Back to Basics Cooking, Baking & Grilling

keeping your area clean while you cook is a chore in its self. My husband always laughs about the after math when I'm done baking. Here are some helpful ways to improve on making less of a mess in the first place. Use a bowl for your scraps and garbage as you go saving you time running to the trash making you more efficient. Using a thin flexible mat for your cutting board makes transferring vegetables to your pot much easier, by using the flexible mat as a funnel.

Getting into the habit of using a splatter screen when sauteing or shallow frying will save you a lot of time on your clean-up later. Measuring ingredients and using cooking spray over the sink will keep messes confined to an easy to clean area. Keeping a bottle of soapy water handy make it more likely that cleaning up as you go will become part of your cooking habits. Another tip is to cook more slowly. Be a deliberate in measuring, chopping and wiping between each step. but this is one tip I often do not follow my own advice, often trying to do to many task at one time.

With Spring just around the corner what better time than to take stock of what is in your pantry. Consolidate and organize and take note what you're low on. It is also a great time to check those expiration dates and dispose of any that expired. Make a list of items that you can stock in your pantry that will help make a meal quickly without a lot of planning. It is also a good time to add those family favorites.

Now that you have your pantry all organized it is time to turn your attention to the fridge. Do not be afraid to those bowls way in the back that have been forgotten about for weeks. It is a good time to check those condiments with cookouts just around the corner.

With everything clean and organized and Winter still here comfort food is the way to go. A pot of soup on the stove with grilled cheese sandwiches or a stew in the crockpot is the way to go. With Spring not too far away get those recipes out and start planning for fresh salads and garden vegetables. You will be amazed how time and clean-up will be and the fun of cooking, baking and grilling will not become a hard task but a lot of fun putting love in all the recipes for family and friends.

Article Branding is an Integral Technique to the Success of Your Product – Are You Doing it Right?

What does article branding do? It turns a common product into a unique and exciting buying opportunity. There are a number of things that branding builds upon: value, image, utility, quality and service. You must be prepared for an ever changing moody market that might drop you for something new and hot, Branding will help you overcome this, and set you up for sustainability.

Methods which are the keys to effective branding are as follows:

Your brands total value. This is the sum of all your branding. You want to optimize all branding techniques for as few advertising and research dollars as possible, which makes article marketing a great choice as it costs very little compared to other forms of branding.

Your product has to stand out. Differentiate your product. This is very important! How is it different and better than your competitors? Why do this? You want your product to stand-out in peoples memory. Some brilliant product Key stones can help here, like this pizza ad: “delivered hot to your door in 30 minutes or get it free” . People remember this because it becomes a challenge. And they become emotionally involved in the product.

Customer relationship: the customer must have confidence in the quality of your product, which in their eyes is far better than your competitors. They will feel that nothing can truly compete with the features of your product.

Article branding is perfect choice to do all of the above. If the market likes what it see in a brand, there is know doubt that it will lead to increased sales and will allow you to brand a second cup to sell to your customers.

But beware once you have branded your product, it is almost impossible to change this. So do it right, or you will go bankrupt.

This is where the power of the Internet and article branding comes into power: problem, how will the market respond to a brand? This is not an exact science. This will involve market research and doing this online is almost instantaneous, as you can test the waters by writing a few articles to see how people react to your branding, or post at the forums to see what their reactions might be.

First thing you have to know is what are your company’s goals? Your branding should be lined up with those goals. My tip: if you want to succeed at article branding go to the professionals in this field:

Special Gifts for the Groom

Sometimes with all the planning, decorations, and thought that goes into your wedding ceremony and reception you can just get cooked up and lost in everything that you have to do. The one important thing to remember is that this day is still supposedly to be centered on you, the bride and groom. So, no matter what obstacles you hit as far as planning things like guest lists, invitations, wedding favors, and decorations you need to make sure that you are still thinking about your perfect and ideal wedding reception with all of your dreams coming true and being discovered in the celebration. Great ways to do this are by using them weddings, by incorporating your personality, and just giving it your all.

However, sometimes you just need to full out pamper yourself or your spouse. Or maybe you are a special friend looking for a great gift that you can give to the brand new couple. If you are that person then you have to think about the most unique gifts out there, just like the bride and groom had to do to choose your wedding favors and all the wonderful decorations that they presented you with. But I bet you will not object since you are close enough to think about getting a unique present to begin with. Well, let's start with the groom. You have to think about what the groom would like, so that means taking into consideration everything that they like and what makes them feel comfortable, relaxed, and happy.

If you do that then you will really be able to choose the perfect gift that they will appreciate maybe more than anything else. In addition to these amazing gift ideas that you can come up with, you should also remember to consider the sort of whimsical and unique gifts that you can find to make them smile and laugh along with you. Here are a couple examples of gifts for the groom that combined everything you need to think about when you are trying to choose a fantastic present.

