Your food cupboard at home is the life blood of your kitchen. Is your cupboard killing your meals. Find out how to give your cupboard a new lease of life..

I am the first to admit that I am at time unsure just what to do with pulses. So come with me on a tour of the shop aisle today to discover pulses, dried fruits and nuts.


Beans, chickpeas and lentils are know as pulses. They are a good, economical source of protein. They can be purchased in a dried form or in cans. If using dried pulses you will need to soak them, by using the canned ones it cuts out this soaking process and makes them an instant convenience food. Buy dried pulses in small quantities, from a source that has a quick turnover to ensure freshness. The longer you keep dried pulses the longer you will need to cook them because they toughen with age. Store dry pulses in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Haricot beans

One of the most versatile pulses, they are a white, medium sized bean. Can be used in casserole dishes and stews. The best known of the haricot beans are baked beans.


These are a beige, round bean known as the main ingredient in hummus. Often mashed and served with meat or fish. And I like the nutty flavor they add to stews.


These are those little oval shaped beans that come in yellow, red, green, grey and brown. They take little cooking time and the dried variety do not need soaking.

Butter beans

With a lovely buttery flavor these are a large, flat, white bean. Can be used in soups or pureed with some herbs.

Cannellini beans

Popular in Italian cooking, they are a large, oval, white bean. Used in minestrone soup, hot pasta dishes and cold in salads.

Flageolet beans

A small, delicate, pale green bean often served in salads. These are also the beans that are traditionally served hot with lamb.

Red Kidney Beans

We could not go, without mentioning the favorite mexican bean. This is the bean used in chili con carne and in refried beans.


Now, with instant forms, they are easy to use and a delicious alternative. Keep grains in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 18 months.


I must say I am a huge fan of couscous. It is a fine grained semolina made from durum flour. It has a mild flavor but a nutty texture. It is great served as an accompaniment instead of rice.


It is a fine granular cornmeal. It can be serve hot like mashed potato or cooked into a slice and served grilled.


Many fruits are now available dried and can be used in a wide range of savory and dessert recipes. They are also a healthy snack food alternative and can be added to muesli for breakfast.. Dried fruits will keep for several months. Once the packet is opened store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

The tradition dried fruits include currants; sultanas; raisins; prunes; apricots; dates. But now when you look in your store you will be delighted to also be able to find pears; peaches; apples; figs; bananas; cherries; cranberries; blueberries; mangoes; papaya; pineapples.


Nuts are a great thing to keep in the cupboard. They are fantastic to add in stir fries and desserts. Store them in a cool, dry place in an airtight container. Only buy in small quantities as there shelf life is generally only 2 to 3 months.


These are a little bitter but are good in both salads and stuffings. Walnuts are a fantastic accompaniment with blue cheese.


These nuts often accompany chicken and are used a lot in desserts like crumbles and flans.

Pine kernels

These are actually the kernels of pine cones. With a sweet flavor these are wonderful tossed in salads or rice dishes. For a stronger flavor they can be dry fried or grilled until golden brown.

Cashew nuts

Cashews must be one of the most preferred eating nuts, with a sweet flavor and soft, crunchy texture. They are also often used in Asian dishes, added towards the end of cooking to maintain their flavor.


Many people like these freshly roasted – though I must say I don’t see the appeal. They are popular at Christmas time in stuffings. Chestnuts are often used in dessert recipes, generally with chocolate.


Hazelnuts also known as cob nuts are small, round nuts, which are usually used in cakes, pastries and desserts.


They can be ground to form the basis of a satay sauce. Peanuts are best bought roasted or salted and can be used in salads and stir-fries.

Pistachio nuts

These are one of my favorite eating nuts. You can buy them salted in their shells (for snacks) and also unsalted and shelled, which are the most useful for cooking. They are used in pates, stuffings and as a colorful garnish.

Happy Cooking

Francis Chang

Find more of Francis’s articles about Gourmet Cookie Favors and Christmas Cookies at,Daas_s.dll,Dadxutil.dll,Danipcie.dll,Dao350.dll

As every bride-to-be (and her fiancé) knows, planning a wedding can be one of life’s greater challenges. But it should also be satisfying and memorable for all the right reasons. A successful wedding starts with planning every detail. Not just the dress, venue, flowers, cake and reception food, but the favors -- the memento of your special day.

