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Sunday, April 27, 2008

10 Things To Know About Making Good Coffee

I'm a coffeeaholic (is that even a real world?) and have spent a considerable amount of time and effort engaged in the quest to make a better cup. Here are ten tips that I have learned and practice myself...

1) Buy beans, not pre-ground coffee, and grind only what you are about to use, right before you use it.

2) Use a lighter roast, because lower quality beans are often used for darker roasts.

3) DON'T store your beans in the freezer as this can damage the oil. Instead store your beans in a cool dry place, in an airtight container.

4) Use good water. Coffee is mostly water, so the quality of the water you use will affect how the coffee turns out.

5) I use two coffee filters so that the water in my drip coffee maker stays in the grounds a bit longer, for a more full bodied brew.

6) Use more beans but with a coarser grind. The finer the grind the greater the extraction, and excess extraction can lead to bitterness.

7) Take your coffee off the heat immediately after it's brewed - don't let it sit on the burner.

8) Pour the cream into the cup first and the coffee second and not vice versa. Not sure why, but it makes a difference in the taste.

9) Add a couple of drops of vanilla or almond extract for nicer flavour.

10) Never reheat in the microwave.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

So Many Things, So Little Time

Maybe I bit off more than I can chew with this blog. I've started a few more lists, but life keeps getting in the way and taking up my time before I come up with a full ten things that I'm happy about posting (I don't like to duplicate stuff, or use "filler"). Maybe I should change this to "5 things about..." lol

All I can do is keep plugging away at it - maybe this can be a weekly blog.

It's past my bedtime... I have more than 10 reasons why I don't get enough sleep ;-)

Good night!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

10 Things To Know About Bisphenol A

Bisphenol A

I had heard about this being in plastic, but I had no idea about the food can lining. Interesting!!

1) On Friday the federal government of Canada intends to declare Bisphenol A a toxin.

2) Bisphenol A has been used in plastics since the 1950s.

3) It's alarmingly common, found in the urine of 93% of those tested over the age of six.

4) The government of Canada classes Bisphenol A as a hormone disruptor.

5) Some of the common uses of Bisphenol A include: plastic food and beverage containers, plastic food wrap, metal food can lining, coffee makers, laptop computers, dental sealant, CDs, car parts, water filters, flame retardants, paper, large water cooler jugs and textiles.

6) Some of the health risks include: damage to fetuses, negative glandular effects resulting in among other things early female puberty, genital tract changes, prostate changes, reduced testosterone, precancerous changes in breast cells, and hyperactivity.

7) Bisphenol A will likely eventually be banned in Canada in food containers, as well as water and baby bottles.

8) Bisphenol A is sometimes identified by the number seven inside a triangle.

9) Buy back programs of products containing Bisphenol A are being offered by some companies, such as The Bay.

10) As of yet there have been no alternatives discovered to create functional and spoilage preventing food can linings; consumers are advised to avoid canned food as much as possible.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

10 Things to Know About Blogging and Copyright

I'm new at blogging, so I found this topic really useful (and important!).

1) Anything that is published is protected by copyright, whether there is a copyright notice or not.

2) Don't cut and paste - instead, use a direct link to the article you're referring to. This is a "lesser of two evils" approach, which enables the creators to maintain their control over access, while allowing their advertisers continued exposure. It also allows the author of the source site to change their content and not be misquoted.

3) Public domain material is available for use (public domain usually begins after a specified time period after the death of the composer/author. This time period can vary from country to country).

4) Short quotations are considered "fair use" only if they're used in an editorial way (as in, not commercial, but instead for the relaying of information).

5) Explicit permission from the copyright holder is what is required to cut and paste from their site (in other words, even if you credit your source, you're still in violation if you haven't gotten permission).

6) An idea or fact itself is not covered by copyright; what is covered is the way that idea or fact is expressed.

7) Titles and names are not covered by copyright.

8) Distinctive phrases can have trademark protection (as opposed to copyright) depending on how they are used.

9) Creative commons is a variation of copyright which allows for less restrictive protection of works to allow for easier growth and sharing (see cc search page).

10) You don't have to register your work to be protected by copyright, but it does make your case stronger if you ever have to go to court.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

10 Things To Know About Flaxseed

I chose Flaxseed for my first topic and found out some interesting things I didn't know!

This is what my web surfing research taught me:

1) Flax seed is an excellent source of both omega-3 fatty acids and lignans.

2) It is better utilized by the body if ground first (this I knew, actually... it's kind of a pain cleaning the coffee out of the grinder, but it's worth it!)

3) It has a longer shelf life if purchased whole (grind before using).

4) Some of the claimed health benefits include:
-anti-inflammatory properties
-protects bone health
-protects against heart disease, cancer and diabetes
-prevents and controls high blood pressure
-has cholesterol lowering benefits
-has beneficial fibre
-helps prevent dry eyes (taken orally - not applied directly to the eyes!!)
-offers joint pain relief
-can decrease hot flashes in postmenopausal women
-helps to lower blood cholesterol
-improves lactation in breastfeeding mothers
-helps the human fetus grow and develop
-helps prevent the formation of blood clots
-can aid in the clearing of skin conditions
-has shown benefits in those suffering from Lupus
-helps to relieve constipation and diarrhea
-reduces symptoms of arthritis, asthma, and allergies

5) Eating flax seed with cottage cheese theoretically enables your body to better absorb it (the essential fats in the flax bind to the proteins in the cottage cheese).

6) The quality of the oil in flax seed is affected by the climate in which it is grown. The best seeds are said to be grown in North Dakota and Canada because the colder climates result in better seed oil.

7) Separated flax fibres can be made into linen. The Egyptians used this ancient fabric to wrap mummies for embalming.

8) The word linen is derived from the Latin word "linum" which means flax plant (as well as Greek: "linon").

9) Linen is actually stronger when being washed (resulting in greater longevity than other fabrics) because flax yarns and fabrics increase their strength when wet by about 20%.
And finally...
10) In the middle ages, blue flax flowers were thought to protect those who wore them from sorcery.
(I had no idea!!) I think I'm going to enjoy writing this blog...
Thank you to my sources:

Friday, April 4, 2008

First Post

Ah ha! This could be fun. My objective here is to look at any topic, and find out ten things about that topic I hadn't previously known.

I'm off to feed my two kids their lunch... more later :-)

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