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If you're contemplating a wine cellar, no matter whether you decide to buy a stand-alone cellar, or build a wine cellar in your home, there are important considerations before you begin.

The Ideal Wine Cellar: Everything You Need to Get Started

The Ideal Wine Cellar: Everything You Need to Get StartedSo you've decided to take a large step, and move from wine lover to wine connoisseur. You are going to buy a wine cellar. This guide will give you all the information you need to make this purchase.Wine Bottle StorageThe ideal location for storing wine is a dark, draftless area that stays at a constant 50-60 degrees, with 60-70 percent humidity. The bottles should be kept on their sides to keep the corks moist, and should be exposed to limited vibrations. This will ensure that you will be able to keep bottles at their best for years to come. One thing to consider if you decide to purchase a large "wine cellar" : make sure the unit will fit! This sounds obvious, but many times stand-alone wine cellars are much wider than a standard door. Another thing to think about is weight. Consider not only the weight of the storage unit, but be sure to calculate 3 pounds each for a standard bottle of wine. You might not want to store your wine upstairs. This is another reason that wine is typically stored in a cellar.Types of Wine CellarsIf you are lucky enough to live in a house, maybe you can use the existing cellar or a spare room, or have one built. Just be sure not to skimp on building materials - it would be silly to have 400 bottles of wine crashing to the floor because you wanted to save a few bucks on thinner wood. Also, be sure the condensation will be able to evaporate; otherwise, the humidity will increase beyond ideal levels. Consider the cellar as an investment.If you don't have a large amount of space, you can buy a freestanding wine cellar. While not actually a cellar in the traditional sense, these are large units that can be stored in a house or apartment. They are available commercially for a wide variety of prices. Always consider where you are going to be storing the wine. If it will be kept in your home, you will not need to have as much insulation or as strong of a cooling unit, but a unit kept in the garage will have to be much higher quality.Building Your Own Wine Cellar The best location for the cellar is below the level of the house. If your basement has outside walls, keep in mind that north-facing walls will get the least amount of light. Some smaller crawl spaces may not work very well if they experience extreme changes in temperature. The same goes for a garage. The first floor of the house can also be used, and as long as the house stays at a fairly constant room temperature, the cooling unit will not have to work too hard.FramingThe first step in building a wine cellar is the framing. The outer walls of the basement or room should be framed with 2" by 6" wood studs. If the floors are cold, use 2" by 4" studs.InsulationThe next step in the creation of a wine cellar is insulation. The room needs to be kept at the most constant temperature possible. The best type to use is sprayed 2 pound polyurethane, although less expensive methods can used, especially if the cellar is on the first floor of the house. Once again, consider the cellar to be an investment.DoorsDon't forget about the door! It needs to have weather stripping and also be insulated. Otherwise all the work done to insulate the walls will be wasted.DrywallTo finish the walls, use a drywall that is resistant to moisture. Other wall material can be used, but make sure that it will not soak up moisture and that it will not impart an odor on the wine.RacksDon't leave the design of the racks until the end. Start first with this design to make sure that you have enough space for the number of bottles you'd like to store. A good place to start would be to look at the smaller racks available at your local wine store. These will give you ideas on the design you would like. Once again, make sure the construction is sturdy enough for the weight of the wine.Temperature and Humidity and WineAs mentioned before, the ideal temperature for wine is between 50 and 60 degrees. If the temperature is too high, it will spoil quickly. If it is too low, it will not age properly. If the temperature changes often, the cork will expand and contract. This may lead to air getting into the wine. Keeping this in mind, never buy wine chilled at a store, as you have no idea how long it has been that way. Also, don't keep wine in your own refrigerator for more than 1 or 2 days.Humidity can also damage wine. If the humidity is too low, the cork can dry out. While a tipped bottle will keep one side moist, the rest of the cork can become cracked and brittle.Also, ensure the wine will be kept in a dark place, away from vibrations. Colored bottles help keep the light out to some extent, but don't rely on the bottle to keep the light out. Movement may cause the bottles to shift. Wine needs to stay in contact with the cork so it will not dry out and crack, so limit the movement the bottles are exposed to.Wine Cellar Cooling UnitsAfter you cellar is complete, you can purchase a commercial wine cooling unit. Many of these work similarly to a window AC unit. They vent through a wall rather than being installed in the ceiling. However, if you are below ground or for some other reason cannot use a window unit, there are commercial units that can be installed. These are slightly more costly, but work well in those situations.Every wine has an ideal aging time. If your wine cellar is built properly, it will keep your wine for years to come.

