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Caesar Salad With Parmesean Twill

Featured Recipes


Kruisheren-Hotel, Maastricht

A former gothic monastery transformed into a four-star luxury establishment, Kruisheren Hotel is a historical place to stay and dine. It is located in the city center of Maastricht in the Netherlands, near shopping facilities, historical landmarks, gastronomic destinations, and the famous Vrijthof Square. The luxury hotel used to be the Kruisheren (Crutched Friar) cloister and dates back to the 15h century. The monastery as well as the gothic church were renovated and changed into a designer hotel that combines medieval antiquity and contemporary aesthetics. The contrast of the past and the present are quite evident in the architecture and interiors of the complex.
The hotel has 60 modern rooms and a mezzanine with a restaurant area where the central church hall used to be. Guests are served breakfast in this area while they can enjoy the stunning views of Maastricht through the chancel windows. The nave of the church also houses the lobby, reception, lounge, coffee bar, modern boardrooms, boutique, a glass elevator that connects the church to the monastery area, a library, and a wine bar, called the âespace vinicole,â with a wine cellar above ground housed in a large glass vault. 
Created by internationally acclaimed interior designer Henk Vos, the interiors of the hotel and the rooms are uniquely designed with a light character that contrasts with the gothic atmosphere. Light installation artworks by the German artist Ingo Maurer are displayed in the hotel. Notable designs by masters Rietveld and Le Corbusier were used throughout the complex. Modern designs from Philippe Starck, Piet Heyn Eeck, marc Newson, and Roderick Vos were used to contrast with the stained glass windows, ceiling paintings, and authentic medieval walls. An artwork in its own right, Kruisheren Hotel offers a synthesis of Gothic exterior and sleek modern interior, of religious expression and stark sobriety.
Kruisheren-Hotel, Maastricht
Herbalist Deb Friedman discusses how to manage your stress levels with herbal tea. If you are a working parent or a college student with a big important test coming up, herbal teas can aid you greatly. You can buy the ingredients for these teas in bulk or in tea bags. Someone who is pregnant should watch what herbs they consume.  (Series 1 of 8)
Managing Stress with Herbal Tea
Villa San Michele, Florence

Near the village of Fiesole beautifully situated on a hillside, Villa San Michele is a romantic hotel and top gourmet restaurant that offers sweepingly dramatic views of the Arno Valley and historic Florence. The wonderful thing about Villa San Michele is that guests can enjoy the peace and tranquility in solitude yet the hotel is only 8 kilometers from Florence and is in close proximity to many notable sites and attractions.  The hotel offers guests daily transportation to and from central Florence via shuttle bus. 
A former 15th century Franciscan monastery, the façade of Villa San Michele was designed by no less than Michelangelo. The property was designated a monument by the Italian national trust. Antique furnishings, ancient carvings, and frescoes provide a renaissance experience in the 21 guest rooms and 25 suites. Many of the rooms offer views of the Arno valley and Florence. Some include a Jacuzzi bath and private terraces. All the rooms are equipped with air conditioning, color satellite TV, mini-bar, in-room movies, towel warmer, and hair dryer. 
The hotel opened in 1950 and since then became a favorite retreat of travelers who wish to get away from busy Florence. Surrounded by formal Italian gardens, woodland and the Chianti hills studded with cypress, Villa San Michele is a work of art itself. 
The award-winning fine dining restaurant, Loggia, serves traditional Tuscan cuisine and superb selection of wines in a spectacular al fresco setting with views of the Arno valley. The hotel also has Cloister and Canacolo dining rooms and offers cultural and gastronomic programs with tours of the Chianti countryside. Other features of the hotel include an outdoor panoramic pool that is open seasonally and has a pool restaurant, business services, banquet and meeting rooms, exercise room, cookery school, and a bar and lounge. Services include room service, concierge, massage, laundry and dry cleaning, secretarial services, and multilingual staff.
Villa San Michele, Florence
Deauville, Normandy, France

