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Archive for September, 2009

cheese-wine

When pairing wine and cheese, you want a wine that’s going to complement the flavours of the cheese and not overpower it – and vice versa. You wouldn’t drink a really light wine with a strong-tasting cheese, or a mild cheese with a full-bodied, robust wine.

There’s a general rule of thumb to follow: the stronger the cheese is, move up the spectrum of the body of wine.

Mild, hard cheeses such as cheddar are best paired with Gamet Noir, Merlot, Pinot Grigio, unwooded Chardonnays or Cabernet Francs. While stronger hard cheeses such as aged Gouda or Asiago go best with a full-bodied Shiraz, Zinfandel or Bordeaux blends.

Aromatic wines such as Riesling and Gewurztraminer are great with soft cheeses like brie and Camembert; while a Sauvignon Blanc and Rose are classic pairings for goat cheese.

When it comes to blue cheeses, you want to pick an ice wine, late harvest wine or port. Going for higher sugar content will smooth out the edges of a strong blue cheese

Source:Canada.com

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the_truman_show-front_divx

Shakespeare was right, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” It seems that this has become a reality for some as the “Truman Show Disorder” is becoming more frequent.  This  disorder is the creeping, pervasive feeling that your every move, inside your home and out, is being filmed without your knowledge for a reality TV show.

Joel and Ian Gold, two Canadian psychiatrists, say it’s the signature mental illness of the YouTube age, and they’ve treated at least five patients — white men between the ages of 25 and 34, mostly college educated — all of whom believed cameras were trailing them, recording their every move.

Typically, the Truman Show Delusion is a combination of paranoia, grandiosity and ideas of reference, which means that patients believe they are receiving signals specifically meant for them from a newscast or something like that.

For those of you who don’t recall the 1998 sci-fi comedy, Jim Carey starred as Truman Burbank, an affable suburbanite who slowly becomes aware that his every movement to voyeuristic viewers around the world.

Sadly, that movie probably couldn’t be made today. It’s no longer science fiction — and it accurately describes at least half a dozen shows currently on the air.

Source: weirdnews.com

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Women posing for photo

For many of us, the mere thought of having our picture taken is enough to keep us far away from any social gathering. Here are a few easy tips to master the art of looking like a million bucks on photos.

For many of us, the mere thought of having our picture taken is enough to keep us far away from any social gathering

Unless you’re Angelina Jolie or if modelling is your forte, chances are when you find yourself in front of a camera you either become awkward and embarrassed or you end up ‘winging it’, which – to be honest – doesn’t always work in your favour.

If truth be told, being photogenic is an art and to master this flair, there are a few things you need to do right.

Step 1 – Angle yourself

If you’re standing for a photograph, add depth and dimension by turning your body slightly and shifting some of your weight to one foot. Doing so places less emphasis on your size and makes you look natural.

If you’re sitting, cross your legs away from the camera and don’t rest back. Sitting slightly forward in your chair forces a straighter posture which will make you look slimmer.

Not sure what to do with your hands? If you’re standing, create a bit of space between your body and your arm by placing your hand on your waist and extending your elbow to the side. This stance makes you appear more shapely. If you’re sitting, hold your hands on your lap and relax your shoulders for a more natural look.

Step 2 – Conceal a double chin

Exposing that unsightly layer of skin is every woman’s nightmare, but the good news is that it can be hidden – for photos, at least.

Lean slightly toward the camera, tilt your chin downwards and voila, you’re picture perfect! If need be, get the photographer to take the picture above eye level, pointing his or her lens down.

Step 3 – Smile

Saying ‘cheese’ and remaining natural is virtually impossible. Thing is, too big of a smile can make your gums appear large and too little of a smile can make you look stiff and unnatural. Try giggling out loud before the picture is taken for a soft and interesting effect.

Step 4 – Don’t look at the camera

Instead of staring at the camera dead-on, look slightly above the lens. Not only will you minimise the possibility of going temporarily blind, but you’ll also reduce the likelihood of having a picture taken with your eyes closed.

Step 5 – Be playful

You have to admit that most kids look great in pictures. Want to know why? It’s because they follow the rules of being truly photogenic – they’re relaxed, stress-free, playful and most importantly, they’re genuine.

Step 6 – Be confident

Once you’ve followed the above-mentioned tips, assign some confidence to your picture and the camera. Self-assurance is one quality that always shows up on your face so go on, don’t be shy and let your photograph tell a story!

Source: women24.com

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1 kind of wine

The famous quote goes “Life is too short for bad wine”.  I would like to add that “Life is too short to only drink one style of wine”. There is wide variety of wine styles in SA but some people just get stuck on one cultivar of wine.

South Africa has a great wine variety and the consumers are spoiled with choice but it seems that many consumers have their preconceived ideas and are reluctant to change.

The other day at a dinner party one of my guests insisted that he only drinks Sauvignon Blanc and no other white wine. This rigidness is typical of many South African wine consumers.

