It has always been a great issue for both men and women that they are very touchy about their hair. Since from the earliest ages, women used different ways to minimize the loss of their hair and keep them healthy and strong. Use of eggs, yogurt, milk bath and many other methods were so common at that time. In the latest world, we have a number of shampoos, creams and some type of medicines that assures no loss of hair and long, thick and strong hair. The most popular way to keep our hair rich is using biotin for hair growth now days and biotin hair growth products are securing big revenues in the marketplace. Today, biotin is used in most of the products that are used to reduce hair loss and turning them into long, healthy and strong.

An increase in biotin hair growth products arises conflicts among the people that either it reduces hair loss or not, but a number of people find biotin quite suitable for them. Now let’s have a look that what biotin actually is? There is a common saying that biotin is the chemical reaction of yeast and bacteria. Another phenomenon defines biotin as Vitamin AB or H and B7. Both help in human growth. We produce biotin naturally in our body that converts proteins and fats into the energy. The energy ultimately gives strength to our muscles, bones and tissues. If one is suffering from the deficiency of biotin, the symptoms are dry skin, muscle pain and hair loss. So if you’re suffering from any of the above situation, biotin can definitely help you out. Biotin has been proved as the definite treatment for hair loss and dry skin. Dermatologists highly suggest biotin for hair growth for the patients who are going to be bald due to the hair loss. So if you are losing your hair, just go out and purchase biotin to get your extra dose.

Biotin is available in both, in the form of pills or incorporated with some type of creams or shampoos. There is also conflicts that either it is beneficial to use it orally or topically Healthguidesdaily.com said. Commonly it is assumed to use biotin orally rather than topically. Reason is that orally it will go directly into the body and have potential to work. Topically it is a little harder for the skin to absorb it as biotin is quite thick. Even if the skin absorbs the biotin, it would not be an easy task for the skin.

Finally, if you are facing hair loss because of biotin deficiency and going to use biotin for hair growth, discuss with your doctor first about the usage quantity. Make sure that you are not allergic of it and not using any medicine with biotin that will ultimately affect your health. Do not ever use any medicine including biotin without your doctors’ suggestions.

Having a double chin is a very common problem that makes a person look unattractive. The fat is caused by loosening of platysma muscle and by the deposit of fat in this area. Platysma muscle helps you to move you jaw in upward and downward motion. There are some exercises that help in toning up this muscle. When these exercises are performed regularly, they will help in making this muscle tight and thus getting rid of this fat.

Before starting with exercises for double chin, there is another important aspect that needs to be remembered. You must maintain a healthy lifestyle. Your eating habits and unhealthy lifestyle is the major contributor to this problem. Once you correct these habits, you will find that your double chin problem will also start disappearing with time. It is equally important to have a correct posture also. A person who keeps his head high while sitting or standing is automatically performing a chin exercise to make that muscle strong. So keep your head held high!

Now some easy exercises for fighting double chin:

•    Sit or stand in a relaxed way and open your mouth wide. Now take your tongue out, stay like this and slowly count till ten. Put the tongue back inside your mouth and relax. Repeat this exercise ten times everyday. It is one of the best exercises to make the platysma muscle strong.

•    For the next one, you need to again sit or stand and take your head slowly towards your chest. Keep your mouth closed, slowly start moving your head upwards and then take is back as much as you can. You will be able to feel the muscles stretching in your neck. In the same position count slowly till ten and then come back to normal position. It is very important to remember that you have to perform the exercise in a slow manner. Don’t use any jerky movement of you will end up injuring yourself. Do this exercise 2-3 times everyday.

•    In this exercise, you have to first stand and keep your head straight. Start taking your lower lip upwards and try to touch your nose. Even if you are unable to reach your nose, you try to take it as upwards as possible. Stay like this till the count of ten and do the same twice a day.

•    Another simple exercise involves moving your head backwards till you start feeling the pull. Stay in this position and keep opening and closing your mouth. This will again tone up the platysma muscle if you do it regularly at least two times in a day.

