be food. In many cultures around the world food is a very important aspect of life with special occasions and food intertwined with each other. Food is a social and fundamental part of society. Face it going to dinner with a friend is much more fun than eating dinner alone. Perhaps that is why dinner parties are such a genius idea, the notion of a group of people getting together to share a meal as well as stimulating conversation while sipping a glorious wine is nothing short of sublime. Putting together such a gathering of companions does not need to be a daunting task, which often seems to be one of the main reasons many people do not host as many soirees as they would like. A much more simple wine and cheese party can give the same jovial atmosphere as a dinner party with less work, less expense and above all less stress on the host or hostess.

    Not much is required for having a wine and cheese party compared to holding a dinner party. Decor can be relatively simple and often works best as such. Fancy plates and glasses are not obligatory either. While it is important to make sure that you have proper wine glasses, do not go out and buy glasses just for the occasion. As stated in an earlier article, Essential Wine Accessories, red wines tend to be served in a larger bowl style glass than whites because of their bigger bouquets, but many wine glass companies nowadays manufacture a more universal wine glass which is suitable for both reds and whites. Don’t feel obliged to buy red wine glasses if you only drink white and vice versa because if you would only get use out of them occasionally when you had an event like a wine and cheese party it is not worth the expense.

    Plates are much the same as wine glasses. If you do not plan on throwing many events it is not worth the expensive of going out and purchasing small serving or even mingling plates. Mingling plates are special plates that have a hole in one side to side in a wine glass so that while a person is eating and drinking they do not have to worry about balancing their glass or setting it down somewhere. Instead you can opt for a much less expensive yet still fashionable idea of cocktail napkins. Go down to your local party supply store and pick up a variety of small cocktail napkins in different colors and patterns. Using a variety of cocktail napkins not only is less expensive but also means you can better color or theme coordinate if you are having a themed wine and cheese party.

    The most important part of a wine and cheese night is of course the wine and cheese! It is important to pair the two as best as possible, even if neither you nor your guests are sommeliers. Wine and cheese from the same regions tend to go very well together, but this does not mean you have to serve a French wine with a French cheese. Some of the most basic and most popular pairings for wine and cheese are:

     

    • Brie with Merlot, Champagne or a Sweet Sherry
    • Camembert with Chenin Blanc or Cabernet
    • Sharp Cheddar with Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc or Rioja
    • Cream Cheese with White Zinfandel
    • Muenster with Beaujolais or Zinfandel
    • Roquefort with Tawny Port
    • Swiss with Gewurztraminer

     

    So as you can see having a wine and cheese party is very simple, inexpensive and just as enjoyable as a full on dinner party! Don’t stress if you don’t have the right sort of glasses or plates, the wine and cheese party is meant to be a stress free social event with friends and loved ones.

    Finest Wine Racks is a major supplier of a variety of wine racks including wood wine racks, metal wine racks, counter top, floor standing wine racks and wine storage systems. A pioneer with their "Product Selection Assistant Tool" Finest Wine Racks aims to make your shopping experience easier.

    Ken Finnigan - CEO
    Finest Wine Racks

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 11:33 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Friday, 24 August 2007
    When hosting a dinner party, no matter how many people or how fancy, a great meal can be underappreciated without a final touch of tasty dessert. Desserts are perfect for holiday dinners, office gatherings, and birthday parties. And gourmet desserts have taken over as the norm in social events like these.

    Despite their names, gourmet desserts can be quite simple to make. Crunchy, creamy, chocolaty or fruity, these desserts can turn every dining occasion into an exceptional experience. Tantalizing and attractive desserts can provide that special touch to a dinner table, and they add a singularly distinctive finish to elegant meals.

    While some gourmet desserts can be created in a jiffy, others can be quite elaborate - but all of them usually have subtle flavors and are designed to indulge people's sweet tooth.

    Various Kinds of Desserts

    Derived from the French word 'desservir', the term dessert means 'to clear the table'. While in the United States, Australia, Canada and France that final sweet course of a meal is known as 'dessert', in Ireland and the U.K., it is referred to as pudding, sweet, or afters. Depending on the method of preparation and the ingredients used, there are many types of desserts.

