Mexican Restaurants Offer Mexico on a Las Vegas Platter

When it comes to Mexican food, all that one can think of is the stuff that is heavily publicized and already famous like the tacos, nachos or the tortilla chips. However, there are Mexican restaurants in Las Vegas that can give you the real feel of authentic Mexican food in all its glory. There are sumptuous varieties that one can gorge on till he or she has had their fill and can eat no more for the session. However, they are forced to come back by their hearts. The rich cultural diversity that has influenced the Mexican cultural landscape has seeped through into their culinary arts too. And it is this experience that these Mexican restaurants of Las Vegas strive to dish out to whoever enters their premises for a taste of the same. Not just the cuisine, but even the ingredients that go into the making of individual dishes taste mind blowing. Apart from the dishes which are usually associated with Mexican food, as described earlier, like tortillas, tacos and the nachos, there are sweets, savories and different types of drinks too that are reminiscent of the Mexican way of life. In all the centuries that Mexico has been in existence, the indigenous people of the country had a unique lifestyle and their very own cuisine. However, with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors who brought with them, the religion of Christianity as well as their food and tastes to the Mexican archipelago. The Mexicans have a unique drink, Balche, which is made from the bark of the tree with the same name and is naturally fermented. However, the Spanish conquerors had the drink banned and then it was subsequently allowed for consumption again. This piece of historical trivia is an essential part of history. Although this drink is not a part of the usual menu of Mexican restaurants in Las Vegas, many others are. The list of recipes and dishes that Mexican cuisine boasts of is a long one. It is rightly said that the number of Mexican recipes is a close third to those of India and China. However, just as the other two country recipes, Mexican restaurants do not dish out the entire gamut of their culinary offerings to the rest of the world. However, Mexican restaurants in Las Vegas do try to win the hearts of their patrons through their authentic offering of the Mexican cuisine.

Famous Teas In The West Of Yunnan

What Famous Teas Are In The West Of Yunnan?

Fengqing is located south of the Dianxi longitudinal valley and its fame comes from the black tea that it produces in Lincang. Fengqing was one of the first places to produce tea in the world and it has a group of mountains separated by rivers. The Dian Hong black tea was first produced in the city in 1958 and now has gained a national reputation.

The Tea Producing Area South Of Dian

The terrain slopes gently and it is surrounded by the Lancang river, the Yuan river and the Jinsha river. All these conditions create a tea that is gentle and very fresh in taste. In the east of the area, you will find large groups of tea trees which are old in age in a total of 667 hectares which includes six major mountains (Yibang, Gedeng, Youle, Mansa, Manzhuan and Mangzhi).

Simao, Honghe, Xishuangbanna andWenshan

The area towards the lower and middle reaches of the Lancang River is in low latitude and the terrain slopes gently. The climate is influenced by sub-tropical and tropical winds and there is a lot of sunshine. The humidity is usually above eighty-five percent and there is enough rainfall to qualify it as a moist environment. The soil is rated first class due to its content of organic matters, which is above three percent.

Xishuangbanna

Xishuangbanna is considered one of the cradle lands of tea in China and it is one of the places where the Yunnan Pu’ert is produced. There are six mountains that are considered major for purity production.

Xishuangbanna is located in the south tropic and the north tropic. The average rainfall is a total of 120 centimeters each year and the average temperature throughout the year is 18 degrees Celsius. The winter is warm while the summer is cool and that provides a great environment for Pu’ert tea growth.

In the same area as Xishuangbanna you will also find Menghai which can produce more than tea. Teas like Yunhai Pekoe which is a green tea and Nannuo Pekoe. Menghai has a sub-tropical monsoon climate which leads to many foggy days and not much of a difference in the temperature ideal for producing Yunhai Pekoe. Yunhai Pekoe can be described as having a sharp needle and a tight curl cord along with a smooth and soft color. The taste of the tea is mellow and it looks clear, while the tea leaf must look tender and fresh.

The Tea Producing Area In The Center Of Dian

Huafo tea is originally produced in Chuxiong and Mouding. Huafo tea has not been around for a long time but it is already a famous tea. The source of the Huafo tea leaf is the large leaved Menghai in Lincang. The color is a sleek blackish green; it has sharp needles and is tight in shape. The beverage has a long lasting aroma and its color is dark green.

CangshanXuelu

The Cangshan Xuelu tea is made at the bottom of the Cangshan Mountain. It is also produced although to a lesser extent in the shores of Erhai Lake. It was first produced in the Xiaguan tea factory as early as 1962 and has been popular in the market since then.