These are just few simple double chin exercises. There are many other exercises that can you get rid of your double chin. All these exercise have one major drawback: they have to be done regularly and they take a lot of time to start showing results.

Who doesn’t love good old-fashioned home-made pie? For all those pie enthusiasts out there, it is no secret that the defining element of a pie that can make or break it is, of course, the crust. 

Rolling out the perfect pie crust starts with the perfect homemade pie crust recipe. The right recipe can leave you with a flaky, mouthwatering, beautiful and easy to work with crust, while the wrong one can leave you with a sticky, doughy mess. Here are some rules when it comes to selecting a pie crust recipe. 

All butter crust, all the way!

By far, using all butter is the most important rule to getting a flaky pie crust. No shortening, eggs, etc. should be used. Obviously, an all butter crust is not the most nutritious option, but it is the most delicious. Only you can decide which one you want to do. At the very least, try to include some butter in your crust. 

Choose recipes with a short and sweet list of ingredients.

Most of the time, all that is needed is flour, sugar, salt, butter, and water. Anything more than that starts to be overkill. Remember, simple is key for pie crusts. That is how old-fashioned pie crusts always were, and now there’s so many ingredients and recipes that insist you must have this ingredient, and that one. Before you know it, the list is twice as long as when you started and you end up with a less than perfect pie crust.

Use a food processor.

Not only is this method fast, but it makes for a tastier crust. Whether you use shortening or butter, you have to cut it into the dry ingredients. You could use a fork, or on a rare occasion a pastry cutter, but these methods are more time consuming, and less effective. A food processor will quickly and effectively cut the butter fully into the dry ingredients, which is one of the ways that crusts become flaky.

Now your crust is made, so how do you go about rolling it out to get the perfect end product?

Chill the crust.

Right after you are done making the crust, divide it into however many crusts the recipe says it makes. Squish each piece into a pancake sized circle and wrap in aluminum foil. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, although an hour is ideal. This will make the crust much easier to work with when it’s time to roll it out.

Don’t over-handle the crust! 

Try to handle the crust as little as possible, the more you handle it, the less flaky it is, and the tougher it is. Over-handling also makes it much more difficult to roll out.

Use a silicone pastry mat. 

A silicone pastry mat is great for rolling out pie crusts for a number of reasons. First, it won’t slip around like wax paper. Second, it will peel off of the counter easily even though it sticks when you want it to. Lastly, the pie crust will stay on the mat while you are rolling it and will peel off the mat when you want to put it into the pie plate. Some pastry mats even have measurements for crusts on them so you can effortlessly roll the crust to whatever size you need for your pie. 

Roll the crust out.

Start at the center of the crust, and move the rolling pin up and down. Then move it from the left to the right, and on both diagonals. Alternate between directions until the crust is a relative circle, and it has reached your desired thickness and diameter. 

Remember, the best crust often means the best pie. Now you have the tricks of the trade to make the perfect flaky pie crust and wow your friends and family. Happy pie-making!

Steak lovers around the world will agree that if it’s a great steak, it doesn’t need a sauce, or maybe at the very most just some steak spice and maybe a little A1 sauce. But there are times when the experience can be brought up a notch or two with the addition of a sumptuous, quick and easy steak sauce.

These sauces work best with sirloin or strip loin steaks because they are uniform in texture, but it can be added to any steak; rib eye, t-bone, wing, with delicious results.

The 30-second steak sauce

This technique has good results only if you’ve already added some spices, salt and pepper to your grilling steak in the fry pan. The reason for this is because the residual steak juices are of key importance to this sauce.

Onions, fresh garlic, mushrooms, and/or green peppers are all great contributors to this sauce, but it also works with just a good quality steak.

