Planning a wedding can be stressful because in most cases you are trying to meet both your ideal wedding and common wedding realities such as budget limitations, weather, venue, number of guests, finding suppliers, etc. If you are in Melbourne, one the most romantic options is a beach wedding venue. And with a lot of options especially in Brighton and St. Kilda area you will surely have a hard time deciding which one. Tripadvisor and similar review sites can help you narrow down options.
One of the most crucial parts of the preparation process is the range of food and drinks to be served. There a lot of choices for beach wedding menu that can add a taste of the sea to your reception. So we’ve ran down a few ideas for you and your partner to choose from
• Cocktail – choosing the right cocktails can help set the mood. Cocktails should be ready when your guests arrived at the beach reception. Here are the 10 popular cocktail drinks you can choose from:
* Apple martini
* Long island iced tea
* Kir royale
* Mint julep
• Appetizers – serve these mouthwatering appetizers during cocktail hour or before dinner:
* Raw iced oysters
* Scallop lollipops
* Crab/Fish cakes
* Tuna balls
* Coconut shrimps
* Grilled scallops
* Crab stuffed mushrooms
* Mini lobster rolls
* Shrimp potstickers
• Salads – awe your guests with these delicious and healthy salads
* Caesar salad with shrimp
* Spinach and smoked salmon salad with lemon-dill dressing
* Arugula salad with grilled squid and melon
* Escarole salad with clams and grilled corn
* Smoked trout salad with mustard dressing
• Soups – if you are not into salads, try these savory soups:
* Clam chowder
* Fish chowder
* Crab soup
* Miso soup
* Lobster bisque
• Entrees – the main dishes for your beach wedding menu.
* Roast pork
* Grilled fish
* Lemon braised chicken
* Chicken barbeque
* Jamaican jerk
• Dessert – make your wedding menu extra sweet by serving the following:
* Cinnamon rolls
* Fruit tarts
* Berry parfaits
Before you decide on a menu, find out if your chosen venue also offers catering services. This will save you some time finding a caterer for your wedding. Reserve in advance and discuss the menu ideas with the caterer. If you are unsure about the caterer’s recommendations, you can ask them for a tasting.
Yoga is one of the exercises with so many benefits to millions of people all over the world. The health benefits that yoga can provide is probably one of the reasons why many people enrol themselves in yoga classes. Plus, if you incorporate yoga with proper diet, you can certainly achieve better results.
But, if you’re busy juggling tasks on your schedule, attending yoga classes can be difficult. Good thing there are yoga online videos which are time saving and convenient to people with tight schedule. This is because you can manage to do yoga routines at any time you wish unlike classes where you can only attend at a specific time. Yoga not only benefits the body and mind but also allows you to slow down, breathe, and enjoy the moment. Individuals can learn yoga online in the multiple outlets available online.
The Benefits You Will Achieve From Practicing Yoga
Yoga has several benefits to both the mind and the body. Yoga allows you to listen to what your body needs. Though quite challenging, it helps to improve body balance, build body strength, and increase flexibility. This means that one can achieve a full body work out without having to purchase lots of equipment for exercising the different body part.
Similar to other work outs, yoga releases endorphins: a chemical that is produced by the pituitary glands as well as the central nervous system. This chemical works by blocking pain receptors and gives a euphoria sensation which leaves you feeling amazing and rejuvenated all day long. Doing yoga before or after meals can help stimulate the appetite and improve food digestion. Another added benefit of yoga is that it involves meditation which improves one’s mood greatly.
How Online Yoga Videos Work
Online yoga videos are almost similar to attending yoga classes as they involve an instructor as well as relaxing music. The only difference is that you will have to play a recorded video with the computer instead of physically attending the class. There is a wide collection of yoga videos of online to choose from but here is a list of the top rated:
The Best Online Yoga Videos
• Yoga for beginners: This yoga video comes with customisable interactive features which allows you to form a work out plan that suits you. Since people have different schedules, you can just pick a routine that you are comfortable with and work it out at any convenient time.
• Yoga for everybody: This is a complete video for everyone regardless of whether you are just beginning or you are already experienced.
• Fat free yoga: This video gives a fresh approach on different yoga techniques.
