Lots of Information to Share? Prepare an Information Sandwich

In our "communication overload" society, copywriters and marketers are trying willingly to reach an information-hungry audience in a very competitive environment. Millions of words and images compete for a very finite amount of comprehension and retention "brain space." It is the job of the effective communicator to bridge that ever-widening span with information that communicates clearly, quickly and correctly.

Today's information audience is trying to glean what it needs from an ever-growing number of information providers. News has been reduced to snippets and sound bites, aiming to grab the viewer or listener in a "drive-by newsing." Those who want more information in greater detail are usually relegated to newsmagines or other periodicals which provide greater depth and breadth to the topic in which they are most interested. In order to attract your audience and hold them for the duration of your message, try constructing an "Information Sandwich" to communicate your most salient points and draw your message's recipient into a position to get further information if they so desire.

For the purposes of our illustration we will describe each element in the order a sandwich is assembled. Here's how it works:

The Bread: This is the part of the story that holds your message together. By putting together a brief outline that describes the most critical elements of your story, you can determine what / is the most important aspect (s) of your story that you simply can not do without. The bread part of your Information Sandwich will allow you to transition effectively from your headline to the heart of your message. The bread will typically consist of supportive facts or statements that support the stated premise of what you are trying to achieve. Typically, this would be no more than 4-5 facts or selling points – you are not making a "Dagwood Bumstead Special" here – your goal is to catch the reader's attention, draw them in, give them enough information to what their appetite, and provide them the means to gather more information if necessary. Remember – provide information in short, targeted "bites' to make your points quickly.

The Dressing: This is your headline and subhead. Just as the dressing gains a real sandwich by heightening the flavor of the meat and bread, the dressing of your Information Sandwich will serve the same purpose. A well-thought out headline can communicate more in a few words than some article articles. What's more, the right title can accomplish three things very quickly:

1.) It can catch the reader's eye.

2.) It can provide a clear lead-in to your story.

3.) It can compel the reader to choose your information over many others. The subhead, if available, can further embellish the title and pull the reader in if the headline does not quite do the trick.

The Meat : This is the true "heart" of your message. In a nutshell, this the centerpiece of what your whole "information Sandwich" is. This is what you want your reader to understand is the Most Desired Action. If your sandwich's bread and dressing are in place, you'd better have enough meat to leave your reader with a good taste in his / her mouth. Too often, messages are "all flash and sizzle with no steak,"

By stressing brevity and clarity, you will spend less energy on "overselling" and more on communicating. You always want your reader to feel satisfied, but wanting more at the same time. The right mixture of well-chosen ingredients are the heart of any successful recipe. Use this formula on your next information project and test it on a few "hungry minds." You might find it will "hit the spot" in communicating your message effectively.



Source by Greg A. Marshall

Guides in Choosing Kitchen Tools and Machine Devices

When you purchase a kitchen appliance or tools, it can be hard to make a decision exactly on what you are searching for and how much you feel like spending money for it. Here are immediate guidelines to assist you picking out the mini blender that is right for your kitchen and home.

The cost range on these mini blenders is considerable and you can have it in good condition. With its low priced value, you can obtain a very simple machine for about 15 dollars. With the high cost, you can spend as much as 150 dollars on such a product. It is clear, there is some product part in there; brand name and materials do not make up for the difference among the most luxurious and most affordable models.

Let us focus about the fundamental models for mini blender devices. The simplest possibly do not have numerous speed or control settings. They may have a single switch that you hold down for blending or press on frequently for chopping. Some may not have a switch, but you may have to turn the bowl lid to start the motor. The smaller amount you pay, the smaller the blender will be. These will work for very essential recipes, but on the whole, the blade quality, motor durability, and materials will not be last for many years of normal usage.

On the other hand, you have blender processors with much variety of purpose and advance features. They may have the ability to not just mix, but also to chop and even crush. They frequently come with different pre-set power levels or speeds to decide from. Some have extra accessories for the different functions, and may even include a tube for feeding in the food. The materials also do create a difference in value. With expensive mini blender, you are more likely to discover materials like stainless steel and glass, and the blades must be sharper and last longer.

On the other hand, you not need to waste 120 dollars to get a decent model of this kitchen device. A lot of individuals are quite happy with a cheaper mini blender for their kitchen purposes.



Source by Brian E Adams

Fruit Cake Recipes – Make Some History!

With Christmas right around the corner, many people are turning their attention to the making of fruit cakes-that much maligned and often scorned delicacy that is associated with holidays and weddings. Fruit cake has been made for thousands of years, but it's only in the last 80 years or so that it's becoming a running Christmas joke; This is because the fruit cake that is mass produced and sold in stores is dry, hard and tasteless.