Ingredients 

Makes just over 1 cup

1/2 cup of warm water
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 cup of beef broth (can be optional if steak was well-spiced)
Preferred spices (if desired) – a few shakes of each
Salt and/or pepper to taste

Once the steak is seared on both sides and cooked at a medium-high heat, it should be removed from the pan to rest and keep warm. Now sauté the vegetables lightly.

Remove any of the vegetables (if using). Keep at a relatively high heat.

To the still sizzling pan, add about 3 oz. of water and/or red wine. The pan will sizzle further and de-glaze.

At this point, a few ounces of beef broth can be added or just more water. Spices such as thyme, sage, garlic powder and/or even a dollop of bottled steak sauce will only add more taste to this sauce.

Bring it up to a sizzle again. It’s ready now to pour over the steak, making an “au jus” thin sauce.

*Note- if a thicker sauce is desired, 1-2 tbsp. of corn starch or wheat flour, pre- mixed with cold water, can be added as it sizzles!

Mushroom gravy

The queen of steak sauces and gravies, this sauce will triumph whether the steak is barbecued or grilled. Make it in the sauté pan that cooked the steak, or by itself, to be poured over freshly grilled steak. Either way it’s delicious!

Ingredients

1 tbsp. butter
A splash of olive oil
1 cup of sliced mushrooms (mix the varieties if desired)
1/4 cup of sliced or diced onions (optional)
1/2 tsp. of dry mustard
1/2-1 tsp. of ground thyme
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 cup to 1 cup beef broth
A good ounce or two of table or 18% cream
1 1/2- 2 tbsp. cornstarch or wheat flour
1 ounce or two of cold water
Salt & pepper to taste

Simply add the butter, a splash of olive oil and the cleaned, sliced mushrooms and/or sliced onions to a sauté pan.

Once the butter is just bubbling, and the vegetables are browned a bit, add the red wine. Allow these to blend merrily for a while and then add about 1/2 cup of beef broth. Let it all come to a boil.

Now mix the cornstarch or wheat flour in the cold water and whisk well till smooth. Slowly add to the sauce. Bring it all to a boil again and add thyme, dry mustard or whatever spices you prefer.

To upscale this sauce and really make it sinful, add the real cream. Salt and pepper to taste. (If too thick, add a bit more water or broth). Excellent and impressive!

Chimichurri sauce

Originating in Argentina, chimichurri sauce is a  zesty accompaniment for grilled steak. It adds a pop of flavor to each and every bite. A quality blender is needed for this recipe.

Ingredients 

(Makes about 1 cup)

2-3 cloves garlic
About 2 cups fresh flat Italian parsley or coriander
1/3 cup fresh oregano or 3 tsp. of ground oregano
3-4 fresh basil leaves or 1 tsp. dried basil
1/2-1 tsp. chili or red pepper flakes
1-2  shallots finely chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
A good squeeze of lemon or lime

Toss all the dry ingredients in the blender and pulse until well blended. Add oil and red wine vinegar and lemon. Blend again until fairly smooth. It’s now ready to enjoy!

All these quick and easy sauces are mouth-watering and add generously to the already superb experience of good steak. As they are sauces, they pair very well with either garlic mashed potatoes, or frites, as a happy side.

To roll or not too roll, that is the question. There is no doubt that oats are an extremely popular and versatile food source. They can grow in harsher conditions than other crops and contain many vital nutrients and vitamins and harbour a whole host of health benefits.

The health benefits that you can expect from a diet that includes adequate intake of oats, include; lowered Cholesterol, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, decreased risk of heart failure, enhanced immune response to infection, lowered risk of type 2 diabetes and a decreased risk of certain cancers. There are many more health benefits to oat consumption, but the ones mentioned are widely reported. 

So, what is the difference between rolled oats and oatmeal?

Both rolled oats and oatmeal come from the same cereal grain known scientifically as ‘Avena sativa.’ The difference between the two stems from the way they are processed for later distribution and use.