• The biggest loser yoga video: This is a weight loss yoga video that has an interactive menu where you can choose the routines that will work best for you.
The things discussed above are just several important points that you need to know about yoga and online yoga videos. Remember that by doing yoga, you are giving yourself the chance to improve your health.
Subscribe to best yoga videos online and start incorporating yoga to your diet to start reaping the benefits.
It’s unlikely you’ll find a more entitled couple than those who are about to plan their dream wedding. While bridal requests are, more often than not, caprice, there are unusual requests that simply can’t be helped. One bride wrote a testimonial to Era Bistro, one of the best wedding reception venues in Brisbane, to thank staff for tending to her, a “sick bride,” unable to eat food at her own wedding.
Never a dull moment
But really, aren’t the capricious stories more fun? We have plenty to share. While it may sound like fiction, be assured the tales told here are true stories from beleaguered wedding planners and exasperated hotel staff, gathered from extensive web research.
Who better to get the inside dish than members of the International Panel of Wedding Planners and Designers? Here’s a selected glimpse from the organization’s website:
• The bridesmaids were running behind schedule, and they asked me to give the flower girl a bath and dress her! -Stacey Price of Ottawa
• The bride wanted penguins at the reception. And she got her penguins. -Marley Majcher of Los Angeles
• Once, I was asked to create an opium den theme, complete with real drugs. I declined. -Wayne Gurnick of Los Angeles
• [A couple] arranged for Elvis to paddle by on a surfboard down the river behind them during the ceremony. -Amy Nichols of San Francisco
• I had a mini horse as a ring bearer at my own black tie wedding. -Ariel Yve of Los Angeles
• A lesbian pagan wedding, which concluded with a jumping of the broom, followed by an amazing reception at a top museum. -Bernadette Smith of New York/Boston
• “I need for you to pick up my maid of honor at the airport.” “I know it’s the middle of the reception, but I need for you to take my maid of honor to the airport.” During the reception, “Please cut off the train of my Vera Wang bridal gown.” “Stall the wedding from starting.” -Dawn Earley of Austin
• One of our client couples wanted to be married on a pier overlooking the ocean at midnight. -Karry Castillo Of Orlando
• To incorporate bats (yes, the flying kind) into a wedding. The bride had a bat tattoo on her feet because she loves bats! -Kasey Skobel Conyers of Ohio
• I was asked to lure a family member away from the wedding because they were so embarrassed my their attire. -Kelly McWilliams of Florida
• Zombies for their cake topper. -Kelly Spalding of Franklin, Tenessee
• Arranging a flight for a bride’s wedding gown … [which had] it own seat! -Lester Gethings of London
• I have had to run out and buy cigarettes for one bride. -Lisa Hill of Auckland
• Helicopter entrances, zoo animals, contortionists, celebrity appearances. -Mary Swaffield of Calgary
• I’ve had to plan an entire wedding in three days! I’ve also had to coordinate some surprise weddings where the guests are under the impression they are just attending a party. -Melissa Andre of Toronto
• One wedding, the bridesmaids were running behind schedule, and they asked me to give the flower girl a bath and dress her! -Stacey Price of Ottawa
• Wedding rings with not only the iconic character, but the verbiage “Mr. & Mrs. PacMan.” -The Wedding Ring Store / Kent
Unusual and weird requests reported with incredulity include:
• Grooms who parachuted from a plane or bungee jumped from the hotel room onto the ceremony.
• Bride who arrived on horseback, with only one shoe; the groom placed the other on her foot at the altar.
• Brides who’ve asked for a bath of ice or one of milk.
• Couples who complain the ocean is too loud at their seaside venue.
Just when you think you’d never be a bridezilla, something comes up. What do you do? Well, you are the bride and it is your day.
During the hot and dog days of summer, we always remember the fun that we had with our family, friends and neighbors cooking chicken, beef or pork or even seafood in a BBQ. Beer, fries and cold soft drinks pair well with any dish that was cooked over charcoal.
Who can deny that BBQs are irresistible? Listening to the crack of the meat as it hits the fire and the unmistakable aroma from the smoke as it reaches our neighborhood is so much fun!