    Cakes

    Cakes as dessert are the mainstays of most celebratory occasions like anniversaries, birthdays and weddings. In many cultures, cutting a wedding or birthday cake forms an integral part of the ceremony. There are innumerable cake recipes, some of them dating back centuries. While some are elaborate and rich, others can be almost bland, like bread.

    Even the rookies can bake a cake these days because much of the complication has been simplified; directions have become easier and utensils more specialized. However, an elaborate cake is still a lot of work and takes skill that only a professional would have.

    Sharing cakes used to be a part of Confarreatio, a very old marriage ceremony of the Romans. Different kinds of cakes are associated with various festivals, such as Stollen (during Christmas), or Simnel and Babka during Easter. Cakes are usually enhanced by being covered with frosting or icing, and other toppings like sprinkles. There are lots of different types of cakes, from chocolate cakes and cheesecakes to sponge cakes and pound cakes.

    The Internet is a good source for all kinds of cake and gourmet dessert recipes. Crisp

    Having its origins in Britain, this is basically fresh fruit with a crumbly pastry topping. It is baked until the topping becomes crispy and brown. It is perfect with ice cream, cream or custard. You can sprinkle some brown sugar on the topping, so that it caramelizes on baking, which gives it a distinctive flavor. This is called 'crumble in Britain.

    Tarts and Pies

    A base made of pastry with various kinds of filling like custards, chocolate, creams, cheeses, fruit or nuts, is called a pie or a tart. These desserts can be either chilled or baked. Tarts are open on top, while pies are covered with a topping of pastry. Tarts are also smaller sized.

    Fruits

    Fruit can make a fabulous dessert, especially for those watching their weight. You could make anything from a gourmet fruit salad to tasty lemon bars. Some toppings that pair well with fruit are honey, yogurt, or fresh whipped cream.

    Most cultures of the world have their own traditional desserts as a finale to a meal, especially if it is a special occasion. Sometimes desserts are also consumed on their own, as a snack.

    Gourmet deserts do take time to make - and until now it used be nearly impossible to find rich gourmet desserts good enough to please the discerning palate. Today, busy hosts can wow their guests with ready-made, delicious gourmet desserts from online bakeries. Your guests will never know the difference. We promise!

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 08:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Tuesday, 21 August 2007

    If you are looking for fine French wine and food, consider the Loire Valley region of central France. You may find a bargain, and I hope that you’ll have fun on this fact-filled wine education tour in which we review a white Sauvignon Blanc-Chardonnay from Touraine in the eastern part of the region.

    Among France’s eleven wine-growing regions the Loire Valley ranks third in total acreage devoted to vineyards. Given that France’s longest river the Loire runs for 620 miles (one thousand kilometers) across the country, in many ways it could be thought of as a series of regions. Here they are running from west to east: Nantais whose primary grape is the white Muscadet, Anjou-Saumur whose primary grapes are the white Chenin Blanc and the red Cabernet Franc, Touraine whose primary white grapes are Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc and whose primary red grape is Cabernet Franc, and Central Vineyards whose primary white grape is Sauvignon Blanc and whose primary red grape is Pinot Noir. We will try to review at least one wine from each of these four areas.

    Chambord is home to the largest of the Loire castles, built as a hunting lodge for François I early in the Sixteenth Century. Some think that Leonardo da Vinci was responsible for the original design. The statistics of this French Renaissance hunting lodge are stupendous. There are 440 rooms but only 365 chimneys. How would you feel to be assigned to a room without a chimney? The wall surrounding the property is 20 miles (32 kilometers) long enclosing a thirteen thousand acre (fifty two square kilometer) forest. The story has it that the Emperor wanted to divert the Loire River to create a moat but wiser heads prevailed and he had to be satisfied with diverting the Cosson River. When he came to visit it took twelve thousand horses to bring his stuff; they had to bring in all the furniture and all the food except for game. Someone counted up how much time he actually spent there over the years and the grand total is about seven weeks. When the French Revolution came the castle floors were sold for timber and the castle doors were burnt to keep people warm during the sales. The castle now belongs to the government.