Fruit cake has been made since the days of ancient Rome in one form or another. It was not called "fruit cake" until the Middle Ages when people began to put preserved fruit, spices and honey for sweetness in the cakes. When the American colonies became a source of cheap and abundant sugar in the 16th century, people in the colonies and Europe discovered that fruit would keep for a long time when preserved with a large concentration of sugar in sugar-water syrup. An excess of preserved fruit was created which, in turn, made the preserved fruit cheaper and made the baking of fruit cakes more popular. Nuts were not used much in fruit cakes until the 18th century when Europeans started putting nuts in the cakes at harvest to ensure good luck and a good harvest the next year.

There are so many different kinds of fruit cakes and ways to make them; the recipes for them would quickly fill a very thick book! Recipes for fruit cakes vary broadly depending on the country they come from and the fruit that's available in that country. There are countless fruit cake recipes from the United States, because we grow so many different kinds of fruits and nuts. The most popular recipes here are light fruit cake and dark fruit cake; so named because of the color of the fruits and nuts used in them. There are also fruit cake recipes that have been handed down from mother to daughter over the generations and are an honored part of the Christmas traditions for their families.

A fruit cake that's made with care by hand and allowed to age tastes and looks splendid and is a testament to the baking skills of the person that made it.
Fruit cakes are at their best when they're well made in advance of the holidays. They need a period of time, usually a few weeks to a few months, to age properly. When a fruit cake is stored it picks up the flavor of the liquor or juice it's soaked in; this also makes the fruit cake much moister and helps to reserve it. And, as the flavors of the different fruits and nuts in the cake intermingle it contributes to the delicious signature taste fruit cake has.

So, try your hand at baking a fruit cake this holiday season. You'll be making a little bit of history!



Source by Janet Keene

The Culinary Delights of France

French cuisine is reputed to be the finest in the world and has greatly influenced the cooking methods of western cultures. Regional cuisine reflects traditional recipes where different cooking styles and ingredients are used, such as the use of butter in the north and olive oil in the south.

Different types of cuisine

The variety of food eaten by French people can be realized by following the 4 course meal that usually take place on the French table. Bread and wine are always present and the meal consist of the “entrée” or opening meal, the “Plat principal” or main course meal. The “Fromage” or cheese meal follows next, itself followed by the Dessert dish.

Bread

There are five main types of bread known to the French eater.

  • Pain de champagne – the bread, known as country bread or French Sourdough is a large round bread made from rye instead of wheat flour.
  • Brioche – a puffy loaf cause by the use of a large amount of eggs and butter and also brandy and sugar to accentuate taste.
  • Baguette – a famous crisp bread prepared from ordinary lean dough, having a length of 26 inches and a diameter of 2 to 2.5 inches, used mainly for making sandwiches and served with cheese, dunked in coffee or chocolate.
  • Boule – a loaf that looks like a squeezed ball prepared from any type of flour. Traditionally, it has a soft inner part and a crunchy crust and can be made in different sizes.

Entrée

  • Croissants – these are made from ordinary dough, eggs, butter, sugar and milk and are eaten as an entrée. They are similar to a puff pastry.
  • Quiche Lorraine – a pie filled with custard, cheese, meat an/or vegetables. It originated from Germany but has now become a French dish.
  • French onion soup – called Soupe à l’oignan in French and consists of onion, broth and meat. It had its origins in Roman times as fare for the poor but has gained a place as a national entrée dish.
  • Duchesse(s) Potatoes – a classic breakfast dish with a shape similar to a meringue. They are seasoned and baked with egg yolk and butter.

Main course

  • Beef Bourguignon – similar to a stew dish with the meat marinated in red Burgandy wine mixed with beef broth, bouquet gami, onions and garlic.
  • Bouillabaisse – a typical Marseille fish stew dish which combines five species made up of the scorpion fish, shellfish, sea robin and European conger.
  • Cassoulet – a slow cooking casserole dish coming from the south of France with pork, sausages, duck or goose but rarely mutton, simmered on the fire.
  • Cog au vin – one of the most famous French foods, featuring braised chicken prepared in Burgundy wine and cooked with mushrooms and lardons.

Cheese meal

  • Camembert – The cheese is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk and ripened by fungi for 3 weeks before it is cut into manageable circular sizes. It is often eaten raw with wine, meat and bread.
  • Brie – this cheese hails from the Ile-de-France region. It is also made from cow’s milk. It is pale in colour with an outer white layer of mold. It is usually served with coffee or as a breakfast meal.
  • Roquefort – this is a blue cheese made from sheep’s milk and is native to the region of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon.
  • Valencay – a cheese from the Berry province made from unpasteurized goat’s milk. Its texture is soft. The blue colour comes from the action of molds while maturing.