Here are some tips on how to heat your charcoal to start a really good grill.
We have to admit that some of us or most of us do not know how to heat a proper grill. Heating the charcoal is the most important step, as it may make or break your BBQ. Good BBQs start with good heat.
Grilling with charcoal is sometimes called grilling with direct heat method. In this method, meat is directly placed on top of the direct heat source in order for it to cook at the shortest possible time. The heat conducted through the grill on to the meat is called a cross hatch.
It is with this method of grilling, that meat acquires a taste that has a signature charcoal flavour that what we call as char broiled. The heat from the charcoal is more intense than the gas-fired stove or electric griller. Although, the heat is sometimes uncontrollable, there are techniques to do this.
First is that charcoal grills are very light and easy to tip over, so place the grill on a flat surface, and watch out for kids or animals that might tip it over. In short, keep your eyes on the grill at all times.
The fuel used to heat the charcoal grill is called charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal.
Lay aluminum sheets on top of your grill before putting in the charcoal. This will make the charcoal grill easy to clean after using.
Stack the right amount of charcoal in a pyramid shape in the middle of the grill. This will make the charcoal easy to light with a maximum amount of air flow circulating around the charcoals.
Lightly spray your charcoals with lighter fluid and wait for a minute until it is completely soaked. Keep the lighter fluid away from the grill after spraying. You can also use old news papers when lighting your charcoal.
Some charcoal briquettes have compounds that can light up ready with a match. Be very careful when storing these charcoal briquettes.
Using a long lighter, light the sides of the charcoal until you have a small fire. Burn the fire, usually, around 20-30 minutes until the charcoal glows and there is a slight smoke coming out from the grill.
Use a glove and thongs when spreading the hot charcoals around the grill.
Viola! You are now ready to grill!
There’s something magical about an experience of eating under the stars. Somehow, food tastes more delectable, and interaction with the other diners seem better and more relaxed. Mountaineers, hikers, and outdoorsmen can attest to this great experience (Boy, they are indeed the lucky ones). They often prepare and consume their meals in the middle of wildernesses while enjoying spectacular vistas that only a few are privileged to see.
Following the steps of outdoorsmen to have a unique and faraway dining experience is something that many of us, mere mortals and city people, are not really ready. However, we can have a chunk of that awesome experience right outside your home! Yes, literally just outside your walls! All you have to do is to configure your backyard to a unique dining room.
A Few Simple Outdoor Dining Ideas
* Unless you are planning a picnic-style dining, you would need a sturdy table where you can serve your food. Any table will do, but should you put it? A good idea is to put it under a large-canopied tree. The canopy serves as a shade during hot days while keeping the view unobstructed. Hang some lamps, Christmas lights, and other decors on the branches then light them up during dinner time. Add a few lit candles on the table itself. Now, that’s a dinner with a magical ambiance!
* No trees? Small space? No problem! Create a cute alfresco dining area by putting up a small, circular wrought iron table in a nice corner in your garden. Around the table, arrange matching wrought-iron chairs with pretty cushions. Finally, add a stylish parasol to provide shade.
* Modify your patio or have one constructed. A cool patio that overlooks your garden is the perfect place for outdoor dining; it offers a great view all the while being directly accessible from the house. Prepare your patio by installing it with versatile oak flooring in Melbourne. Oak wooden floors are beautiful; but more importantly, they are tough and can stand up to harsh weather. Tough oak floors can also withstand heavy foot traffic, spilled foods, and fallen utensils and kitchenware. For safety and aesthetics, border your patio with uniquely designed balustrades.
* Do you want a more casual setting? Place a low table in the middle of your garden, preferably where there are lots of blossoms or where you can enjoy a great view. But instead of chairs, why not put up bean bags instead? Bean bags are comfortable and more informal.
How you dress up your table plays an important role of setting up the mood:
* On the versatile oak flooring in Melbourne in your patio, ensure that your table is steady. It shouldn’t wiggle or tip to the side.
* Adorn your table with a nice tablecloth. We prefer delicate and detailed embroidered or knitted ones.