    Before reviewing the Loire wine and imported cheeses that we were lucky enough to purchase at a local wine store and a local Italian food store, here are a few suggestions of what to eat with indigenous wines when touring this beautiful region.
    Start with Rillettes (Coarse Pork Paté).
    For your second course savor Lapin au Vouvray (Rabbit with Onions, Shallots, and Vouvray Wine).
    And as dessert indulge yourself with Tarte aux Pommes à la Confiture de Chinon (Apple Pie with Chinon Wine Jam).

    OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

    Wine Reviewed
    Cheverny Blanc V. V. (Terra Vitis) 2005 12.5% alcohol about $15

    I don’t know why but the usual marketing materials were unavailable. So I accessed the producer’s web site that offered following blurb - translated from the French by Google. Cheverny Blanc Old women Vines resulting from the marriage of Sauvignon and Chardonnay is manually collected with maximum maturity in order to release from the very constant flavours and a powerful gustatory length; to be useful between 7 and 8 degrees accompanied by fish out of sauce, scallop, snails as. Whaaat?

    Didn’t anybody tell Google that V. V. (Vieilles Vignes) stands for old vines and not Old women Vines? Here is my rapid translation: Cheverny Blanc Old Vines (wine) comes from Sauvignon (Blanc) and Chardonnay (grapes) that were manually harvested at their full maturity to bring out their powerful aromas and long, powerful flavors. Serve between 7 and 8 degrees C (44 to 46 degrees F) with fish in sauce, scallops, or snails. Frankly, I would rather review wines than translate documents. And that’s what I am doing next.

    My first meal was whole-wheat spaghetti with a homemade tuna, red onion, garlic, and Greek Olive sauce that had a commercial tomato spaghetti sauce as its base. I doused on a lot of grated Parmesan cheese. The wine was light, refreshingly acidic, and somewhat sweet. It was lemony with a taste of honey. When I finished the glass after finishing the meal I had the feeling that the wine’s quality went up.

    The next meal consisted of a commercially prepared barbecued chicken breast, rice, and an eggplant side. The Cheverny started off between weak and light but later picked up some strength. Interestingly enough it was quite present when paired with the tomato-based grilled eggplant.

    The final pairing involved an omelet with local Provolone cheese and Greek Olives. The wine was somewhat assertive but short. As I had a little left I paired it with a high-quality chocolate-coated ice cream bar. The wine was nice and sweet and a good match, at least at first.

    The first cheese pairing was with a mild Italian Pecorino Friulano cheese. They made a good couple; the wine showed a lot fruit and pleasant acidity and was rather long. The second cheese pairing was with a more forceful Dutch Edam cheese. The results were fairly similar but the wine was definitely flatter.

    Final verdict. This wine is best with rather bland food and as such is overpriced. At a much lower price point it would be worth buying again. I really expect more at this price.

    Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian, French, or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website is www.theworldwidewine.com and his Italian travel website is www.travelitalytravel.com

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 03:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Monday, 20 August 2007

    Port wine is not seen by most people as a great complement to many foods. Port wine is usually seen as something to have after the meal, after dessert really or around a fire whilst enjoying the great outdoors. However, by the time you complete reading this article, there may be some interesting tasting times ahead.
    It is not a large change in thinking to agree that Port wine is a good complement to desserts. Try a good tawny Port wine with anything that has nuts or cream in it. Flavored ice-cream might be a bit of a stretch, but hey, give it a go. If you don’t try it you will never know! Quality vintage Port wines will make a great complement to dark chocolate and darker fruit, like cherries, blackberries and the like. White Port wine goes with most cheeses and white chocolate - what a sensation!

    But what about the entrée – try serving a quality vintage of tawny Port wine with blue cheeses or salty cheeses. For those who love Port wine and blue cheese, this will be no surprise. The hard cheddar style cheeses also go well with Port wine. Try Port wine with a rich pumpkin soup or pea and ham soup, although sherry may be a better option for these. I once did see someone actually tip a glass of Port wine into the soup - not so sure about that though. One never knows until one has a go! All of our tastes are different.