The Northeast And The Northwest Of The Tea Producing Area Of Dian

There is a lot of sunshine during the day and a great deal of compound material is produced by photosynthesis. The temperature at night is much lower which means that the photosynthetic material is reduced. That allows for nutrients to be well kept. The difference in temperatures between night and day allows for a better production of tea leaves so the amount of Taidi tea tree is the same as you would find in other areas.

Choosing A Home Roaster

As a new ?home roaster? and taking the subject of coffee a little bit more seriously. I wanted to get into this new area but wasn?t sure where to start.

That was the beginning of a journey which led to several discoveries of which only a few are mentioned here.

A good place to start is by asking yourself, what are the benefits to home roasting that outweigh the convenience of simply getting coffee from a bag? Well, freshness is the quick answer to that question.

An issue with store-bought coffee is the quality of the cup that it produces. I quickly found in my research that quality declines quickly after roasting. Yes, fresh batches of roasted coffee need to be “rested” after roasting, but after 5 days the aromatics of the coffee start declining, and after 10 days there is a drop in cup quality.

Who knows how old the coffee sold in supermarkets and cafes truly is. If you have a local roaster near you, and can buy fresh coffee each week. That’s a great option! Most people don’t have that option at their disposal. Home roasting offers an alternative that might just provide the solution to that problem.

You control every aspect of the ?roast” to customize the coffee to your palate, as well as choose from a vast array of green (unroasted) coffees. Green coffee is quite stable and will not have a drop in cup quality from 6 months up to 1 year from arrival date. But home roasting isn?t for everyone. It’s easy enough to try with an air popcorn popper to see if you like it.

It can take very little time and effort to roast your own, but it needs to be something you are willing to do or enjoy doing each week. So start in a small way. You can get a few pounds of greens to get a feel for it. Home roasting is more of an “adventure” in which you find the coffees, the roast, and the technique you like.

Things to expect in ?home roasting?.

Quality
Freshness
Variety and fun

The smaller machines are based on the air popper design – they use hot air to roast coffee. The ideal time range for an air roast is 8 to 12 minutes. Air roasts tend to develop the brighter coffee. Drum roasts tend to develop more body. The larger machines are drum machines and give a slower roast.

Pros of the Air Popper Design

Lower equipment costs (provided you have a stove or oven)
Complete control of the roast
Higher volume batches (up to a pound)

Cons of the Air Popper Design

More labor intensive
No automation of temp or time controls
More smoke (more coffee equals more smoke)

A few words about durability, all the roasters last for an average of about two years. Longer if you use the machine less, roast lighter batches and clean the machine regularly.

In choosing a roaster your considerations should be how much coffee you plan on making and how much you want to spend. Batch sizes are the most important thing to consider (IMO).

Remember, the most important thing is deciding if this is something you want to get into.

Baby Cakes And Other Confections For The Perfect Miami Shower

Planning a baby shower for a special girlfriend? If you’ve got the venue set, the decorations picked out, and the invitations coordinated and sent out, you may think that you’re good to go, but there’s one more thing you’ve got to do- order up the food, of course! What’s a baby shower without the nibbles? Poorly planned. So what is the perfect food for a baby shower anyway? Is there some tradition you should be following here? Well, technically yes and no.

Where Do Baby Showers Come From?

Baby showers have been held throughout the world for hundreds of years. Meant to celebrate the coming birth of a beloved child, and to provide the soon-to-be-parents with much needed baby gear and supplies, the term baby shower comes from the idea that the friends and family of the mama to be would “shower” her with useful gifts. While baby showers were once only held for the couple’s firstborn child, nowadays we’ve taken on a more democratic attitude, and hold them for each new addition to our families. Traditionally, there are no set rules for exactly when to hold the shower, or what foods to serve, but holding the shower in the latter months of pregnancy, and serving delectable dainties such as cakes, cookies and cupcakes has become the most commonly accepted shower etiquette.

Shower Confectionary 101

Let’s examine the three basic forms of baby shower confectionary, and the (delicious) pros and (are there any?) cons of each.

*Baby Cakes- what could be sweeter? Walking into one of Miami’s custom cake shops is like walking into another world- a magical Wonka-like world where ribbons and bows are made of brightly colored chocolate, sparkling jewels are made of delicately spun sugar, and the toys, animals, baby shoes and piles of gifts are all amazingly edible. For sheer wow-factor and impact, a custom cake is the way to go, but if it did have one con, it’s that this is no finger food. If you’re planning a table-less shower, be wary of guests balancing plates of yummy goodness on their laps or knees.