Cheese is particularly good in Northern France due to ideal weather conditions for the grass that feeds the cows…

Desserts and pastries

  • Crème Brûlée – the dessert is traditional with a vanilla flavor.
  • Madelaine – shell-shaped sponge cakes made from flour, eggs, almonds and sugar.
  • Éclair – a pastry made from choux dough and cylindrical in shape with cream filling and topped with icing.
  • Tarte Tatin – a tart dish made from fruits, butter and sugar.



Source by James E Harrison

How to Fix Your Cheesecake – A Troubleshooting Guide

A cheesecake should be relatively trouble free but occasionally problems do come up. Over the years, we’ve been asked the following questions.

“What’s the easiest way to make crumbs for my crust?”

Lots of folks use a food processor; we don’t bother. We use a heavy duty zipper-type plastic bag and crush the crackers or cookies with a rolling pin a few at a time. We save the plastic bag for the next crust. If we’re in a hurry, we just use packaged graham cracker crumbs rather than crushing crackers.

“I have lumps in my cheesecake. How do avoid those?”

Most likely the lumps are from globules of cream cheese in your batter. Before adding any of the other ingredients, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together until completely mixed. The sugar crystals will cut through the cream cheese breaking up the globules. In the heat of the oven, the sugar will melt further breaking up any pieces.

If your recipe calls for chocolate, either white or dark, the lumps could be chocolate. When the chocolate is mixed into the cool batter, it solidifies and creates lumps. To avoid that, make sure your melted chocolate is hot, well above the melt point. With your mixer running, drizzle the hot chocolate into the batter. With the chocolate hotter, it will disperse before setting up.

“I bake my cheesecake for the time specified in the recipe and the center is still soft. What am I doing wrong?”

You’re probably doing nothing wrong. Baking times in recipes are always estimates and can be affected by the temperature in your oven (calibrated temperatures are seldom right), the depth of the batter, whether the pan is light or dark (dark pans bake faster), how cold your batter is, and other factors. Don’t worry about the time and just bake it until it done. (See the next question.)

“How do I tell when my cheesecake is done?”

There are three ways. You can gently shake the cheesecake. If only the center is still jiggly, it’s done. This is not very precise but with practice, you can get good with this method.

The most common way is to stick a knife in the batter about one-inch from the center. If it’s done, it will come out clean.

The most precise way to tell when a cheesecake is done is with an insta-read thermometer. Stick the probe in the center of the cheesecake and see what it reads. A cheesecake is done when the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees. That’s when the proteins in the eggs coagulate.

“How do I stop my cheesecake from cracking?”

A cheesecake top without a crack seems to be the ultimate measure of success. It shouldn’t be. A crack doesn’t affect the taste. Many cheesecakes are topped and the topping covers any cracks.

There may be a number of reasons for cracks:

– Too much air incorporated into the filling may cause cracks.

– Too much baking time will over bake the filling and is a common cause of cracks.

– Uneven baking may be a cause. If you are using light gauge, reflective pans, consider switching to heavier gauge, dark pans.

– Too high of heat may cause cracking. Consider baking at 325 degrees instead of at 350 degrees.

– It your cheesecake cools too rapidly, it may develop cracks. Don’t let your cheesecake cool in a draft.

Cheesecakes with starch in the filling are less prone to cracking.

“My crusts crumble when I try to serve my cheesecake. What am I doing wrong?”

It’s the butter that acts as the mortar holding the crumbs together. The butter needs to be well mixed with crumbs. There has to be enough butter, a minimum of four tablespoons per crust. The mixture needs to be compacted with firm pressure. We use a pastry tamper or heavy mug to compress the bottom and to press the sides.

Always cut and serve your cheesecake cold. That way the butter is a solid. If the cheesecake gets too warm, the butter melts and the crust will crumble.

Baking a crust is not necessary but it does tend to hold the crust together. The sugar melts in baking and tends to hold things in place once it cools and sets.

“I always seem to muck up my slices when I cut my cheesecake. What’s the best way to cut a cheesecake?”

Use the right knife, a sharp, thin-bladed knife. Don’t use a serrated knife as filling and crumbs tend to stick to the serrations.

Cut with a downward pressure, dragging the knife as little as possible. After each cut, wash and dry the knife so that you have a clean blade slicing through the cheesecake.