    The main meals are a bit more of a challenge. If you are having Port wine with the meal, it is best to remember that the alcoholic content of Port wine is between fifty and one hundred percent higher than red wine. It has caught people out before and no doubt will again in the future. Tawny Port wines are usually lighter in color and sweeter than vintage Port wines. Ruby Port wines are a little sharper. With steak dishes that have pepper or garlic try the ruby Port wines, as a complement. For chicken dishes that are not so sharp, try the tawny Port wines. Mix and match until you get the complementary taste that enhances the food flavors.

    Whatever the occasion, try new things and enjoy the company of others in the process. Use a Port wine sipper to get the best out of Port wines and other fortified wines.

    Remember: If you try it, you may even like it

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 01:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Friday, 17 August 2007
    Wine makes a fantastic gift, one that can be enjoyed by both giver and recipient or saved for a special moment. You don't have to worry about wine being the right size or spending an eternity at the back of a closet. If you're considering giving the gift of wine, here are a few tips for making your choice and a quick breakdown of the different types of wine available.

    Before you start, pick your price. When in doubt, go with a mid-range bottle. If you're having trouble making a choice and don't want to go over the top, pick a basic Cabernet Sauvignon at a middle price point. If you want something for a more special occasion, go with a Champagne or vintage, but don't skimp.

    Try something older. It's not very often that the casual wine drinker gets to enjoy a vintage bottle. It may be something we think of fleetingly at a restaurant, but never stop to get for ourselves. A vintage bottle of wine can make a fantastic gift for the wine lover. If you're not sure, ask your wine store clerk. They are full of information and are almost always happy to help.

    Include a few accessories. If you're gifting wine and want to add a little something extra, try topping off your present with a crafted wine stopper or a gift certificate for dinner at a nearby winery.

    Think about the type of wine you want to buy. Some of the most common and popular wine types are; Merlot, a great choice for new red-wine drinkers; Cabernet Sauvignon, a full-bodied red wine; Pinot Noir, a much more delicate and fruity red; Chardonnay, a dry and citrusy white wine; Sauvignon Blanc, a light wine; and the Reisling, a very dry but still fresh white. Almost any of these choices are sure to be a hit.

    Find Online wine gifts

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 11:53 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
    Thursday, 16 August 2007

    Usually served warm with milk or ice cream, the brownie is without doubt the favorite dessert of all time. It is often elegantly covered with chocolate icing or flavored with mint or vanilla.

    Small sized, brown colored and extremely rich in chocolate; these are what come to our mind when we speak of brownies.

    Here are a few brownie recipes that are worth a try when you have time:

    == Brownies (Basic Version)

    ~ 1 tsp vanilla
    ~ 1 egg
    ~ 1 square (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate
    ~ 1/4 cup butter or margarine
    ~ 1/4 tsp salt
    ~ 1/4 tsp soda
    ~ 2/3 cup flour
    ~ 3/4 cup sugar
    ~ 2 tbsp milk

    Sift soda, salt and the flour together. Let the butter and chocolate melt together in the top of a double boiler over boiled water. Take away from heat. Add in the sugar little by little, beating well.

    Mix well while adding the egg. Gradually add all the dry ingredients and mix well along with milk and vanilla. Spread over baked butterscotch base. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Let cool then cut into bars.

    == Caramel Oatmeal Brownies

    The Base:

    ~ 1 cup oatmeal
    ~ 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    ~ 1/3 cup melted butter or margarine
    ~ 1/3 cup sifted flour
    ~ 1/4 tsp soda
    ~ 1/8 tsp salt

    Mix the soda, flour & salt together. Insert oatmeal then the brown sugar; whip until well blended. The add the margarine or butter to mix again until mixture is crumbly. Now apply pressure with your hands into an ungreased 8 by 8 by 2 inch pan. Now Bake for 10 mins at 350 degrees and then serve.

    == Snicker Bar Brownies

    ~ 1 German Chocolate Cake Mix
    ~ 1 Large bag Snickers or Milk Way Bars
    ~ 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
    ~ 3/4 cup melted margarine

    Mix cake mix with melted margarine and condensed milk. Pour 1/2 of the mixture into a pan (13 by 9). Let bake for about 10 mins at 350 degrees.