*Cupcakes- they’re like miniature cakes! If you want the style and taste of a Miami baby shower cake, but are looking for something a little less formal- or accident prone- custom designed cupcakes are a popular alternative. They are just as diverse, playful and inventive as any full-size baby cake, these hand-held treats are easier for your guests to eat, especially in a less formal, table-less setting. And they make great take home guest favors. With cupcakes you also get the added variety of a multiplicity of baby cute designs, instead of just one.

*Cookies- the perfect finger food. Cakes aren’t the only thing they serve in Miami’s gourmet cake shops. When faced with a plateful of mouth wateringly cute baby themed cookies, everyone becomes a cookie monster. Not only are these the safest and yummiest finger food around, they can be a fun way to entertain your guests with edible messages, pictures or a checker battle where you can eat the pieces you jump. The possibilities are endless, and all of them are delicious!

Wasa’s Fresh Take On Sushi

It’s 7:30 on a Tuesday night, and 20 people are waiting to get into WaSa Sushi and Japanese Restaurant.

Good sign.

They’re chatting happily outside in the winter chill of a shopping center parking lot in Irvine, Orange County, Calif. No grousing about the wait, just lots of chatter about the dining experience that awaits.

Another good sign.

Businessman Bronnie Lee and chef James Hamamori have a hit with their “new generation” sushi houses in Irvine and Newport Beach. They’re places that stand out in Orange County’s crowded sushi world. (The pair are also behind restaurants with the WaSa name in Rancho Santa Margarita and Laguna Niguel).

For fans, it’s the novelty of what Hamamori’s doing with sushi and other Japanese fare that defines the appeal. And for some detractors who sampled the food with me, it’s the novelty of what he’s doing with sushi and other Japanese fare.

That novelty comes to life with the “WaSa Treasures,” a list of 16 plates that take two-piece sushi servings and fuse them with sharp, saucy flavors. That is melded with a tradition-stocked sushi bar and a host of intriguing cold and hot appetizers and dinner entrees.

That Tuesday night, I grabbed four of the treasures at carry-out and hustled them home. I loved all four — ahi tuna in wasabi sour cream, smoked salmon with ginger sauce, seared yellowtail with jalape?o and seared jumbo scallop with tangy miso. The sauces were light, just touching on the essence of the raw fish, a zesty punch to my palate. I never even opened my little take-out portion of wasabi and soy sauce.

My wife, who is no fan of sauces on any food, turned thumbs down. She just objected to the sauces, on principle.

The same thing happened when I took three colleagues to lunch two weeks later. One is a relative sushi newcomer, one an aficionado, the third a devotee. I’m somewhere in the middle of that spectrum.

We sat at the bamboo sushi bar and settled into the cool room, which is painted in pastels and decorated in a hip, West L.A. style.

Nice room,'' said the aficionado, who is a designer. When our first course arrived, she hummednice presentation,” in approval.

“Wow,” the newcomer said, after biting into the seared yellowtail with jalape?o. The other two nodded in agreement, their mouths full. More full-mouthed murmurs of approval for the ahi tuna with wasabi sour cream.

“This is fantastic, a great place for people who are a little unsure of sushi,” the newcomer gushed.

And that set the devotee on a mission to see if the traditional sushi menu could stand up to her exacting standards.

She tried the salmon skin roll (baked salmon skin, cucumber, radish, bonito flakes, $3.75), pronouncing it not bad'' while the others bit in and exclaimed,Oh, yeah!”

The lobster roll (steamed lobster, smelt egg, avocado, asparagus and mayo wrapped in soy paper) was too bland for her taste.

We took a side trip to the spicy tuna tartar when we spied a waitress carrying an order to another table.

The mound of raw tuna is piled into a tower, topped with avocado and a spicy sauce, all set on a banana leaf.

It was gorgeous, and we admired it on the plate for a full beat before we dove in.

“I’m not sharing this,” the newcomer blurted out, though he had no choice. The aficionado and the devotee agreed: It was the best.

After a few more exotic wanderings, the devotee wrapped up with kaki — an oyster shooter — and said that it, too, was not bad — a compliment.

We all agreed that WaSa was a lively, fun place and that the sushi and other offerings ranged from interesting at worst to fantastic at best.

That’s what Lee was shooting for when he opened the first WaSa in the Irvine Market Place shopping center in 2001. He’d spent more than a decade as an accountant. But he also put himself through California State University, Long Beach, working in his cousin’s restaurant. Then, he spent two years moonlighting as a minimum-wage sushi apprentice, including time working for Hamamori at O Sushi in Brea.

Hamamori worked his way up and through the Los Angeles sushi scene before Lee lured him to Irvine, then Newport Beach.