Camping Recipe For The Great Outdoors

Camping Recipe For The Great Outdoors

Camping provides a great escape from the weekday routine. You can enhance your camping experience with innovative camping recipe. A "camping recipe" can be as easy or as complicated as you want as there's no reason to fear camping cooking.Start your day off with a hearty breakfast that's easy to make. A breakfast thats satisfying and easy to make is pancakes. You can speed things up while camping by using a pancake mix, however, if you like to make your own pancakes from scratch then pre-measure your dry ingredients, for example flour, baking powder, sugar and salt, and seal the ingredients into a ziplock bag. At your campsite you can easily add your wet ingredients and have a hearty pancake breakfast on the table in no time. An easy camping recipe for breakfast will allow you to enjoy a satisfying meal that will fuel you for your day outdoors while being easy and quick to prepare so that you don't miss out on fun time.Camping recipes are great way to have delicious and nutritious meals while camping. Many camping and outdoors websites have camping recipe ideas and also have areas where you can share your favorite camping recipe with other campers.Family CampingIf youre camping with your friends or family, make sure that you get everyone to participate in the preparation of meals. Camping recipes don't have to be restricted to meat-filled classics, and there are many vegetarian camping recipes for kids and the whole family to make and enjoy. Fun camp cooking recipes are an especially great activity for family camp outs. On a family camping trip, fun camp cooking recipes can be tried at the end of a day while you are enjoying the campfire. Camping dessert recipes are also fun and easy for kids to make, and the whole family enjoys eating them. Have a favorite family camping recipe that the kids love to cook. Blend your family's favorite tastes into camping meals they will savor.Dutch Oven Camping RecipesCooking on camping trips can be the most enjoyable part of the experience, especially if you are not too keen on spending the entire day hiking or playing cards.Dutch oven campfire cooking is one of the best ways to make meals on camping trips. A large and deep Dutch oven will have room for many serving sizes so that you can feed an entire family. Dutch oven camping recipes are great for breakfast not just dinner since all ingredients can be cooked in the Dutch oven. Easy Dutch oven camping recipes for delicious meals around the campfire are available at many websites. Shallow Dutch ovens can also be used to cook breakfasts on a smaller scale. And dont forget that you can bake fresh bread in your Dutch over although a handing camping tip is to take along pita bread instead of regular bread, as it will hold up longer.Campfire CookingAll you need is a campfire, and you will have a hot meal in minutes. Everyone seems to work up a huge appetite while camping, so youll want to be able to easily whip up some quick and tasty camping dinner recipes to satisfy everyone's hunger. Campfire dinner recipes can be as simple as old favorites like macaroni and cheese or more exotic pasta dishes. Any grill recipe will usually work well over the campfire and the kids will enjoy cooking their own hot dogs over the campfire.Everyone can partake in campfire favorites such as smores, or try a new campfire dessert recipe that is both simple and fun to prepare.Do you have a favorite "camping recipes" ? Share your favorite camping recipes with your fellow campers. Camping websites can quickly give you a choice of easy camping recipess for breakfast lunch and dinner to browse and add to your camp cooking menu or just give you ideas for your own.

