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Archive for December, 2011

A recent study found that the average consumer takes 60 seconds with a restaurant wine list before making a selection. This particular statistic speaks volumes. It means that we reach for what is familiar, that we are intimidated by the unfamiliar and that we don’t want to think too much when confronted with a wine list.

Tip: When ordering wine at a restaurant remember that some restaurateurs bank on your insecurity when it comes to navigating a wine list. Most amateurs play it safe by choosing the second cheapest wine on the list. These wines are normally the wines which has the biggest mark-up, so beware.

Source: cityweekly.net

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The prelude to the festive season is sometimes so intense, as you try to get together with old friends and fit in the corporate (work’s) year-end functions as well.

It seems that we are in a race to Christmas and you must see some of your old friends before the festive season. So there is social braais and events all over the show and then you must add all the corporate year-end functions.

It seems that everything is a rush and come Christmas, you are so tired and need to relax. But then the family entertaining starts and you go into your reserve energy mode.

What are your tips on surviving the prelude to the festive season?

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Congratulations to Jan Scheepers, Bronwen Retief, Charmaine Ferreira, Estelle Wessels, Carol Willis and  Dave Davis.

They are the Facebook winners of  shopping vouchers worth R600 each.

Thanks to everyone who entered and for your amazing response to this competition.

We will run more exciting competitions in the New Year!

 

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In these festive times it seems that an easy to make salad can come in handy. Here is a fantastic recipe which everyone will love. It’s also great to make ahead for busy days.

Ingredients

  • 350 g diced cooked chicken
  • 24 g bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 (8 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 60 g thinly sliced celery
  • 160 g halved green grapes
  • 175 g mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 1 g dried parsley flakes
  • 7 g finely minced onion
  • 5 ml lemon juice
  • 0.4 g ground ginger
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine chicken, bacon, water chestnuts, celery and grapes in large bowl; set aside. In another bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients; add to salad and toss to coat. Chill until serving.

Source: allrecipes.com

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Before Dinner Cocktails

Champagne, Sherry or even white wine spritzers are usually the favourite pre-dinner drinks to serve. But sometimes a classic cocktail is a good idea to serves as your before dinner drinks.

Serving cocktails to your guests prior to the meal is not only a great way to keep guests occupied while you finish preparing the food, but also serve as an appetite stimulant, or an aperitif.

These light, smooth cocktails are some personal favourites that are perfect to serve before a dinner party.

Any drink that contains gin, vermouth or Campari are good choices and those listed below are quick and easy to mix up and are universal to most tastes.

The classic Martini is always a great choice because the recipe can be adapted easily to individual taste.

The classic Martini is one of the drinks that every bartender should know. There are many ways to make a Martini: gin or vodka, little or no vermouth, stirred or shaken and an olive or lemon twist garnish. One drink, so many options.

Read more on cocktails.about.com

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If you need an excuse to pop the cork on a bottle of bubbly this festive season, here it is: It’s good for your heart.

British academics have found that champagne is packed with polyphenols – plant chemicals thought to widen the blood vessels, easing the strain on your heart and brain.

And researchers believe the health benefits aren’t limited to the expensive stuff but are also found in cheaper alternatives such as cava and prosecco.

The Reading University study builds on earlier findings that two glasses of red wine a day help keep heart and circulatory problems at bay.

Polyphenols are believed to boost the levels of the gas nitric oxide in the blood, which then widens the blood vessels.

They are found in relatively high levels in red wine but not in white.

Champagne, however, is most commonly made from a blend of red grape varieties pinot meunier or pinot noir and white chardonnay.

Researcher Dr Jeremy Spencer said: ‘The question was would champagne have the same impact as red wine or would it have the limited impact of white wine?’

He showed that champagne had a far bigger impact on nitric oxide levels than a polyphenol-free ‘dummy drink’ of alcohol mixed with carbonated water.

Polyphenols are also found in tea, olive oil, onions, leeks, broccoli and blueberries.

Dr Spencer added: ‘The benefit is the same but it doesn’t seem as much fun somehow.’

Source: dailymail

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Entertaining people the festive season? …Here is a few handy tips on ‘How to remove red wine stains from fabric’

There are some stains you hardly have to worry about right away and then there are those that need to be taken care of right away. Red wine stains would be in the latter category.

From painstakingly washing the fabric by hand to simply tossing it into the washing machine, effective methods are available for getting rid of those dreadful red wine stains.

Things You’ll Need

  • Landry detergent, laundry pretreatment or dish soap
  • Clean sponge
  • Washing machine
  • Paper towels
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Towel or washcloth

Instructions

1.Blot the stain immediately with paper towels. If it is a dry clean only garment do not pretreat the stain and get it as fast as you can to the cleaners. Pretreatment of the stain can cause irreversible damage and the dry cleaner may not be able to remove the stain.

2. Combine 1 teaspoon laundry soap or pretreatment  and 1 cup hydrogen peroxide in a small bowl. Soak a clean sponge in the mixture, squeeze it halfway dry, then gently blot the stain.

3.Place a dry towel or washcloth between the front and back of the garment if the stain has not penetrated through to the back of the fabric. This will prevent staining on the back of the material.

4.Review the washing instructions on the label of the fabric. Heed any special care instructions.

5.Wash in cool water and air dry if the fabric is machine-washable.

6.Wash gently in the sink with a mild detergent if the fabric is hand-wash only.

Source: ehow.com

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