The most glamorous seaside resort in the French coast, Deauville in Normandy France, a commune in Calvados, is considered the âqueen of the Norman beaches.â It is one of the most elegant and prestigious seaside resorts in all of France and is popular for its racecourse, horse culture, polo grounds, golf courses, villas, Grand Casino, international film festivals, five-star hotels, and marinas. 
A fashionable holiday resort among the international upper class and celebrities, Deauville is home to the rich and famous and a favorite family destination of the super wealthy since the 19th century. Deauville is often referred to as the Parisian Riviera and is well known for its role in famous author Marcel Proustâs âIn Search of Lost Time.â Today, it is easily accessible from Paris due to the extension of highway A132.   
One of Europeâs largest hotel companies, Le Groupe Lucien Barriere, which specializes in casinos and luxury hotels operate one of the most prominent structures in Deauville, the five-star Hotel Royal Barriere. Located near the beach and in the center of the town, it is directly linked to the renowned Casino also owned by the Groupe Lucien Barriere. Built in 1913, it has been a symbol of luxury and prestige and is a cornerstone of the famous town. Inside the hotel are two restaurants and spa.  
Another renowned property in Deauville is the Hotel Normandy, also a five-star hotel, which upholds Norman tradition and culture. It is easily distinguished for its beautiful Anglo-Norman architecture, antique furniture, and use of traditional fabrics.  
The four-star Hotel du Golf Barriere overlooks the countryside and the ocean. The hotel is situated in the world-famous 18-hole, as well as a 9-hole golf course located 10 minutes away from the heart of Deauville. Hotel du Golf offers natural beauty and high-class luxury in one place.
Deauville, Normandy, France

Napkin Folding

Hosts and restaurant owners take into consideration not just the food and the taste. Even the table setting becomes an art form on its own. The table napkin has not only served its purpose of wiping excess food on the lips. It has now become a small piece of art welcoming a crowd of diners as you sit down for dinner. These table napkins are folded in various ways, usually in attractive shapes, flowers, animals, and other amusing shapes with just a fold and tuck. It’s actually very interesting to see the table linen shaped like a flower or swan welcoming you for dinner.

Folded napkins also serve the purpose of storing silverware in a prettier way. Not only do they serve as keeping utensils, but the utensils also help in preventing the napkins from flying off when a strong gust of wind approaches. Remember, napkins are usually made of light material, such as paper and cloth. If the event is outdoors, say a garden wedding, lunch, or afternoon barbecue, a little weight from silverware may help keep them in place and prevent unnecessary chasing of that cloth swan folded in place.

Napkins also come in paper or cloth. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Cloth does not tear as easily as paper, and may be used throughout the entire meal and absorbs liquid better. Paper of course, is more convenient for picnics and fast foods. They also prove to be more cost-efficient in some diners as there’s no need for additional laundry costs. There is also the option of being stiffer than paper so they can be folded into a lot more shapes.

Cloth and paper napkins come in a lot of swatches or colors. Even basic white has variants like ecru, ivory, cream, and bone. Red, pink, or blue, and other colored and printed napkins may be used for themed parties or may be matched with the restaurant’s interior. Attractive napkin rings may be purchased to keep them in place, and in weddings and parties, they may also be used as giveaways. The shape of the napkin when folded may also be themed according to the occasion, such as flowers and hearts for Valentine’s Day, animals for a children’s party, and so on.

Various tutorials online as well as books are available for those who would like to learn a few shapes to do in the next dinner party. You don’t have to own a five-star restaurant to be able to make a table setting just a little more special.

Frozen Cream

Everyone’s heard of ice cream, sherbets, sorbets, frozen yoghurt–popular icy dessert confections made with varying amounts of milk (or none at all) flavored with chocolate, fruits and many other ingredients. But what is frozen cream? Is it a kind of food or an ingredient?

To the ordinary layman and maybe even novice chefs unfamiliar with dairy or dessert terminology, frozen cream could be taken for ordinary cream that is frozen. A quick online search for the exact words will not yield much formal explanation on this exact product and direct the searcher to lots of information about ice cream.