    Cut candy bars into thin slices. Lay these on top of the baked crust. Crumble the remaining batter on the candy bars top. It will have a crumbly texture.

    You don't have to make it smooth by spreading it on the top. It really looks better this way! Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

    == Brownies With Banana

    ~ 3 cups flour
    ~ 2 tsp baking soda
    ~ 6 very ripe bananas
    ~ 1 cup butter
    ~ 1 tsp vanilla
    ~ 1 tsp salt
    ~ 3/4 cup sugar
    ~ 3/4 cup brown sugar
    ~ 3 eggs
    ~ 1 cup chocolate chips

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Cream margarine. Drop sugars, vanilla, bananas and also don't forget the eggs. Combine well. Drop flour, soda, and salt and mix well. Then add in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.

    Insert the mixture into greased 13 by 9 inch baking pan. Spray the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips on top.

    == Fudge Mint Brownies

    ~ 3 eggs
    ~ 1-1/4 cup flour
    ~ 1 cup nuts; chopped
    ~ 1/2 tsp salt
    ~ 1/2 tsp baking Soda
    ~ 1/2 cup butter
    ~ 1 cup sugar
    ~ 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    ~ 3 tbsp water
    ~ 1-1/2 cups mint-Chocolate Chips

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

    Mix salt, flour and soda in a little bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, butter and water; heat until it reach the boiling point. Take away from heat. Drop vanilla extract and the mint chocolate chips; whip until chips are dissolved and mixture is smooth.

    Transfer to a large bowl. Drop eggs, one by one, while keep whipping well following every addition. Slowly whip in flour mixture. Blend in nuts. Insert into a greased 13 by 9 X 2-inch baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool.

    Happy brownies! :o)

    Joana loves cooking! Visit her favorite Restaurant Copycat Recipes website where she gets ideas to prepare killer dishes for her family! Check: Secret Copycat Recipes

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 01:11 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Friday, 10 August 2007

    So, you have let your wife’s birthday slip your mind. This is a hard to believe deed considering she has been dropping not-so-subtle hints for the past two weeks. After you have smacked yourself, you begin to formulate a preparation. A surprise dinner at her preferred restaurant will positively show her your romantic side, but you need something else. The tried-and-true gift of flowers will without doubt do the trick. It’s no surprise that men find giving flowers as a gift to be an out of harm's way, and sure way to satisfy their mates. Ordering is more often than simple and shows sincere respect and gratitude.

    If you are working on a short time frame then same day flower delivery might be a good option for you. Yes, you could drop by the florist on your way home and get a bouquet, however many people enjoy the surprise of an unforeseen delivery of fresh cut flowers. Most also enjoy the envying look of co-workers as they march past through the office carrying their colorful and sweet-smelling bouquet.

    Most floral companies offer same day delivery. Usually the best way to order flowers for same day delivery is by ordering online. Most florists have cut-off times for same day delivery of flowers while others may deliver same day all day. Some established florists who have a busy workload (especially around holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and Mother’s Day) may additionally charge you a processing fee for same day delivery orders. In most cases, however, florists are happy to deliver same day, as they comprehend that unanticipated events happen and are more than willing to accommodate.

    In general it’s wise to order flowers online if you need same day delivery. If you do find an online florist who will deliver the same day, be sure to read all of the delivery requirements. You may be in a hurry to place your order but it is very important that you know the terms of service. Also be attentive to what type of flowers, the arrangement, enclosure cards and any accessories that you wish to be included. Your satisfactory experience with any same day flower delivery depends on your knowledge of what you are ordering.

    Once you find an online florist that you are happy with. Stay with them! Put them in your favorites so you will get quality service time and time again.

    Gourmet Grocery Online provides information on same day, next day, international, and online flowers delivery in various regions.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 08:48 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Wednesday, 08 August 2007

    A 40th birthday buffet should reflect that the mature guests have traveled and experienced life to the fullest. A buffet with international flare may be a perfect way to please those tastes acquired along the road of life. Another more subtle menu idea is to serve a variety of regional foods from one country or region. Perhaps a selection of Asian foods; Chinese regional cooking sampler; French haute cuisine contrasted with nouvelle cuisine; or American regional favorites could be represented.