Sauvignon Blanc has become the go-to white wine and when in doubt; wine drinkers go for Sauvignon Blanc. In America it seems that Chardonnay is their go-to white drink. In a recent American article I read that the most versatile white wine is Sauvignon Blanc , yet most Americans drink Chardonnay.

But South Africa has another alternative and very versatile cultivar , Chenin Blanc.

According the John Platter guide, this white cultivar accounts for 19% of SA vineyard area.

Edward Deitch ,an American wine columnist,  wrote that ” Chenin Blanc is to South Africa what Chardonnay is to California”.  He added that “there is no better source for good, inexpensive Chenin Blanc than South Africa.”

So the Americans perceive SA to make great (value for money) Chenin Blancs, yet South African wine consumers are still stuck in their rigid white wine preferences.

With the economic hard times, the consumers will probably be more conservative and will stick to what they know. So, in the immediate future, Sauvignon Blanc will remain the go-to dry white wine for South African wine drinkers.

My suggestion to my , dear I say , narrow-minded guest , is to try something new. Come on , live a little. There is great dry Chenin Blancs, white blends and Rosé wines on the market. Try it.

Source: msnbc

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friends

There are so many brilliant TV shows with awesome casts and characters… it’s hard to find just ten. I was never a Star Trek fan so apologies to the Trekkies. I loved Friends, Cheers, Seinfeld, Simpsons… Anyway, here are my top ten TV characters:

1) The whole cast of Friends. Do I really need to explain why? This show just had so much laughter and good times. Watching re-runs of this show always cheers me up. It speaks volumes about the importance of friendship and it’s especially great now that I’m growing older and my friends and I have moments that remind us of a Friends episode.

2) The whole cast of Cheers. Norm, Sammy, Cliff, Dianne, Carla,Woody and off cause Frazier Crane. This show was really funny and had great characters. After Cheers ended the character Dr. Frazier Crane stared in his own show called Frazier.  This role was played by Kelsey Grammer for twenty years, tying the record for the longest-running character on prime-time American television.

3) Will Smith of Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Will Smith’s a really cool actor and it’s always interesting to see how established actors were when they were younger. The show was funny and unique, and I performed a parody of Smith at school that got good laughs, so the humors still cool.

4) House of House M.D. One of my fav shows to watch, and House is one of my fav TV doctors because he’s just such a cynical, brilliant, satirical, doped-up genius! If there were real doctors like him, I’d be worried…

5) Lorelai of Gilmore Girls. She would make the coolest mum – always ready with some sharp, witty comment, looking great and really cares for Rory (her daughter). She’s independent and works hard too so she would make a good role model for lots of young girls.

6) Christina of Grey’s Anatomy. I always liked Christina better than the other characters because she, the perfectionist A+ student who has a big ego and serious people issues, was a really funny and interesting character. It wasn’t (always) just boy problems like with the other characters so her situation and actions were a refreshing change at times.

7) Cast of the Simpsons. Every kid growing up watching the Simpsons would have to rank it as one of the best shows ever! Always funny with lots of topical references to pop culture etc. It still amazes me how the opening sequence (with the Simpsons going to watch TV) is somehow always different, even after all these years.

8) Denny Crane and Alan Shore from Boston Legal. These two make such a good pair you just can’t separate them! They’re both really eccentric and humorous and the show makes being a lawyer seem like so much fun!

9) The whole cast of Seinfeld. Jerry, Kramer, Elane , George. The characters were so unique yet representative of the funny side of most of us. The way they could talk about absolute rubbish and make issues out of little things was trule amazing.

10) Fran from the Nanny. She’s not the most intelligent person in the world, but she sure is funny and memorable! Once, when I heard someone speaking with a voice just like hers, I literally got a fright and thought it was actually Fran because it’s just such a …(unique?) voice.

Source: helium.com

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bell-peppers

A chef once said that there are two kinds of people. Those you love green peppers and those who hate it.

Some argue that bell peppers are the ingredient that completes some recipes and is a very versatile ingredient. Others argue that this is a bombastic ingredient that overshadows all the other ingredients and they just plainly hate it.

In wines, the aroma of green peppers — characteristic of some Cabernet wines — is considered aggressive, something to be kept strictly under control.

The vegetable has its defenders, who say that the green pepper family is tasty, diverse and versatile. A Chef, who is a green pepper fan, indicated that green peppers have a concentrated grassy flavour that’s close to asparagus, and with their lightly astringent skin, peppers make perfect sides for rich steak, pork, sausages and grilled fish. They can be slow-grilled or roasted to bring out the silky weight of the flesh. “The Turks could not live without green peppers.

In “Chez Panisse Vegetables” (William Morrow, 1996), Alice Waters calls the green ones “bitter” and “a mistake.”

Even Amanda Cohen, a chef so enamored of vegetables that she thinks of them as “dirt candy,” the name she gave her East Village restaurant, has never served a green pepper since opening last year. “As a vegetarian, you get served a lot of stuffed green peppers at dinner parties,” she said. “It’s taking me a long time to recover from those, but I’m working on it.”

I’m definitely not a fan of green peppers but in some cases it can be OK…that’s just my call. What do you think?

Source: nytimes

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