There was just nothing like what we do going on in Orange County,'' said Lee, an Irvine resident.We brought the West L.A. style to O.C. — the sauces, the presentation, the whole visual side.”

After opening a small, traditional-sized sushi bar in Irvine, they added a tonier take in the Newport Bluffs shopping center in 2003. More upscale presentation, and prices.

But it’s the sauces and the style that they’re most proud of.

“We’re adding another layer of flavor,” Lee said.

It’s just what WaSa’s fans love.

The Various Health Benefits of Coffee Ganoderma

Are you one of those coffee-buffs who cannot seem to find enough energy to start the day until they have some caffeine in their systems? You can be sure that you are not the only one who is more or less addicted to the taste of coffee and the sugar rush it provides. Actually, half of the world’s total population prefers to consume more than one cup of coffee in a single day. And, that is seriously frowned upon by nutritionists and health-care professionals.

It is a proven fact that regular consumption of coffee, even at a moderate level can lead to some nagging health problems. Doctors have repeatedly discouraged coffee-drinking for many individuals as it increases health problems such as insomnia. Anybody with a little interest in Coffee Health would know that caffeine forcefully keeps the brain cells activated for a long time which ultimately makes it difficult for the person to fall asleep. Coffee does this by simply manipulating the adrenalin levels in mind and body of a person. Despite knowing all these things and having a clear idea about the statistics of Coffee Health, billions of people all around the world regularly drink large cups of coffee every single day.

Why? Well, the answer is pretty simple. The thing tastes ridiculously good. So, because of all the side-effects of drinking coffee, will the coffee-buffs have to give up their one favorite thing? Is there no way to drink coffee and stay healthy at the same time? Well, there is. It is not only just possible to stay healthy by drinking coffee but also to improve one’s health by doing the same. How? The answer, this time, will be Coffee Ganoderma. Coffee Ganoderma iss prepared using Reishi mushrooms. Reishi is a red mushroom that grows in the woods of the Eastern Asian countries. This mushroom has been considered as the wonder drug for centuries in the countries like China and Japan. The Chinese and Japanese emperors used to consume this mushroom’s extracts with their tea in order to get vitality and long life.

It has recently entered the medical world of the West and taken it by storm. Ganoderma Lucidum is bitter to taste. These are first soaked, then boiled, dried and powdered in order to make them useful for human consumption. It is then that careful preparation helps to bring the nutrition and caffeine worlds together. Coffee ganoderma is not only great to taste but is also rich in antioxidants that help in cell rejuvenations. It detoxifies the body within a short period of time and provides the body with a new energy. This energy is in no way triggered by unhealthy doses of coffee but is in fact triggered by the improvents in one’s health. This coffee also contributes in improving one’s immunity system. Thus its consumers are less likely to succumb to illness. Research has proven that it also helps in preventing the attack of cancer. So, coffee-buffs, it’s time to reconsider coffee health, and make the switch to the better coffee.

Turkish Delight (lokum)

Turkish Delight, and in turkish lokum, is a confection made from starch and sugar. It is often flavored with rosewater or lemon, or sometimes with lemon salt (citrate) the former giving it a characteristic pale pink or wyellow color. It has a soft, sticky consistency, and is often packaged and eaten in small cubes that are dusted with sugar to prevent sticking. Some recipes include small nut and peanut pieces, usually pistachio, hazelnut or walnuts.

Lokum is especially familiar in Turkish, Greek, Balkan, Iranian , Persian, and Middle Eastern cuisines. But most populer in Turkey like turkish bath and It is also popular in Romania, where it is known as rahat, being taken from Turkey during the Ottoman Empire’s rule.

In the U.S.A , lokum is not especially common, although there are exceptions. One major commercial producer in the Northwestern U.S. is Liberty Orchards, which markets the candy under the name “Aplets and Cotlets” and “Fruit Delights.” It is also the basic foundation of the Big Turkish chocolate bar.

The history of turkish delight dates back 200-250 years, making it one of the oldest sweets in the world. it is a Turksih legend. A Turkish sultan summoned all his confectionery experts and ordered gippo to produce a unique dessert to add to the collection of secret recipes for which he was famous. As a result of extensive research lokum was born.

During the reign of Sultan 1.AbdulHamid, Bekir Efendi, a fully apprenticed confectioner, arrived in Istanbul from a small town in Anatolia (Afyon) In 1776 . Bekir set up in a little shop in the center of the city, and quickly won fame and fortune among a people with such a sweet tooth as the Turks. Fashionable ladies began giving Turkish Delight to their friends in special lace handkerchiefs. These were also used as acts of courting between couples, as documented by traditional Turkish love songs of that era.
This Taste was unveiled to the west in the 19. century. During his travels to Istanbul, an unknown British traveler became very fond of the Turkish delicacy, purchased 2-3 cases of lokum and shipped them to Britain under the name Turkish Delight. Picasso used to eat Turkish Delight on a daily basis for concentration on his work while Winston Churchill and Napoleon’s favorite Turkish Delight was with pistachio filling.