* A nice arrangement of flowers in a vase is a nice centrepiece. If flowers aren’t your thing, you can use other centerpieces such as an elaborate candle holder; a small Zen tray filled with sand, pebbles, and candles; or the main dish of the meal itself.
* Use clean, polished, and gleaming cutlery, glassware, and plates. They exude an air of elegance. Give outdoor dining a new meaning!
There’s one important thing I learned from all my years as a culinary adventurer: a meal is not complete without a dessert. I even call it an incomplete, forgettable meal if I can’t partake of a dessert. A great dessert caps up the experience and leaves a refreshing taste in the palate. From sherbets to cakes, I thought I tasted every dessert there is. That is until I came to Alaska, the United States’ last frontier. In this land of snow, wilderness, mountains, and majestic beauty, I found desserts that defy imagination and are absolutely spectacular.
If you’re coming to Alaska for a vacation or for a wild adventure, then do what I did; complete your experience by tasting their desserts. After consuming reindeer sausages, bear steak, muktuk, and other main courses, you should end your meal with either of the following meal cappers.
Sweet Alaskan Delights
1. Baked Alaska
No, Alaska is covered in snow and is constantly blown by sharp, cold winds. I’m talking about a dessert made of sponge cake and ice cream and topped with meringue. Alaskan chefs swap different varieties and quantities of the three ingredients to create endless versions of baked Alaska. But the magic lies not in its wonderful taste but its texture. The cake is baked and warm, but the ice cream is still frozen called inside. How did they do that?
If you want a little more fun, cover your serving with rum then set it on fire to slightly roast the cake. This version is called Bombe Alaska.
2. Wild Berry Cobbler
While you may think that Alaska is a vast frozen tract of land, it is actually the home to a variety of tasty, sweet, exotic wild berries such as mossberies, lingonberries, and samonberries. Of course, you can always opt for the more common raspberries, blueberries, and black berries.
A handful of these wild berries are added on a freshly baked cobbler, a filling made of either fruit or savoury ingredients. The cobbler is then poured in a biscuit, batter, or pie crust then slowly baked for an hour. The result is a warm, sumptuous dessert that will surely tickle your palate.
3. Agutuk or Akutaq
Never leave an Alaskan dinner without capping it off with the traditional but seemingly unpalatable dessert. The Alaskan agutuk is food for the brave; it is basically a blend of seal oil, reindeer fat, snow, and berries. Everything is then whipped up until they reach a foamy consistency. Originally, the dessert is considered as survival food. However, it found its way to restaurants and is now considered an indispensable part of Alaskan cuisine.
Oh, by the way, the recipe used for the preparation of your agutuk may have been passed down from generation to generation.
4. Alaskan Strawberries Romanoff Pudding
The inclusion of the word “Romanoff” signifies one thing; it has a Russian origin, which obviously makes this dessert really special. This lovely dessert is a delightful blend of cream topped with sugar and strawberries. It’s simple but absolutely wonderful.
Is your mouth watering now? Treat that urge with these Alaskan delights.
You probably have several recipes in your home. You may have compiled old recipe cards from grandma, cut out free recipes from corn flake packages, bought a thick recipe book from the bookstore, or clipped recipes from a food magazine. All these recipes show promise of sumptuous meals.
As you go through the recipe, you may infer that it is quite simple, and you can prepare the dish with no problem at all. In reality, however, people experience frustration when they realise all too late that they messed up the recipe. Let’s enumerate just some of the problems: wrong measurements, too much salt or pepper, too little water, meat burned to a crisp, soggy vegetables, no alternative ingredient—well, you get the idea.
Make your dish perfect, save yourself from frustration, and don’t waste your hard-earned money by using these tricks:
Secrets to a Perfectly Made Recipe
* Ask any professional chef about the secret of a perfect recipe, and they would say that it all lies on the quality of the ingredients. Make sure that your ingredients should be of superior quality. For instance, fruits should be brought in season. Fish should smell of the sea without a hint of stink, and its scales should still firmly attached to the skin. Poultry and cattle meat should have a neutral smell. Vegetables must be crisp and show no blemishes.
* Do not attempt a recipe without reading it several times. Go through the recipe at least twice so that you’ll truly understand and visualise the process.