    The trick here is to point out that the menu chosen is meant as this kind of themed Smorgasbord rather than just a hodge-podge of menu items. Do this with themed decorations and place cards which denote the region represented or cooking techniques demonstrated. Group these in distinct areas on the buffet table or serving carts. A desert cart with only one item from each region is also a good idea to be used with the buffet table.

    Whichever direction is taken for the buffet it's always a good idea to veer toward easily prepared or frozen items. Perhaps one or two homemade dishes should be prepared ahead of time but the bulk of the menu should be easy and quick. Maybe a good option for the international Smorgasbord is the German chocolate cake rather than a more traditional birthday cake.

    This cake is a favorite of many because of it's milder chocolate flavor combined with pecans and coconut. Rely on a purchased German Chocolate cake mix prepared to manufacturer's directions. Bake in layers and after cooling stack with plain chocolate icing between the layers. Again a canned German chocolate icing will be the perfect shortcut to top this birthday cake. The remainder of the plain chocolate icing can be used to decorate. Buy paper plates and cups for serving.

    Mrs. Party... Gail Leino takes a common sense approach to planning and organizing events, celebrations and holiday parties with unique ideas for 40th birthday party supplies and fun party games. She explains proper etiquette and living a healthy life while also teaching organizational skills and fun facts. The Party Supplies Hut has lots of party ideas with hundreds of free holiday printable games and free birthday party activities. Over 100 adorable Themes including Party Supplies to fit your birthday celebration, holiday event, or "just because" parties. Party themes include cartoon characters, sports, movie, TV shows, luau, western, holidays, and unique crazy fun theme ideas.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 02:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Saturday, 04 August 2007
    I have been wondering about the difference between red wines and white wines. To me, they taste quite different. Red wines are heavier and more complex than white wine, and often tend to be less sweet. Why is this? Actually red and white wines are made quite differently. The differences between red and white wines include the kinds of grapes used, the fermentation and aging process, and the character and flavor of the wine.

    White wines are almost always made from white grapes, although they can be made from black grapes, since the juice in most black grapes is clear. When white wine is made, the skins of the grapes are separated from the juice when they are put into a crushing machine. Then yeast is added to the juice for fermentation, until the juice becomes white wine. After filtering etc, the wine is aged by storing it in stainless steel or occasionally oak containers and bottled after a few months. White wines, then, are made without skins or seeds and are essentially fermented grape juice. They have a light character and have crisp fruit flavors and aromas. They can be sweet or dry or somewhere in between. Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio/ Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc are all white wines.

    Red wine is usually made from red or black grapes, although all the kinds of grapes usually have a clear juice. The process of making red wine is different from the one of making white wine. After the grapes have been in the crushing machine, the red grapes with their skins and everything sit in a fermentation vat for a period of time, typically about one to two weeks. . The skins tend to rise to the surface of the mixture and form a layer on top. The winemaker frequently mixes this layer back into the fermenting juice (which is called must). After fermentation is over, the new wine is taken from the vat. A little "free run" juice is allowed to pour and the rest of the must is squeezed into "press wine". The wine is clarified and then is stored, usually in oak containers, for several months until it is ready to be bottled. The oak containers add additional wood tannins and flavors to the wine which help to intensify it and add richness to it. The result of this process is that red wines exhibit a set of rich flavors with spicy, herby, and even meaty characteristics. Beaujolais, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel are all red wines.

    The main difference between red and white wines is the amount of tannins they have. Since tannins largely come from the grape skins, red wines have more of them than white wines. Red wine acquires it's tannins in the process of maceration (leaving juice to mix together with the skin, seeds and woody bits). It is the tannins and skins of the red grapes which are released into the wine that contribute to the deep color and flavor of red wine. Tannins have a slightly bitter taste and create a dry puckery sensation in the mouth and in the back of the throat; and often lend a wonderful complexity to red wine. They also help preserve the wine. This is why red wines are usually aged longer than white wines.

