You are reading the archives for June 2010.

Master Baker’s Secrets Revealed.

Home baking can be an exceptionally satisfying activity, turning simple ingredients into wonderful cakes, biscuits, breads and other baked goods.
Yet even with the easiest recipes, the outcome can sometimes be dissatisfactory. Here are a few hint, tips and tricks to avoid popular baking issues.

There are a few basic Baker’s basics to grasp. You don’t need to be a master baker to make perfect cakes & baked goods, with care and patience and a little expertise about the basic rules, there is no legitimate reason why you should not achieve good results every time.

He first necessary skill is to read the recipe completely before you start and try to understand the steps involved. A little added preparation, such as accumulating together all the ingredients and cooking tools required. Let ingredients such as eggs and butter return to room temperature a good half an hour prior to using them, with the exception of pastry recipes where butter needs to remain cold.


For cakes, preheat your oven to the temperature called for in the recipe prior to starting work on the ingredients. When making bread however, you wont need to preheat the oven until the first rise of the dough is done.
Oven temperature is crucial to successful baking. While the temperature settings on most ovens are sort of accurate, it would be sensible to check your oven with a separate oven thermometer accessible at most kitchenware shops. Do this on a regular basis to ensure consistent results.

Use the correct tin size when ever possible. If a cake recipe calls for a 6 inch tin, but you only have an 8 inch tin available, then the resulting cake will be slimmer and take less time to cook, so either you need to add to the measurements of the ingredients, or reduce the cooking time.


A decent set of scales is essential for accurately measuring the ingredients. Baking is more like a science than an art, so using imprecise or vague measurements will more often than no result in disaster. Get yourself a nice set of scales, measuring jugs and spoons. If these have both imperial and metric measurement marks you will be able to conveniently adhere to recipe measurements from anywhere in the world, otherwise you’ll need a conversion table to work out pounds vs grams or pints vs liters every time you use a new recipe.

What can go wrong.

Baking is quite an precise art. Even the experienced bakers who look like they are throwing in ingredients by the mug or hand full understand that the ratio needs to be maintained.
Many problems occur when the oven is too hot or too cold. Having the oven too high will result in the outer layer of the bread or cake becoming dark or burnt before the inside is cooked properly. An extremely hot oven will kill off yeast in bread mixture prior to the loaf rising, resulting in a dense house brick instead of a light fluffy loaf. Having your oven too high will cause cakes to “dome” and burn instead of rising evenly.
On the other end of the scale, if your oven is too low, bread will fail to rise adequately and cakes are likely to remain pale and will most likely sag in the middle.

Tins need to be greased adequately to prevent mixture from sticking & large cakes should be protected by several layers of greaseproof paper to prevent the outer layer from overcooking.

Cakes with a domed top show that the mixture may not have been beaten enough or that the oven was too hot or that the cake was placed too high in the oven. It may also be a sign that the mixture wasn’t quite right. Maybe a little dry or too much raising agent.

Cakes with a sunken center indicate that they weren’t baked long enough or the oven was too low, or that you were a bit too curious and opened the oven door too early in the cooking process.

Cakes with a damp or doughy center are a sign of the mixture being too wet with too much liquid and not enough flour, or that the oven was too hot.

Bread that is dense or doughy indicates not enough yeast or that the water used wasn’t warm enough to activate the yeast, or was too hot and had killed off the yeast. The bread dough may have been too wet, or the dough was not given enough time to rise or that not enough effort was used in the kneading process.  Dense bread may also be an indication of an incorrect oven temperature . Bread that results in needing a Shun Classic 8 inch chefs knife to slice is never a pleasant outcome
If your bread overflows the tin or the top cracks and burns you may have used too much yeast or the dough was allowed to rise for too long.

So all in all, baking can be rewarding process as long as you stick to the basics.

Online Guitar Lessons Video: Learn Simply by Watching

In the “old days”, you may perhaps look at MTV and pick and choose out several of the notes that the guitarists in this music videos were playing. In these days, it isn’t quite that very easy. Of course, MTV plays very few music videos, and even those that it does play are frequently not “performance” videos – meaning that we don’t see the band playing, but rather a visible depiction of a song or simply the artist’s vision.