“My slices seem to stick to the base and it’s hard to remove them. Is there an easy way to neatly remove my slices?”

There is an easy way to get slices to slide of the pan base. Heat a wet kitchen towel in the microwave. Lay the towel on the counter and place the cheesecake directly on the hot towel. In a couple minutes, the heat will soften the butter against the base and slices will easily slip off.

It helps to have a springform pan with a smooth base.



Source by Dennis R Weaver

How Starting a Cake Shop Became Real

Decorating cakes and cupcakes had been something that I have interested in and wanted to put my hands on. But I was just always browsing through the internet and buying e books picturing and imagining myself doing this. I knew at the back of my mind that I can do it. So I took one big step by joining the online cake decorating membership site. I decided to give it a try. I thought if I did not like it, I can always cancel it.

Let me tell you, I am a visual learner. So this is absolutely so perfect for me because those are good quality videos showing me all the tricks and tips that I need to know. There are a good community of people who loves to bake cakes together. In the beginning, I did not really participate in the forum. I was reading what others were saying.

Anyways, the point is I actually took another big leap by getting up and doing something. I went and bought the equipment and ingredients that I needed. I learned from the very basic. I started to experiment things and so on. It has been a great learning experience for me. I became more active in the forum. Through the forum, I am also learning so much.

And the most important thing is that I Together with my sister have started a small bakery shop from home focusing on cakes and cupcakes. I never would have imagined that I would own a bakery even a small one. My customer started from mostly my friends and then it was a matter of word of mouth. Now, I get orders on every other day.

As of now, I am still learning more and more from this membership site. There are always new things to learn and new ideas to try out. If I need to know something, I can even ask them to do a video just for that specific thing I need to learn. There are more advanced stuffs that I have to learn to be able to expand my business and getting more unique customers.

In doing the bakery business, 3 things I keep in mind.

1. Quality – The quality of my cakes has to be the best. The ingredients I use are of best quality.
2. Cleanness – Everything has to be clean. Both inside and outside my kitchen.
3. Designs – You need to be able to come up with new ideas and new designs to offer your customers.



Source by Sirita K.

Fun Halloween Recipes and Ideas

Halloween has always been a favorite time of year for me. Not only is it my birthday, but the air is clean and crisp, the leaves have turned colors and it's just a very pretty time of year.

I'd like to share some fun Halloween ideas and recipes with you:

Halloween cookie cutters are a must. You can use these cookie cutters on bread to make Halloween sandwiches. Kids love jack-o-shaped shaped sandwiches. You can spread their favorite sandwich topping on the bread once it's cut.

Purchase M & M's from store that sells specific colors. Buy orange and green M & M's and then use them in your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe substituting the M & M's for the chocolate chips.

You can also put those same M & M's in your favorite rice krispy treat recipe. It's amazing how these two colors transform recipes into Halloween recipes.

Look for mini cookie cutters. They can often be found in kitchen specialty shops. If you find pumpkin mini cookie cutters, these work great on cheese. Buy sliced ​​cheese. Cut the cheese with the mini cookie cutters and then put the slice of round cheese on a Ritz cracker.

Prepare your favorite brownie recipe and then top with candy corn pieces.

Make hamburgers and use your cookie cutters on full size slices of cheese. Serve open faced so that the pumpkin or ghost shaped cheese is on top.

Many stores sell spinach pasta. Green pasta with red sauce is very Halloween looking to kids.
Make english muffin pizzas. Add sauce and cheese and then cover with pepperoni slices. Use pineapple chunks to make eyes, nose and mouth.

What would Halloween be without pumpkin flavored items? Here are a few pumpkin recipes for you:

Pumpkin Dip

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

1 large 30-ounce can of pumpkin

4 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons ginger

Mix everything together and serve. Kids love to dip both fruit and cookies into this dip.

And what about pumpkin muffins? I love pumpkin muffins warmed with butter on them:

Pumpkin Muffins

3 1/3 cups flour

3 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup oil

4 eggs

2/3 cup water

2 cups pumpkin

Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix. Pour into muffin tins. Batter will rise, so only fill the muffin tins 2/3 of the way full. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Decorating your table can be fun also. Use a combination of blacks and oranges. Use cat or witch shaped bowls. I have a friend who owns plates, creamers and tea pots in the shape of cats. You can also sprinkle your M & M's and candy corn on the table. The kids can eat the decorations.

Enjoy Halloween with your kids and their friends at home with all of the above trips and ideas.