The Power Of Coffee Roasters

The Power Of Coffee Roasters

No matter what the brand of the coffee that you buy and no matter how great the advertisement is, if you do not own a coffee roaster and grind the beans yourself, you are missing out on enjoyment and paying a high price for it.Before the age of mass communication, before the age of advertisements, coffee roasters were all within the family, and they were the ones who roasted their coffee and enjoyed them wholeheartedly.It's always been a good feeling to wake up every morning with a pleasant coffee aroma. But the coffee aroma that many of us woke up each day is usually the aroma that comes from a metal can or a ceramic jar. That storage could never compare to freshly-ground beans.The difference is this: If you roast with your own coffee roaster, drinking your own roasted coffee is like biting into freshly baked bread. The opposite is experienced by people who don't have coffee roasters. For them, they drink coffee that's like eating pre-cooked popcorn that is rubbery to the taste.It could be hard to believe now, because so many people had been used to buying instant goods that often cannot compare to freshly-roasted beans. Try it for yourself sometime, just for the experience. Even if at first you don't achieve the level of exceptional coffee roasters, the coffee that you made, even with all its imperfections, will still be much better than those that you buy from a grocery store. There is an extra incentive as well. You will save up to 50% of the cost of store-bought coffee.Aside from making coffee that is half the cost and tastes much better, here are other reasons to become your own coffee roaster.Everyone knows how delicious freshly baked bread tastes compared with the stale loaves. Serving as your own coffee roaster and drinking from your own roasted coffee is as big a difference as that.A roasting coffee bean explodes with aroma that is without equal. It permeates the senses and stimulates you to wake up and face the day.Instant coffee and other grocery-grade coffee will not leave such an aftertaste on your palate. If it ever does, it will only be for a short while, not so with a freshly roasted coffee. On the contrary, your palate will retain the delicious taste for most of the morning.When you are your own coffee roaster, you can be assured the best quality coffee because you cannot help but make it special for yoursself. You can sample the gourmet coffees. They too are freshly roasted and are an excellent alternative to the pre-ground coffee that you buy. Even then, it will never be and can never be as fresh and as good as when you roast it yourself.If you can boil an egg, you can roast coffee. It is really quite simple. Use a popcorn popper if you can't find anything to properly roast the beans with. Pour in the beans and let them roast. If you do not want it too dark, have it lighter by roasting it for less time. You can make adjustments for different coffee textures as you experiment.The satisfaction that you will get will more than make up for the trouble that you have by roasting your own coffee. Ignore the advertisements and experience for yourself how superb coffee really is. After that, you will never believe the boasting of coffee companies who say they have the best coffee in the world.

Espresso Machines - Getting That Extra Kick Neednt Be Confusing!

Espresso Machines - Getting That Extra Kick Neednt Be Confusing!

There are so very many different types of espresso machine on the world-wide market, with many having such a wide range of features, that it is no wonder that finding just the right espresso machine for your business needs can be a greatly perplexing task. But once you get to understand the basics, and the main differences between the various models, you will find that getting the best machine for you is much more straightforward than you might otherwise think.First of all, it is important that you know exactly what an espresso machine does: once you understand this, many of the extra features that come with some machines will not seem so strange! Espresso machines are fitted with a metal filter container that is filled with ground coffee; this is tamped down to compact the coffee grounds, and the metal filter is locked in place in the machine. Water is then pumped through the coffee grounds in the filter, and this produces an espresso. Cappuccinos, lattes and other variations of coffee can also be made by adding various amounts of frothed milk to the basic espresso- espresso machines come with a steam wand and milk frother for this purpose.Some of the differences you will find between machines include the number of steam wands (some have more than one so that you can steam milk for more than one cup at once), the number of heads (the more heads a machine has, the more cups of coffee can be produced at one time), and the inclusion of extras such as cup-warming plates and drip trays.So keep the basics in mind, research the range of machines out there and make sure you know exactly what kind of machine you can afford for your budget- then get ready to serve your espresso! Happy shopping!