Recipe:

2 glass sugar
1/2 glass cornstarch
1 1/2 glass water
1/2 ts cream of tartar
2 tb rosewater OR one of the following to taste:
1/2 ts rose food flavoring
1/4 c fruit juice
1 tb vanilla extract
1 tb orange extract
1 tb Cr?me de menthe liqueur
Food coloring (optional)
1/2 glass chopped toasted pistachios
1 glass = 250 ml

French Sea Salt – The New Super Condiment

Several months ago, I was somewhat skeptical about shelling out four euros for a small container of fleur de sel or French sea salt. After all, on my grocery store shelf, right next to the fancy gourmet stuff, was a much larger container of good old table salt selling for less than a euro. But curiosity won the day and I trotted home with my cute little round container complete with cork lid and wispy drawing of the French salt marshes.

Much to my surprise, this new fangled gourmet condiment has become a family favorite. We almost always put it on the table at dinner time and because it has such a lovely potent taste, we actually use very little. A small pinch goes a very . Now that we’re hooked I can’t imagine our house being without our precious pot of fleur de sel.

Of course it turns out that French sea salt isn’t new fangled out all. As with many treasured French foods, there is a long history and tradition behind harvesting the salt from the sea. There are two main areas of production of sea salt in France, one in the Brittany region on the Atlantic seafront, the other in the south of France on the the Carmague salt marshes. Two of the most popular salts they make are fleur de sel and grey sea salt.

Fleur de Sel
Fleur de sel literally means flower of salt. It is a thin layer of salt that forms on the marshes under the drying influences of wind and sun.
You will find fleur de sel both from the Brittany region and the Carmague area. The most famous of these salts is Fleur de Sel de Gu?rande, made on the Atlantic coast. It is crowned with a Label Rouge, or red label, a sign of high quality in France.
The people who gather fleur de sel are called paludiers (in Gu?rande) or sauniers (further south) and are equipped with special wooden tools crafted to fit the specific needs of salt harvesting.
Fleur de sel has a very light briny taste, and a delicate crunch making it much appreciated as a condiment. It is like a kiss from the ocean.

Celtic Salt – Grey Salt
Grey salt is called sel gris in France and is a heavier, naturally moist French sea salt that is gathered from the flats after a period of settling.
Grey salt from France is gathered according to ancient Celtic methods, which is why it is also called Celtic salt.
It is gathered from clay bottomed beds, rich in minerals that leach into the salt, giving it its characteristic grey tint.
Grey salt is sold in different textures, from coarse to extra fine, each one giving a slightly different effect to your recipes.
While perhaps used less as a condiment, grey salt makes an excellent salt to use while cooking and is much appreciated by gourmet chefs.

Sea Salt Nutrition

Because these French sea salt products are not refined, they retain their original mineral content, making them a more nutritious condiment than regular table salt. While it is true that they are not iodized, getting enough iodine is rarely a problem these days in our over salted world.

If you are concerned with consuming too much salt, I encourage you to give these products a try. A very small amount of fleur de sel is quite satisfying and a sprinkle might contain only about 50 milligrams of sodium. I find that I leave the salt out of recipes these days, preferring the crunch of fleur de sel contrasting with whatever I have cooked

Salt in French Cooking

Here’s a quick look at how a French home chef might use these great sea salts.
Croque-au-sel. This means serving your vegetables, raw or steamed, with only salt and perhaps a bit of butter as flavoring. Feature your fresh produce with a sprinkle of fleur de sel for maximum flavor and minimum fuss. Croute-en-sel. This is a method of enveloping whatever you are cooking with a layer of salt. It is a popular way to cook a chicken. Underneath the salt, which you remove before eating, the bird cooks to tender and moist perfection. This would be a good use for coarse grey salt. Try adding salt to your food the French chef way. Grab a pinch of salt between your thumb and index finger and hold it high above the pot, gradually sifting the salt through your fingers. This is a good way to gauge how much salt you have added and you look good while doing it. The French know the value of adding a bit of salt to accentuate the sweet in desserts (try leaving the salt out of your cookie dough and instead sprinkle them ever so lightly with sea salt), use it as a natural preservative (for example in duck confit), and add it to braising vegetables to bring out their sweetness.