Source by Audrey Okaneko

Will Write For Food

There are literally hundreds of delightful novels which center around food, some are mysteries, some are romance and some just good contemporary reads, too numerous to even begin to list. Several have been made into popular movies, others include actual recipes, but all reflect the writer's passion for food, which will entertain and delight the reader. Each novel has unique aspects, rich characters, lots of food intertwined throughout the contents and totally different themes.

Here are some top rate writers and books, some of which have ongoing characters, most of which are just one time marvels (and we hunger for more):

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
Nero Wolfe series by Rex Stout, which chronicles the fascinating and delightful detective character Nero Wolfe, highly fastidious, neurotic and demanding, and a total foodie by anyone's standards; Wolfe lives in a NY brownstone and enjoys home cooked meals by his personal gourmet chef, while solving murderers from his armchair (also an A & E TV series); considered by many as one of the best detective series of the twenty century;

Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris, and her more notable novel Chocolat , a classic which was also made into a wonderful movie;

Fried Green Tomatoes by Fannie Flagg (also a delightful movie, it will make you want to ferret out some green tomatoes at a farmers market and prepare them at home, following Ms. Flagg's simple recipe);

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquive, a bestseller made into a popular movie;

Diane Mott Davidson – an author in a class by herself, 17 entertaining books sequentially written (so start at the beginning), which feature the same likeable character, Goldie Schultz, who owns a catering business and is an amateur sleuth on the side, with all the dishes she whips up for her catering clients listed in the back, most of which are relatively simple and fabulous; (This author's note: my absolute favorite foodie novelist, hands down, I've read them all.)

And more wonderfully fun books:

The Epicure's Lament by Kate Christensen.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

The Belly of Paris by Emile Zola

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert

Bread Alone by Judi Hendricks

Delicious! by Ruth Reich

Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray

and for you wine fans: A Vineyard in Tuscany: A Wine Lover's Dream , by Ferenc Maté. set in Italy where two New Yorkers try to create fine wine starting from scratch;

And there you have just a starting point. So many books, so little time.



Source by Dale Phillip

Egg Bread

Ingredients

4 ounces dry yeast

1 quart cream

1 pound butter

6 eggs

5 pounds flour

2 oz salt

8 oz sugar

Directions

  • Take the eggs and butter out of the refrigerator and let them come up to room temperature.
  • Warm the cream in a microwave or in a pan on the stove top. It should be warm (not hot) If it is too hot, it will kill the yeast. Think of the yeast as a little baby, you want to keep it warm, not too hot. Dissolve the yeast in the warm cream and add sugar. Let this mixture stand until a foam forms on the top.
  • When the yeast is foamy, add eggs and butter and beat, slowly add in the flour and salt. Knead for ten minutes. The dough should be sticky. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with a towel. Put it in a warm place for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in volume.
  • Next, punch the dough down and knead again for another 10 minutes. It should rise faster this time, if you have kept it warm.
  • Divide into 5 loaves. Each loaf will be about 2 pounds.
  • Knead for the last time and form into loaves. Put each dough ball into a loaf pan and score the top of each loaf with a sharp knife. Set aside and let dough rise until it is about double in size.
  • Carefully place the loaves in the center of oven that has been preheated to 375 degrees. Bake the bread for about 40 minutes.



Source by Pamela L. Holden

Make Fluffy Pancakes

What comes to mind when you hear the word pancake? You probably picture a golden brown color and feel the taste of fluffy texture in your mouth. Pancakes are all about golden brown, fluffy delicious flavor.

Have you every made pancakes before? Did you try to make them fluffy like they are supposed to be, but they just did not work out that way? Making fluffy pancakes is actually almost a science, if you choose to look at it that way.

When you end up with flat pancakes, there could be any number of reasons why. Most of the mistakes that cause flat pancakes are not something you could catch easily. You probably do not even realize you are making them.

The first cause of flat pancakes is pretty basic. If you have ever baked before and know what you are doing, you should be able to catch this one. They could be flat because you forgot about the baking soda or baking powder.

In every pancake recipe you find, you will see listed either baking powder or soda. As small the amount added is, you can not forget it because it is very important. This ingredient is what makes the pancakes rise and adds to the fluffiness.

Another cause of flat pancakes that many people can miss is the actual mixing of the batter. If you mix it too much or beat it, the pancakes will become tough and dense when they are actually made.

As you mix pancake batter, be gentle. Do not use an electric mixer or beat it vigorously. Use a wooden spoon and gently stir it until it is combined. This will ensure that your pancakes do not become tough.

You can make fluffy pancakes as long as you know what you are doing and you are careful. Do not just throw everything together, pay attention to what you are doing and they should come out great.



Source by Samantha Asher