* Prepare your ingredients (with exact measurements) as stated in the recipe. If the recipe calls for half a cup of minced onions, for instance, have your onions minced and placed in a measuring cup. Doing so cuts your preparation time and ensures that you have the right ingredients at the right measurements at the right time.
* Have the right equipment and tools at hand. For instance, if the recipe calls for a wok, then use a wok. Do not substitute an iron pot for it. Remember that the two cooking vessels are made for different purposes, and they conduct and distribute heat very differently from each other.
* Many recipes, especially those that involve baking, involve exact temperatures and cooking times. Accurately monitor the temperature and cooking time by having a cooking thermometer nearby and hanging a clock on the wall, respectively.
* Keep your utensils clean. Dirty utensils not only taint the food but the bits of food left in them can taint your recipe’s taste.
* A world about salt: it is better to add too little than too much. It’s more difficult to rectify a recipe that has become salty and unpalatable due to the addition of too much salt. Also remember that salt is supposed to enhance the flavour of food, thus, add salt while the dish is cooking. If you add it after or at the last stage of cooking, your dish will be left with one impression: salty.
Cook away those well-loved recipes to perfection with these tips.
It has been said that Alaska is the United States’ last frontier. And being the last frontier, the region offers non-mainstream cuisine that is more than meets the eye—more aptly, mouth. Reflecting the characteristics of the region and people that gave birth to it, Alaskan cuisine is truly wild, truly a culinary adventure waiting to be experienced.
When you’re visiting US’s last frontier, make sure to sample these specialities. I’m pretty sure that you’ll definitely wake up to a new culinary adventure:
Poor Rudolph, he just ended up in someone’s plate. Try reindeer steak when visiting Anchorage and other towns in Alaska. Not only is the meat tasty, it is actually leaner and healthier than chicken, beef, or pork. Alaskans usually combine berries, herbs, and vegetables with the meat to make it even more delicious.
Reindeer meat is also processed to make sausages. A popular version is to fry these sausages, serve them with buttermilk pancakes, then drench the entire dish with thick maple syrup. Yummy!
Considered as an exotic dish, bear meat is not commercially available. You need to go to a hunter’s abode during hunting season and ask for a taste. Bear meat is very delicious, even more than the finest steak. If you have a chance to sample it, then don’t miss the opportunity to do so.
Whaling has been a part of Alaskan culture, particulary that of the Chukchi and the Eskimo. Whales provide oil, batten, and, of course, food to these people.
Muktuk is the skin and blubber of the Bowhead whale. The chunks are frozen and eaten raw. The dish tastes like strong cheese with a nutty flavour, and it is often called as the sushi of Alaska.
This dish is sometimes called the traditional ice cream of Alaska. What is it made of? Well, it’s a foamy brew of reindeer fat, seal oil, berries, and fresh snow. Locals often make variations of the Akutaq, using different vegetables, herbs, and sugar. Reading this, you may believe that the akutaq disgusting; but believe me, it tastes real good!
5. Ahi Poke
The last thing you’ll expect in chilly Alaska is a colourful dish that resembles Hawaiian fruit salad. Well, this dish is called Ahi Poke. It consists of raw fish that is garnished with vegetables and fruits that provide resemblances to Hawaiian flavours. Bring the tropics to Alaska by sampling this delightful dish.
6. King Crab
The Alaskan Bering Sea is home to the rare and hard-to-catch King Crab. So, while you are in Alaska, make sure to sample it. King crab has very soft meat, and you can enjoy such the dish with an accompaniment of homemade butter and roasted potatoes.
Taste the wild. Taste traditional Alaskan cuisine today.
Fried chicken, pork, beef, or fish that is fried right doesn’t taste greasy. It would seem almost impossible since frying involves greasy, slippery oil. In addition, many health-food advocates encourage people to stay away from fried dishes since these are supposed to be unhealthy and high in cholesterol. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Fried dishes are some of the healthiest food around; you just need to do it right.
Here are some tips on frying food, follow these and your gourmet dishes will come out perfect and tasty:
Secrets of Frying
* Check the oil you’re using.