There’s one site that describes frozen sweet cream as an additive-free product made from pasteurizing then freezing cream that is separated from fresh whole milk. The resulting product is a white creamy homogenous liquid that is free from any visible fat. This is probable not produced in large quantities in most countries as cream is a dairy product doesn’t hold well to freezing temperature. Another possible reason is that plain cream not that difficult to produce, store and use. In fact, there’s so many different kinds available with vary amounts of fat and some do not even need refrigeration–as in the case of canned cream.

Pasteurization is a process of subjecting foods to high temperature for a prescribed amount of time to kill off potentially harmful microorganisms and extend shelf life. Unpasteurized products, usually juices and dairy products, just stay fresh for a few hours if not kept in the refrigerator or freezer. Unfortunately, for raw foodists, the high temperature compromises health benefits such as heat sensitive phytonutrients and enzymes. An alternative treatment done by some companies and homemakers, particularly for raw milk is to ferment it with different cultures of beneficial microorganisms that increase the good bacteria and kill off the bad.

Sour cream, a high-fat product made from the fermentation of regular cream by some strains of Lactobacillus bacteria, can be frozen to extend its shelf life but this will affect the texture of the product after thawing–it will separate and not have the same creamy texture as the original. It still has the beneficial bacteria and health benefits but should be used in recipes wherein the texture is not important.

Ice cream and other frozen confections are a different story as the dairy ingredients, namely milk and cream with varying amounts of fat, are usually combined with other ingredients that act as emulsifiers and stabilizers which, as their names suggest, act to keep the resulting product smooth and creamy despite being frozen.

Cooking Recipe Videos

There are many ways to improve your cooking skills: reading great cookbooks, taking cooking classes, and good old fashioned practice in the kitchen are traditional methods. But these days, online cooking recipe videos are another excellent resource for aspiring chefs. Here's how to get the most from the cooking videos you encounter.

Find Them

There are lots of cooking recipe videos out there, but not all are created equal. Before you spend time watching any, consider the source. If you want to widen your cooking horizons, videos featuring famous chefs are a must. Such chefs might include television personalities (who may or may not have formal cooking backgrounds), cooking legends (like Julia Child, Graham Kerr, and Wolfgang Puck), or Michelin star-awarded chefs who've impressed the cooking world with their expertise and talent.

Live Demos

Once you find cooking recipe videos by esteemed chefs, you will probably discover you learn the most if you watch the videos more than once. In the first viewing, you'll likely only get the overall picture of what the chef is doing. If you watch the video once or twice more, you may notice and remember details you didn't before.

Bear in mind that you're not just learning how to make a particular recipe. You're also hoping to learn cooking techniques you can rely upon for other dishes. For example, you might see a Michelin chef chop up food in a faster, simpler way than you've ever seen before. Or you might see how a meal is flambéed. Or you might learn a new way to cook meat so it's crisp on the outside and tender and juice on the inside. There is nothing quite like a live demo, to make those techniques stick in your brain and come to life next time you are in the kitchen.

Share it

Although cooking recipe videos are helpful and educational, they're also fun. You can make them even more entertaining by sharing them with friends. What does your best friend think about trying to make a flambéed meal with you? Does she have a funny story to tell about attempting this on her own? Does your work mate drool over gourmet desserts as much as you do? Are you and your friends inspired by a certain video to try a pot luck gourmet party? Let cooking videos be part of you and your friends online entertainment, and you'll have fun while you improve your cooking skills.

Try it Out

After watching cooking recipe videos, it's a great idea to make the recipes in your own kitchen. The best cooking video websites also have printed recipes to go along with their videos. Print one out and give the recipe your best go.

Or, you could just try out one or two techniques you learned by watching a great chef. For example, maybe you've never tried blanching vegetables before. After watching a chef demonstrate this on a video, you can try the technique almost any time you're preparing veggies.