Screen Tees:

These cotton tee shirts are really great to give as gifts because they are simple but they are sure to put a smile on someone's face when they open it up. The black tee shirt has the bold word "Groom" written in white so that it really stands out against the background. Depending on who you are getting this for, you can get it to say "groom", "best man", "father of the groom" or even "groomsman". This makes this a truly versatile present that you can use to put a smile on the face of any person you choose to give it to.

Men 'Sunshine Flip Flops:

These flip flops are a great gift for your groom who is about to go on a long, relaxing honeymoon. The flip flops feature the phrase "she loves me" and offer a great way to feel the beach atmosphere on your honeymoon and really just get into the sand.

Displaying Photography on the Web

Getting Started:

When deciding to display your photography online, there are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account as presenting imagery on the web. What I will cover today is image scan quality, the dimensional size of the image, and the impact of image file formats.

Image Scan Quality:

Resolution is the image quality measured in terms of how many pixels make up your image. It is commonly referred to as “ppi”; (pixels per inch). One of the common dilemmas when scanning photo transparencies to digitize them for use on a person’s website is how detailed of a scan do you need to provide your webmaster to post your imagery online. I’m going to sidestep the issue of image copyright concerns for the time being as I’ll cover that in an upcoming article on its own. However, because your images are to be viewed on a screen, all web graphics should be no larger than 72 ppi and thus anything higher has no improved effect, and only creates longer download times. This will also reduce what an individual could do with the image file if they had alternate motives.

Image Dimension Size:

Pixels are the unit of measurement for the screen and most webmasters design a website to fit one of the standard display sizes. Based on statistics that can be looked up on the internet, we have found that most people today have their monitor’s set to display at least 1024 x 768, if not larger.

Why this is important, is that if your scan dimensions in Adobe Photoshop say that the image is 8.5 inches by 11 inches, saving the file at those dimension will not allow a user at 1024 pixels by 768 pixels to see the image in its full presentation without scrolling both vertically and horizontally. Adobe Photoshop provides the ability to resize the image to a size that will fit within your website design. As an added bonus, it will also reduce the download size of the image that the view of the image will experience without losing image quality. This is something that you will need to work with your webmaster to come up the proper tradeoff between file size and the presentation size of the image in your portfolio. It is important to realize that not everyone has broadband connections, so thumbnails are very much appreciated by those who use dialup connections. One thing I would recommend is to come up with standard dimension sizes for your horizontal, vertical, panoramic and thumbnails and stick to them as it will make your life, and your webmaster’s much easier.

Image File Format:

There are two types of color that can be used in Web graphics. The colors can be associated with the Web graphic file formats we just mentioned: GIF and JPG.

GIF:

GIF is short for Graphics Interchange Format and consists of the 216 common colors found on all computer monitors and within all Web browsers. These common colors reside in a Web palette and its advantages are that it is supported by practically all web browsers, can include transparent backgrounds, supports interlacing (providing a low-resolution preview of the graphic to the viewer while it downloads), and can be used as an image map (allowing the viewer to click on the graphic as they would a regular link to another site).

JPEG:

JPEG is short for Joint Photographers Experts Group and is superior in rendering color and detail found in photographs or graphics using blends, gradients, and other tonal variations. JPEG files use red, green, and blue (RGB) for graphical color. The strength of these colors is set in from zero to 255 with zero being the least intensity and 255 being the highest intensity. When red, green and blue are combined at zero intensity the result is black. At full strength, high intensity, where the values are set at 255, 255, 255, the result is pure white. As a photographer, it is important to utilize photographs as much as we can within your Web portfolio to present your work in the best possible quality so that it captures the true spirit of the subject work.

Choosing between the two image formats:

These full color images should not be saved as GIF files because of the limited number of colors. By having limited colors, the full color image will represent the true colors using the existing Web palette of 216 colors and will create a poor, dithered, and ugly image. That is why it is very important to use the right file format for each specific graphic. Sometimes it’s obvious that a graphic on someone’s web page was saved in the wrong file format. Photos may look too grainy, or flat-color images may look too fuzzy. When selecting GIF or JPEG for your graphics conversion, it is important to consider the type of image you will be working with. Use a GIF format if you’re graphic consists primarily of line art or flat colors without gradients. JPEG-converted graphics are best for photographs or images with fine tonal variations in colors, such as images with gradients or metallic images. Choosing the right file format is not only important for the quality, but for keeping your images file size to a minimum.

Summary:

With proper usage of image scan quality, the dimensional size of the image, and the correct image file format, you will be presenting your web portfolio in a manner that the rest of the world can fully enjoy your work.