If you wanted to know what notes a guitarist has been actively playing in a song of today, we really have got a few possibilities. We can easily sit having a MP3 player and also repeat the actual song, over and over, till you could commence taking out notes, and / or we could start looking for the classical guitar tab for the song on-line. Using a bit of researching, almost all songs are available on the web in some form or other. But unfortunately, you need to know precisely how to read the tabs, as well as interpret what you will be finding.

Online guitar lessons video is usually a perfect method to learn the best way to interpret the composed representation of guitar music as well as understand how to find out what you listen on the radio (playing “by ear”). Online guitar lessons video even offers you the possibility to SEE just what exactly the guitarist is actually performing with his or her fingers on both hands, the strumming, the pulling of the strings, the actual ways in which this chords will be held. Without having all of this info, absolutely no guitar tab can do you much good.

Humans learn in countless numerous ways. Several people need to read or even see visual details in order to process it. Many individuals need to hear it. A number of individuals need to see an example plus reproduce it. Online guitar lessons video gives all of these ways of training so that, no matter how you learn, you definitely will be capable to learn easily.

Great Day for Kids Bunk Beds!

Having two kids but less space in the bedroom makes bunk beds a viable option. One reason is that they are a good investment in case you have two kids, but less space in the bedroom. Besides being practical, they are also favored for their novelty feature. And there is a feeling of security with your sibling being so near you. But as a parent, choosing the right one is not an easy task.

The bunk beds are usually not huge. Thus they are not too big. This means that there is ample sleeping space for your children. And there is good sleeping space for anybody aged seven to an adult. You will feel better once you know that there is the right amount of sleeping space Anyway, nobody expects children to be sleeping in bunk beds till they are adults.

Most of the kids bunk beds that you will be able to find will have frames made of either wood or steel. Both wood & steel have their good as well as bad sides. A bunk bed of steel will not last as long as the one made of wood.

Wood is a generally more durable material, and will likely last longer than they will even use the bunk beds. Thi s is because wood is more durable than steel. But steel costs much lesser than wood. Hence, keep this in mind before you finalize the perfect kids bunk beds for your kids. Besides, bunk beds made of steel will cost much lesser than wooden bunk beds.

Make your kids’ room really stylish with theme based sets. Like, in case you have two daughters, you may like a Disney Princess theme. This will definitely be enjoyed by the kids & even by the adults as long as it is there. An important thing here is the security of the top bunk. Make sure that you have a top bunk with railings. This will ensure that your child will not roll off the bed under any circumstances. Always choose the top bunk which has safety railings on either side of the bed.

The options in full over full bunk beds are unlimited. And they will cost you more than standard beds, but you need to compare this price difference with the amount of space being saved as well as the increase in bonding between the kids. Hence they are a great investment, so Care has to be taken to ensure that they last long & are relatively safe.

5 Sure Fire Ways To Teach Your Child To Have A-Plus Manners

As a parent myself, I want the best for my child.  I want her to be happy, healthy and have all her dreams become reality. 

As a martial arts school owner I also want that for all my students.  Of the many things we teach in our Danbury CT area martial arts school, the character skill for this coming month is one of my very favorites.

One of the foundational skills, that is just so important in life, is manners.  The simple ability to say things like ‘Thank you, please, excuse me, I’m sorry’, is often times, sadly lacking in society today.

This skill requires and builds upon many other character skills.  Empathy, the ability to put oneself in other people’s shoes, needs to exist in order to nurture manners.  People must learn the character trait self control and respect to build manners.

How many times per day do you find yourself thinking about someone ‘How rude’?  Lack of manners seems to becoming the norm these days.

We live in a technological and fast paced world where we are becoming increasingly disconnected, pardon the pun, from the very society in which we live.  Face to face contact is becoming a thing of the past as text messaging becomes our basic mechanism of communication. 

We have to be especially careful to teach these fundamentally human character traits so as literally not to evolve into some kind of mechanical information aged artificial life form.  I think I am starting to sound like my parents.

Here are 5 sure fire ways to teach your child to develop those old fashioned manners. They really never do go out of style.  Just out of practice.