Choices For Buying, Cooking And Enjoying Fish

Wild SalmonThere are six species of Pacific salmon - chum, coho, king (chinook), pink, sockeye and steelhead - and all are wild. Wild West coast salmon are harvested commercially in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and much of Canada. Smoked wild salmon is a delicious seafood item. The delicacy is simple to prepare and lends itself to a wide variety of dishes.Salmon is high in Omega-3 fatty acids which is well known as having health benefits. Studies have shown that smoked salmon has a very low level of mercury, unlike some other seafood.The Journal of American Medicine Association recently published a report stating that adding salmon at least once a week to your diet will cut the risk of sudden cardiac death in half.TunaTuna is consumed in a variety of ways. Tuna is the most well known and available fish in the USA and many other parts of the world due to it's popularity as a canned product. Most of us grew up on tuna salad sandwiches and associate that experience with tuna as a meal.Readers that have been lucky enough to enjoy fresh caught tuna know that there is quite a difference between a canned tuna salad sandwich and a fresh grilled tuna steak! Tuna is delicious grilled, blackened, or as sushi. Those of us that still love tuna salad can enjoy tuna from the can or use leftover grilled tuna to create a unique and delightful tuna salad with a unique flavor. Smoked fish lovers will be thrilled to know that tuna is excellent when smoked. The finished smoked product makes fish dips, salads or just eaten alone.WahooWahoo are beautiful pelagic fish and are excellent table fare. Wahoo live in the open ocean and are common along much of the USA and Caribbean. Wahoo should be rinsed well and then the fillets can be removed from the body. The flanks can then be cut into steaks with the skin on or the entire sections can be skinned before cutting into steaks.Wahoo is delicious grilled, fried or smoked. Fresh wahoo are available in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Hawaii and other areas.Mahi MahiMahi Mahi, also known as dorado or dolphin fish are fast growing, pelagic fish. Mahi Mahi are among the most beautiful of all fish. The meat is mostly white with a high content of oil. Mahi Mahi is best grilled or smoked. Fresh Mahi Mahi is available in states such as Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Hawaii and others. Other areas of the country can enjoy this fish as a frozen product or fresh via overnight shipment.Striped BassCooks have a variety of favorites for cooking rockfish. Whole fillets of school sized fish or steaks of larger fish are delicious fried. Other choices for cooking striped bass include grilling, broiling, fish cakes and more.For top quality striped bass or "rockfish" as table fare, it's important to take care of the fish prior to cooking. The fish should be chilled on ice and laid out flat until cleaned. Once the fish is home, it can be rinsed thoroughly and filleted. Several cleaning methods exist and each angler learns their favorite style. The fish can be scaled and the skin left on, filleted and then skinned or the skin can be cut around the perimeter of the fish and pulled off with pliers. The skin-on version is nice when baking or grilling smaller fish. Skinning the fish before filleting has some advantages, the most important being speed. Filleting the fish and then cutting the skin off removes the most dark meat and leaves the highest quality portion, although some fish is lost in the process.Black Sea BassBlack Sea Bass are excellent table fare. The meat is firm, white and delicious. Sea Bass are superb fried, grilled, baked or broiled. Sea Bass are easily skinned and filleted. Black sea bass are common along the Atlantic coast from New York to North Carolina. They are best fresh. The fish do not freeze well.GrouperGrouper is among the most popular fish in the Southern USA. Grouper is a premium fish harvested from the Gulf of Mexico and southern Atlantic Ocean. While individual species have unique identifiable characteristics, they are commonly described as lean, white flesh fish with a taste and texture which is popular and distinct from many other white fish.TilapiaTilapia have gone from being an obscure fish to one of the most popular fish in many cultures. Tilapia are the second most important group of farm raised fish in the world. Tilapia has been introduced in over 100 countries. Tilapia farming and consumption are rapidly increasing in the US. Tilapia are a good source of protein and is now the fifth most popular seafood consumed in the United States.