Oatmeal and steel cut oats are both cut into smaller pieces. Oatmeal is cut into the finest pieces. This means that oatmeal cooks the quickest and is much more convenient for some people. This is why instant breakfast oats are a popular choice for those in a hurry. Oatmeal will cook in around 5 minutes.

Rolled oats on the other hand are steamed and flattened. This means they are much larger. This means that rolled oats take longer to cook at around 20 minutes.

What other differences are there between rolled oats and oatmeal?

In today’s health conscious world many of us are concerned that we are making the right choices when it comes to picking between certain foods.

Is there really a difference between the two?

The main difference between rolled oats and oatmeal is the look. Rolled oats are much larger while oatmeal is much finer.  The second difference is to do with the initial taste and texture. Oatmeal has a nuttier, earthy flavour that rolled oats lack.  Some have suggested that this could be to do with the steaming that rolled oats go through during processing. Interestingly this word processing makes most health conscious individuals run a mile, but steaming does not really affect the quality or nutritional value of the oats as it still contains the wholegrain part.

In conclusion, the difference between rolled oats and oatmeal is in the initial processing. The difference really is quite minimal. As for which you should eat, I would leave this to personal choice, as the health differences are also pretty minimal. If you like oatmeal stay with it, if you prefer rolled oats then have those. Stick with what makes you happy. After all, happiness is fundamental to good health, right?

If anyone is baffled about silicone bakeware, there are three points to research: the history, the reasons to buy (hype) and things to watch out for (truth).

Silicone? I’m pretty sure there are some silicone bakeware in my own kitchen. However, it never occurred to me to research this new trend in cooking.

*History

French inventor Guy DeMarle invented the Silpat, a silicone based baking sheet liner. This invention was a hit with pastry chefs, who rejoiced when gooey cookies could easily be removed without ingredients or odors seeping into the pan.

*Reasons to buy – Hype

There is a vast variety of silicone bakeware sold in houseware stores – everything from spatulas to tortilla warmers. I’m sure the opportunity to buy silicone bakeware in every color and shape imaginable has inspired consumers to mix and match.

Silicone bakeware is known to be stick-resistant, heat-resistant, stain-resistant and dishwasher-safe. Talk about flexibility – go WWF if you like – you can squish it, fold it, and flatten it. No matter what you do, it’ll snap back into shape.

With brands such as Kaiser Bakeware, a revolutionary brand consisting of both aluminum and silicone, the average consumer will find that researching and comparing products will reduce their disappointment.

It has been noted that silicone is safer than Teflon. Dr. Mitchell Cheeseman, associate director at the FDA, has stated that silicone has met approved safety standards.

*Things to watch out for – Truth

Some silicone products contain fillers, which turn white when the product is pulled or pinched. These fillers are dangerous because they compromise the performance of the product, especially when resisting heat. Also, filler products lose their elasticity, buckle, and produce an odor that can seep into the food. Everyone wants to be able to smell the cupcakes, not the pan.

At times these products can be a little too flexible, thus creating a huge mess. They also collect dust due to static electricity. Consumers who pride themselves on baking perfect cakes and other treats should be forewarned: pans tend to bend a little after being removed from ovens. This drawback can produce crumbling desserts and unhappy perfectionists. There is a solution but it can get kind of difficult: it is recommended that confections are baked on a non-silicone cookie sheet. However, the consumer would need to adjust baking times to reduce browning from occurring.

Even though Dr. Cheeseman has said that silicone is FDA approved, consumers should still be careful when using these products – especially when baking at high temperatures. Materials in the silicone can potentially leak into the food. I’m sure the majority of consumers won’t find that tidbit appealing. What about cost? Silicone products usually cost more than metal products. However, it is up to whether or not you want to try silicone bakeware.

Some resources that you can use are:
*bestbakewareonline.com
*cooking.com

Oolong tea can cause a person’s serum uric acid to increase causing health problems. Foods, people eat, can either raise or lower uric acid. Doctors use a test to measure serum uric acid to determine whether a person’s uric acid is too high or too low or just right. Caffeine increases uric acid.