    There are as many different flavor profiles among red wines as there are among white ones. Some red wines are sweet and fruity, while some whites ( such as Chardonnay) have tannins from being stored in oak containers. Some German white wines have lasted for centuries, while some red wines are made for immeadiate consumption. For wines meant for consumption right away the winemaker takes out the bitter tannins, creating a fruity, fresh, and approachable wine. So, apart from the color, there are no hard and fast rules about the differences between red and white wine.

    Is it true that red wine is better for you? The research of Dr Frankel has shown that red wine contains more antioxidants than white wine, although the total amount varies according to the variety of grape, region it was grown, the climate and soil it was grown in, and whether it was stored in oak (since wines stored in oak have more antioxidants) and the filtration techniques used. However the antioxidants in white wine are apparently more effective. The research of Dr Troup shows that the antioxidant molecules in white wine are smaller and thus more effective because they can be more easily absorbed. It seems that white wine is just as healthy as red wine.

    In summary, the primary difference between red and white wine is the amount of tannins they contain, although there are no hard and fast rules about the differences between them outside of the color of the wine. Usually red wines are more complex, richer, and heavier, with spicy, herby, and even meaty characteristics. White wines are usually sweeter, and lighter, and have crisp fruit flavors and aromas. Neither is significantly better for you. Which wine is best for you to drink is simply a matter of taste.
    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 11:29 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Wednesday, 01 August 2007
    Baby showers are a very exciting time in life. If you have been blessed with the honor of hosting the shower, you are most likely wracking your mind to come up with a really cute baby shower cake idea. Of course you want everything to be fantastic for celebrating the upcoming arrival.

    Here is a creative baby shower cake idea that is simple to create and very cute. It is very unique in that you can provide three different cake flavors for choosy guests to enjoy.

    Butterfly edible baby shower cake idea:

    What you will need:

    - 3 cake mixes (You can use all one flavor, or you can use three different to provide choices for the guests.)

    - 2 heart shaped baking pans

    - 1 muffin or cupcake pan

    - 1 piece of very strong cardboard to fit the finished cake

    - Enough icing for 3 cake mixes (A really great idea is to buy all white icing and food coloring so you can create pretty pastel colors yourself.)

    - A roll of baby shower gift wrapping paper

    - Assorted candies to decorate with (Jelly Beans, Twizzlers, Mike & Ike's)

    How to make this great edible baby shower cake idea:

    1. First you will bake the cakes. Do so according to package directions. If you're using three different flavors, use one flavor for each heart pan and one flavor for the cupcakes. Be sure to grease the pans liberally and flour them. Allow the cakes to cool completely before beginning to decorate.

    2. While you're waiting for the cakes to cool, you can cover the cardboard with the pretty wrapping paper. Just tape it on the bottom very well so it won't come off.

    3. Using two different bowls, divide the icing into two parts. If the baby that's coming is a girl, you can add a few drops of red food coloring to one bowl of the icing to make a pretty pink. If it's a boy, a few drops of blue or green will make a pretty pastel color.

    4. For this great baby shower cake idea, you will want to add a few drops of yellow to the other bowl to make a pretty pastel yellow.

    5. When the cakes are cool, remove them from the pans carefully, and place them on something to decorate with. (You don't want to put them on the cardboard yet.) Ice about six or seven of the cupcakes with the pastel yellow icing.

    6. Ice the heart shaped cakes with the other color icing. Now you will place the cupcakes in the center of the cardboard. Place the heart shaped cakes on either side of the cupcakes, the point of the heart towards the cupcakes. See? A butterfly!

    7. Now you can decorate the butterfly in any pretty way you like. A great idea is to use pieces of the Twizzlers for antennae, and Jelly Beans for the eyes. Use pretty decorations for the wings, and feel free to make up your own cute ideas for this baby shower cake ideas.

    8. A really cute idea is to use fresh flowers and cut them right at the blooms to place around the butterfly.

    Your guests will go head over heels in love with this edible baby shower cake idea, and the Mom-to be will never forget it. The different flavored cakes will make sure that all the guests get a piece that they will enjoy. Have fun with this one.

    Visit Baby Shower Game Idea to discover more fantastic and creative baby shower ideas for games, favors, cakes, invitations, gifts and more.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 09:27 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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