The oil should be fresh, clean, and clear. Do not use used oil because your meal will be infused with unwanted flavours from the previous foodstuff that was being cooked in that oil. Also, stay away from oil that has specks of burned particles; the particles can discolour and taint the food.
Vegetable oil is highly recommended for frying. It is clean, healthy, and tasteless, which allows the natural flavour of the foodstuff to dominate your palate.
* Keep the oil’s temperature constant.
Keeping the oil constantly hot is the key to having a greaseless meal. In fact, properly fried food items actually have very little oil in them if they’re fried at the right temperature.
Oil should be kept at a temperature between 325 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit; you can determine the right temperature by using a thermometer. Below that and the food starts to absorb more oil. Also, you will know that the oil is too hot if smoke starts to appear.
* Seal in the food’s moisture.
Much of the food’s flavour comes from the moisture within it. The food’s natural moisture is water-based, and since oil and water don’t mix, the moisture actually creates a “shield” against the oil around it. To even better seal and protect the foodstuff’s natural moisture, chefs recommend that you coat the food with a simple batter or crispy bread crumbs.
* Cook in small batches.
Do not overload your cooking vessel with foodstuff. If you do so, the oil’s temperature will drop, and that will result to oily, greasy tasting food. Fry food in small batches, aiming to have half an inch of space between individual pieces of food, to maintain the hot temperature.
* Use paper towels.
Use a slotted spoon to take the food out of the cooking vessel to drain the oil. Then place the foodstuff on paper towels for a few minutes. This allows the towels to soak up the excess oil before serving the meal to your guests.
There you have it. By following these tips, you’ll have your guests and diners waiting in anticipation for your sumptuous, non-greasy, and healthy fried food. Bon apetite!
Alaska, British Columbia, and the Yukon region are the domain of the indigenous Tlingit people. And being near the sea, these people have developed delectable, unique cuisine that is based on seafood. The sea holds countless bounty, so much so that the Tlingit people created sayings that reflect the abundance of seafood. So don’t be surprised when locals tell you that “when the tide goes out, the table is set” or “you have to be an idiot to starve.” Indeed, seafood such as shellfish, molluscs, crabs, and urchins can be readily harvested on the beaches; they call this “beach food.” Beach food is normally cooked by boiling or through an open fire.
No Beach Food?
Strangely though, the Tlingit once considered people eating nothing but “beach food” as poverty-stricken although such food can offer a relatively healthy and varied diet. In fact, in the old times, shamans and their families abstained from eating food that is harvested from the beach, believing that such “poor” food can weaken them physically, mentally, and spiritually. Of course, in these contemporary times, most locals have discarded that tradition.
Balancing the Tlingit Diet
The Tlingit consumes vast amounts of protein and iodine from saltwater life. However, essential nutrients such as vitamins and calcium are lacking in the meat of fish and other sea creatures. Thus, the Tlingit consume almost all parts of the sea life they harvest to extract these nutrients. For instance, chefs boil fish bones to create stock that is rich in calcium. Livers are cooked and eaten to obtain Vitamin A. Dishes made of stomachs and intestines are prepared; they are rich in Vitamin E and B. Vitamin C is obtained from berries, wild crab apples, and other edible plants that grow near the shore.
The Tlingit are also seafarers and hunters. Thus, aside from fish, they also consume meat from seals and dolphins. Unlike most other indigenous people in the North Pacific, however, the Tlingit do not hunt or eat whales. That’s because they believe whales carry the spirits of deceased loved ones, and eating whales is considered cannibalism.
Aside from Beach Food
As transportation and communication improved in the Alaskan region, the Tlingit were introduced to foodstuff from the outside world. In most cases, they eat imported staples such as packaged beef, pork, chicken, and dairy. Canned or packed cattle products are highly priced since most types of cattle cannot survive in the harsh Alaskan climate.
Beyond the Sea
The wilderness beyond the sea provides the Tlingits an abundance of game food. In moderation, Tlingit hunt for rabbits, beavers, mountain goats, Sitka deer, and even the occasional black bear for meat.
If you are in Alaska or in the Yukon area, try to befriend and visit a Tlingit. For sure, his family will prepare you a delectable, traditional, and unique meal that you can aptly call a dish of the wild.