Purines

Purines are the chemicals responsible for increased uric acid.  They normally break down and become uric acid. However, when these crystalline substances have too much work to do, they leave behind a by-product. These crystals attach themselves to organs cause health problems. If a person consumes too many drinks or food with high uric acid content like oolong tea, he or she can get some severe problems.

Foods

Some foods contain high levels of uric acid. They include seafoods, dried beans and peas, liver, and mackerel. Red meats increase a person’s serum uric acid level. Foods like cherries, berries, and celery can help to combat the trouble of increased uric acid. Baking soda, apples and lemons, can also help to clear the kidneys and bladder. Drinking water can help to flush out the crystals that cause the problems.

Diseases

Gout is a key disease resulting from an increase in uric acid. Kidney and heart diseases are two other terrible diseases than can occur if a person drinks too much oolong tea. Oolong tea works as a diuretic, worsening incontinence. It also raises stomach acid in people already experiencing stomach problems, especially from ulcers. Oolong tea may raise blood pressure and  produce irregular heart rate.

Amounts

People, who drink more than five cups of the tea, are those at risk for changes in their uric acid levels. A cup of day should not produce any problems and in some ways can have many health benefits. Some herbalists recommend oolong. Oolong tea has 30 mg of caffeine. Men were more likely to have elevated uric acid levels than women.

Oolong tea

Oolong tea is a green tea that has not completely fermented. Its caffeine content is the same as green tea and lacks the vitamin C found in green tea. It is made from all parts of the Camellia sinensis plant.

Oolong tea can increase serum uric acid levels. However, only if the consumption of the liquid is excessive, or if the person already has a history of high uric acid. Oolong tea is also beneficial in the right doses and when used with moderation.   

Yes, restaurants should indeed be required to list calories and grams of fat on their menus. Unfortunately, in today’s world the goal for almost all businesses now is to make as much money as possible while spending as little as possible with absolutely no regard for the ultimate results for their customers.

That’s not to say that making a profit is bad but there are many companies that play games with what they sell. If you are in a chain restaurant and you order a cheeseburger that claims to be 80/20 lean, there is a fairly good chance that it is actually 70/30 or perhaps even 60/40. There is nothing wrong with those mixes but the ones with more fat cost less so if you claim 80/20 but are actually using 60/40 you can charge a bit more for something that you are actually paying less for and you are also giving your customer a great deal more fat than they might believe they are getting.

Many people may not look at the information but today most will. And it would also be a great idea for the Health Department to send undercover agents in to purchase food and test it against what is claimed in the menu. There are entirely too many people who will lie in a heartbeat in order to make money at any cost.

Now, all of the above being said, I am not saying that every single restaurant out there is lying to its customers. In many cases, they may be taking the word of their distributors. The distributors should also be placing health information on their containers so if  restaurant gets in trouble for not being accurate they can show the documentation from the distributor and that way things can go back to the person who is actually at fault.

This is something that is not going to happen easily. It will require an enormous amount of grass roots organization to get laws such as this passed. So many of today’s politicians are in the pockets of the large corporations that laws such as this will be fought very strongly even though they make perfect sense and there is no good reason anywhere in the world to not pass these laws.

So, yes, restaurants should absolutely be required to show calories and fat content on their menus.

Red Leicester is an English cheese that is made in a similar manner to cheddar although it is slightly crumblier, thus it is a cheese that makes a nice addition to virtually any salad when grated.            

The wonderful image of Leicester’s favourite dairy product is unmistakable. Melting beautifully and adding colour to any cheese board or sauce, Red Leicester should normally be served at room temperature and kept in the bottom part of the fridge.        

Traditionally, Red Leicester cheese was used in Welsh rarebit, however it is jolly nice on top of a baked potato, melted in a grilled cheese sandwich or served with fruits like apples, pears and plums.          