1:  Setup a communication standard.  This is simply how you expect your child to address people.

At my martial arts school, we have a built in method for teaching manners. It all begins with our communication standard. 

All students immediately understand how they are to address instructors by Mr. or Mrs. Last name.  They also answer all questions by saying yes or no sir or ma’am.

At home, how do your children speak to your friends, relatives, strangers?  How do they speak to you?  Try having them address all people by last name.  Explain why this is good manners.

2:  Create a phone script.  Allow your child to answer the phone.  Kids love to be able to do this.  Makes them feel like a grown up.

Plot out a script of what they must say.  Here’s an example:

“Hello this is Hannah, who may I say is calling please?”

What happens next could be “My parents are currently busy may I take a number where they can call you back?” or “Please hold while I get my parents.”

Role play this and make sure they have it down before you let them get started.  Learning by doing is much more powerful than just being told to do it.

3:  Make a manners log.  This is a log where each day everyone in the family writes down what they did to show good manners today.

We call ours the ‘Random Acts of Manners’ list.  It turns into a fun game the entire family participates in. 

Set a goal and turn it into a contest for getting to a certain amount of good manners logged in for the end of the week or month.  If the goal gets hit, maybe the family does a movie night or goes to the kids favorite restaurant. 

Kids love challenges.  There doesn’t even need to be a prize.  Just the idea that there is a goal to hit will have your kids looking for opportunities to show good manners.

4:  Do stuff together.  The more time we spend with our kids, the bigger influence we’ll have on them.

Look for things they do that show good manners and point it out.  Be a good finder and help them to be one too!

When they do something showing bad manners, ask them how they can show better manners. 

As we teach this in the martial arts school through our character education program called Powerful Words, we explain, expect but don’t lecture.  We explain our expectations and then allow them to rise to the occasion.

5: Be the change in the world you want to see.  This is the hardest part by all means. 

This simply means that you have to walk the walk.  Children most certainly learn more from our actions than they do by our words.  You must be the example to your child.

If your behavior is incongruent with the desired behavior, any lesson you teach is undermined.  You cannot teach kids to do as I say not as I do.  They will build norms and values based EXACTLY on what they SEE you do and do not.

We constantly must be mindful about everything we say and do in front of kids.  If I scream at a telemarketer and hang up on them, what lesson did I just teach my daughter?  If I become irate when someone cuts me off on the highway and yell obscenities at the other driver, what will my child learn.

Practice these five methods for building better manners and you will see your children’s manners blossom.

House Decoration For Summer

Summer is the right era of year to wear your genuine patriotic colors. This is the era of year to get pleasure from watermelon, fried chicken, corn on the cob, and apple pie. It is the point of year when days are long, nights are hot, and watching fireflies light up the dark sky is one of the numerous pleasures that should not be forgot. Summer house decoration styles should keep all of these things in mind and so much more.

Sunflowers (konvektorok)are an wonderful place to start when it comes to summer decoration. They create an excellent statement and instantly for a lot of people bring to mind sunshine and summertime. The brilliant yellow of these flowers may be a nice accent for almost any area in the house and they are quite widespread in the silk form, as they have experienced some extent of popularity in latest years. This suggests you’ll fancy the beauty of those sunflowers every summer if that’s your wish.

Baskets also are a nice issue to gather for summer decorating. You’ll position some of the attractive sunflowers in baskets all through the house for supplementary effect. Baskets will additionally be used to tame the clutter, hide the bills, and contain the utensils within the kitchen. These are relatively versatile and practical in almost every space within the home. Some people even make use of baskets in the lavatory so as to carry hand towels and/or wash clothing. Baskets additionally transition well into different seasons if you choose to change the liners or add seasonally acceptable ribbons to the exterior of the baskets.

If you’re handy with the paint brush some excellent summer decoration ideas embody painting oldpicket tables and seats white and sponging on either apples or watermelons in keeping with your desire. A small round table with a number of seats will build an excellent (and typically cheap) addition to a sunroom or breakfast nook. After all you could also stencil on various sunflowers, sunshine, or stick figures playing ball. Whatever strikes your desire would be a great add-on to the present smart home decorating idea.