'Waitress' Bakes Up Pie To Die For

Waitress is about a woman named Jenna who is depressed from her marriage to a terrible husband, as well as her lifelong loneliness. Again and again, she finds herself trapped in the abusive relationship, partly due to financial struggles. To her further dismay, she finds out she is pregnant with her husbands child. The only outlet through which she feels comfortable sharing her emotions is by baking pies. She even names pies after her feelings while inventing them. After a series of life-changing events, she eventually finds exactly what she has been looking for in the baby she resented all along. She cuts off ties from everything in her old life and starts fresh, keeping only one thing the same: her love and passion for making pies.Here are five of her wonderful pie recipes:Marshmallow Mermaid Pie9 graham crackers1/2 C. sweetened, flaked coconut, toasted5 Tbs. butter or margarine, melted34 lg. marshmallows (8 oz.)1/2 C. whole milk1 1/2 C. heavy or whipping cream1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, gratedPreheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine coconut and graham crackers in food processor until coarse crumbs form. Combine crumbs and butter with fork. Press to bottom and side of 9-inch pie plate. Bake 10 minutes and cool on wire rack. Heat marshmallows and milk in 3-qt. saucepan over low heat until smooth, stirring constantly. Remove saucepan from heat. Cool completely (30 minutes.) In large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold marshmallow mixture into whipped cream with grated chocolate. Spoon filling into cooled crust. Refrigerate pie at least 3 hours or overnight. Top with mini marshmallows, maraschino cherries and rainbow sprinkles.Falling in Love Chocolate Mousse Pie9-inch baked pastry shell1 14-oz. can condensed milk (not evaporated)2/3 C. water1 (4 serving) pkg. chocolate pudding mix (not instant)1 1-oz. square unsweetened chocolate2 C. (1 pt.) whipping cream, stiffly whippedIn large saucepan, combine condensed milk, water and pudding mix; mix well. Add chocolate. Over medium heat, cook and stir rapidly until chocolate melts and mixture thickens. Remove from heat; beat until smooth. Cool. Chill thoroughly; stir. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into prepared pastry shell. Chill 4 hours until set.I Don't Want Earl's Baby Pie1 pie crust4 Tbs. butter3 slices ham8 green onions1 C. brie cheese1 C. parmesan cheese, grated4 eggs2 C. heavy cream1/4 tsp. ground nutmegPreheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover pie crust with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5 minutes more. Remove crust and reduce heat to 325 degrees. Julienne ham. Chop green onions. In skillet, saute ham until brown. Remove and set aside. Saute onion until tender. Remove with slotted spoon and combine with ham. Spread on bottom of pie crust. Spread brie over ham mixture and sprinkle with parmesan. Combine eggs, cream and nutmeg; pour over cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until set. Cool slightly, cut into wedges and serve.Baby Screamin' Its Head Off In The Middle of the Night & Ruinin' My Life Pie4 8-oz. cream cheese, softened1 C. unsalted butter, softened1 1/2 C. sour cream1/2 C heavy whipping cream1 3/4 C. white sugar1/8 . cornstarch1 fl. oz. amaretto liqueur1 tsp. vanilla extract5 eggs1 egg yolk1 C. chopped pecans1/2 tsp. nutmegBring all ingredients to room temperature. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wrap outside of 9-inch springform pan with foil. Generously butter inside of pan. In large bowl,beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in sugar and cornstarch. Blend in sour cream and whipping cream. Add amaretto and vanilla. Stir in eggs and egg yolk one at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition. Pour batter into pan. Place pan in another pan at least 1 inch wider and add water to outside pan (prevents cracks). Bake on center rack for 70 minutes. Turn oven off and let cool with door open for 1 hour. Remove cake from water and chill at least 3 hours before removing cake from pan. Top with crushed pecans and dust with nutmeg.I Can't Have No Affair Because It's Wrong & I Don't Want Earl to Kill Me Pie2 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs1/2 C. brown sugar1/2 C. melted butter2 large eggs1/3 C. granulated sugar1/2 tsp. salt2 C. milk, scalded1/2 tsp. vanilla extract1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon3 egg whites1/2 C. white sugarMix crumbs, brown sugar and butter until well-blended. Press mixture into a 9-inch pan. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Beat eggs slightly in a large bowl. Add sugar and salt. Slowly stir in hot, scalded milk. Add vanilla. Strain mixture into pie crust. Sprinkle top with cinnamon. Bake on lower shelf 25-30 minutes, or until custard is firm. In larger glass mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add 1/4 C. white sugar, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie after custard is set, return to oven until meringue is slightly brown. Cool 15 minutes.

Summary

If you're contemplating a wine cellar, no matter whether you decide to buy a stand-alone cellar, or build a wine cellar in your home, there are important considerations before you begin.