Leicester Cheese throughout history was always very highly rated – mainly because of the fine grazing conditions available in the County of Leicestershire – but during the Second World War, cheese had to be made to a national recipe for rationing purposes and locals named their version “White Leicester.”            

After the war, manufacture of this delicious Leicestershire cheese was resumed with Annatto food colouring added to distinguish it from the inferior, mass produced, white version; Stilton cheese is now made in Leicestershire and this encouraged a third colour alternative – the experimental “Blue Leicester” variety has been tried and tested!              

Since the eighteenth-century (with the exception of the war period), Leicester’s cheese has been coloured orangey / red by adding the Annatto extract during manufacture to make it stand out. A cow’s milk cheese, this famous flavoursome feast is named after the main city in that area and it has a firm texture with a slightly nutty taste.            

Dating back to the seventeenth-century, farmers recognized the need to make their cheeses look and taste better than any rival, thus using Annatto (which is a vegetable dye derived from the husk of the fruit of the Annatto tree found in South America and the Caribbean) seemed like a good idea and has been used ever since.          

Milk produced by cows grazing on Leicestershire’s rich grassy pastures would naturally have a high carotene content and that helped give the cheese an orange hue anyway, plus the cheese making process would have concentrated that colour as well and there is nothing quite like seeing such wonderful cheese on the deli counter, ready to be purchased.              

With so many yummy English cheeses coming from the Midlands region, the name needed changing as well as the appearance and we now have the delicious Red Leicester cheese for everyone all to enjoy.

In the middle of summer, few beer styles can beat the raw refreshing power of a crisp, clean lager. Whether sitting around the campfire, hanging out on the patio, or having finished mowing the lawn, lager is most people’s go-to beer. Given how refreshing lager can be, it’s no wonder the style dominates the world’s markets. Whether European, north American, or craft-brewed there’s not a country on earth that doesn’t offer the golden nectar to refresh the palates of anyone of legal age to enjoy it.

Tiger Lager is produced by Asia Pacific Breweries, established in 1931 as part of a joint venture between Heineken, and Singapore’s Fraser and Neave. The new company, called Malaysian Brewing, began construction of a brewery with Heineken adding its brewing heritage to the distribution skills of Fraser & Neame. When the new company finished building its new brewery in 1932, they introduced Tiger Lager.

Today, Asia Pacific Brewing has 25 breweries in two dozen countries around Asia. Over the years, APB (now solely owned by Heineken) has introduced more than 40 brands including Tiger and Heineken. Since its introduction, Tiger has won many medals for its quality and taste. And since 1981, distribution has spread from Asia through Europe, and into north America making Tiger lager a worldwide brand, and APB’s flagship beer outside of Heineken.

This brings us to the can of Tiger sitting in the fridge right now. Pulling the beer from the fridge and giving it a couple seconds to warm up (not too much), Tiger gets poured into a favorite glass. Tiger is pale straw in color and crystal clear. The head is fluffy, white, and recedes fairly quickly.

Aroma offers sweetness in the front. Rather than the bready sweetness of a European lager, Tiger offers the corn-based sweetness of an American beer. There also seems to be hints of rice in there as well. If nothing else, Tiger’s aroma is crisp and clean. Unfortunately, outside of the faintest wisp of grassy hoppiness, Tiger’s aroma doesn’t have much to offer.

The first sip shows a lager that is smooth, crisp, and clean. Corn and rice do offer some roundness in the center, giving a pleasant sweetness. The rounded center moves into a dry, somewhat astringent finish. As with the aroma, there’s only the faintest hint of hop character, this time showing up in the form of fresh cut grass.

Overall, this beer’s a 5 out of 10. It’s one and only saving grace is that it doesn’t have any flawed or off flavors. It’s inoffensive and will refresh you on a hot summer day, much in the same way a glass of water will. Go find a nice European lager instead. One way in which Tiger can be well used would be as the base of any stew or soup that calls for white wine.

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