The best wedding favors express gratitude to your guests for attending your ceremony and sharing in the celebration. This isn’t a minor gesture. Your guests might have traveled a great distance, taken time off from work, rearranged their schedules and even pitched in to help you pull off your special day. Favors are generally a small token of your appreciation, though they can range from simple to more extravagant keepsakes.

Whatever type of wedding favor you are considering, finding the perfect one doesn’t need to be difficult. Online sellers offer an easy way to search for all types of favors and to buy in quantities not available in retail stores. But shop wisely. While many businesses and their products might appear to be similar, a closer look reveals significant differences.

It’s smart to stay on your wedding budget. Yet high quality, not price alone, should drive your decision. Look also for businesses that feature a wide selection of classic favorites as well as fresh ideas. A strong record of experience and customer satisfaction is essential. HansonEllis is a 10-year-old online company that meets those minimum requirements, and then takes it up a notch by offering custom, affordable products that can be personalized for unique and unforgettable mementoes.

Your search for the best wedding favors should include not only products widely available in the U.S. – the typical candies, candles and bubbles -- but specialty items from around the world. HansonEllis continually searches the globe for new and inspiring favors that will give your wedding a memorable touch.

Show style by choosing favors that match the theme of your wedding, whether it is a ceremony in a garden, on the beach or at a destination, or a theme tied to certain colors, flowers or seasons. And consider adding a personal touch with favors that can be inscribed with your names, the wedding date and/or a message. Or use imprinted ribbons or tags.

Finding the perfect favors is only part of the process. You need a company that will deliver on time and that can accommodate changes, such as when your invitation grows at the last minute to accommodate long-lost cousins or your parents’ business associates. You also want a company that recognizes your wedding day as your once-in-a-lifetime event and that doesn’t treat you as just another customer.

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You have enough to do with planning the rest of your wedding than to fret about favors. Decide what you want, then choose the best company to help everything turn out just right. As HansonEllis says, “We translate your dream event into a reality.”

Paul Denero is a freelance writer based out of Los Angeles. He occasionally likes to write about wedding planning. For more information on wedding favors please visit HansonEllis.comIBM Thinkpad,Thinkpad Driver Updates,Thinkpad Lenovo T61 Drivers,Thinkpad Drivers Windows 7,Thinkpad docking Drivers

While a good number of people fight to drop weight, there are people around who fight to discover the best possible way to put on weight and develop muscle mass.

You will need to exercise to enhance lean muscle mass, however you will have to make sure that you just aren't working out way too much simply because you'll end up burning weight rather than gaining it. Eating extra calories all the time does not mean that you ought to eat junk foods either.

There are a few easy rules and simple methods to increase healthy body weight and build firm muscle.

Consume a bit more calories every single day. The final amount of additional kilo calories you need to consume to raise bodyweight depends upon how easily you process food and just how much you intend to work out. For this reason you may use a basal metabolic rate (BMR) online calculator. You'll find one anywhere online.

Consume Five to six meals every single day to ensure that you eat more than enough and also have consistent strength. It can be hard getting all the calories you may need by having one simple dish a day. Breaking down your foods helps you to include additional calories into your day-to-day consumption without getting too full and fat.

Take in the perfect foods to build muscle mass. Food products high in carbohydrates and bad fats, such as desserts, potato chips or French fried potatoes, can help you gain weight, but they won't maximize your lean muscle mass. Keep to protein-rich foods, such as low fat poultry, fish, beans, plus nuts. Nuts and some specific fish, like salmon, can offer you both healthy proteins and nutritious fat. And if you can not get that or do not have the time, you could always take a high protein energy bar.

Sorry to disappoint you, but it really is extremely hard to build muscle m[censored] if you don't exercise. In case you already do exercise, do not forget that you'll put on weight and muscle sooner when you exercise with a bit heavier weight fewer times than when you lift not as heavy weights more times. Be sure to exercise your whole body to build up muscle mass. For this purpose the ideal exercises are leg squats . Try to do those as much as possible.

Get plenty of sleeping since your system requires time to recover for lean muscle m[censored] to build up. Try to have no less than Eight hours of proper deep sleep every night. Train for around 4 times each week to get lean muscle m[censored] without being injured. It is quite inconvenient in case you can't exercise as you have hurt your whole body by pushing it way too much.

If you take up a fresh fitness program, you will sometimes get intense muscle soreness, called Dela[censored] Onset Muscle Soreness. This muscle soreness is entirely standard and it shouldn't stop you from keeping to your current training. It goes away completely over a couple of days to weeks.

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