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Archives for June2016

The Cooking Crew!

Rice Cookers 1Rice is a staple food in many cultures, and it one of the most versatile foods to prepare meals with. For the kitchen connoisseur, it is a fun and challenging food to experiment with. You can add spices, herbs, vegetables and even fruit to make a unique and mouth-watering dish.

Rice can be tricky to cook though. Although minute rice is quick, it can turn out clumpy and sticky. Brown rice is among the healthiest but it can take more than 30 minutes to cook, and it can also turn out clumpy and sticky. So what’s the answer? A rice cooker of course! If you eat a lot of rice and like to experiment with flavors, this small appliance could become your best friend in the kitchen.

There are several types of rice cookers on the market today and each comes with its own set of diverse features. Here are just a few brands to consider if you’re in the market for a good quality product.

BUFFALO Smart Cooker New Generation: This is a versatile product that not only does rice, but oatmeal, soup, porridge and other foods as well. You may well find yourself using this small appliance more than your stove! Some of the features include a multi-layered stainless steel insert (easy to clean), intelligent control panel, and a 24-hour pre-set time. There are settings for both brown and white rice (including varieties such as basmati), quick cook, porridge, bake, stew and soup.

Instant Pot IP-LUX60 6-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker, 6-Quart 1000-Watt: This 6-in-1 multi-functional pressure cooker allows for quick and easy cooking. Features include a large control panel with several settings include an automatic keep warm function, and 3 temperature settings that allow you for slow cook and browning options. It also has a delay cook function of up to 24 hours. That means you can put your ingredients in before you go to work, have the cooker turned on at a certain time, then come home to fragrant rice or soup!

As to which pressure cooker you should choose, it really comes down to how much you are going to use (like most anything else!). It will also depend on the types of foods you are going to use it for; just rice, or a variety of soups, stews and porridge? Of course, there are other varieties of cookers on the market, and you will have to do your own research to decide which one suits you best. Ask friends and family with pressure cookers what they like and don’t like about theirs. Consider your own needs and then make an informed decision of which one to choose. Never choose based on price alone – consider other factors like features, ease of use and safety measures.

I need to reduce my excess weight gained due to my unhealthy lifestyle

I need to reduce my excess weight gained due to my unhealthy lifestyle

I am not happy with my lifestyle. I am slowly becoming a fat slob and I hate it. I have never been like this before and I need to do something to get me back to my former self.

Paradoxically, things actually became good for me before I slid into my pathetic lifestyle. I got my dream job with a great pay and soon after I fell in love with a beautiful woman, the woman of my dreams; then I became fat.

I am a very talented programmer. I noticed my talent early and concentrated on it. After completing college, I joined a small firm where I was not happy since the company could not offer me the great challenge I needed to match my talents. However, my skills shone through and I was employed by a multinational gaming company. My dream came true. The pay was much more than I had ever expected and I was suddenly a rich guy. I vowed to work hard to repay the trust that the company had been bestowed on me.

Before I had started working for my current employee I had been a very active guy. I was always out engaging in some sports, parties, and all kinds of recreational stuff. I had a group of friends whom we loved to do all kinds of sporty stuff with. I remember we would spend weekends going off to camping trips where we would hike across great distances. At times we would go on kayaking trips on the country’s coastal waters or engage in river kayaking competitions. Whenever we were broke and could not afford an extensive trip, we would grab our bikes and go for long rides across the country.

These activities ensured that I always had a trim physique. Furthermore, during this time I did not eat much. I often cooked light food while at home or ate the light food prepared at the kitchen at the firm where I previously worked.

Fortunately or unfortunately my current job is very exciting and I love it very much. I love it so much that I devote almost all my time to it. Most of the weekends I am working and I am often working late into the night. As such, I can no longer have the crazy time with my friends. Then there is my wife.

My eating habits have greatly changed since I got married. My wife lovingly cooks lots of tasty food for me which she insists I must eat. We are also often out having dinner at sumptuous restaurants thanks to my big salary. The rich restaurant deserts, my wife’s generous food portions, plus my inactivity have led to a distinct transformation on my belly and waistline.

I need to do something about this excess weight and my lifestyle. I need to go back to working out. Unfortunately I cannot join my friends on the weekend-long escapades that include sports such as sea kayaking or cycling. I am seriously thinking of joining a gym where I can have a few hours every now and then to work off some calories.

I need to reduce my excess weight gained due to my unhealthy lifestyle Credit Picture License: Twitter 365 – Ft Yotsuba [009] via photopin cc

Investing on a kayak resort on our inland ancestral land

Investing on a kayak resort on our inland ancestral land

I live on the flat lands of the country close to the ocean. Our ancestral land is a huge chunk of land that runs a few miles along a huge river that slowly empties its waters into the sea a few miles off. My great-great grandfather had been the first settler in these regions and he had taken up this land primarily to control trade from the natives who would bring loads of farm produce, game meat, ornaments, precious stones, and skins from the inland.

The trade had made my grandfather grow very wealthy and he had been able to start other businesses which eventually led to the growth of my hometown. Other businessmen and farmers came to the region and contributed to the growth of the town. My great grandfather took over the river trading business from my great – great grandfather although he was now dealing with more civilized people. The other inland business continued to boom as well.

When the railway line was built much of the river transport business came to a halt since most merchants then preferred to ship their cargo on the rail. My grandfather therefore saw the business dwindling and decided to start farming on the expansive estate instead. The estate was quite fertile and with the abundant water from the river, we were able to get much profit from the land. My father inherited the business and is doing quite well with the business. He is a natural farmer and he is able to always to manage the land to produce great harvests.

Growing up, I know that I am destined to inherit this business. It is a profitable business but I am thinking that the river can also be used in other profitable ways. The river is a massive water channel about a mile long with slow moving waters.

I am particularly thinking of introducing a recreational resort where people can come and kayak on the sluggish river waters. Kayaking is a famous activity in the country especially along the beaches. I am thinking that the spot could also get a lot of revenue from fishing activities.

This mighty river running parallel to our farm is filled with all kinds of fish. Fishing was the main activity that the river became famous for after the legendary river trade died off. Lots of fish can be found on the river but there are not many ideal spots for recreational fishing, especially since most of the land on either side is privately owned and not many of the land owners are willing to open up their land to the public.

Our land is however conveniently located. We are bordered by the highway on one side and the river on the other side. I am sure that we can spare a portion of the land for a recreation haven. From my financial projections, I am confident that the venture would rake in much more profits than the farming.

Apart from hiring out kayaks to tourists, I plan to include river water sports such as kayak races, swimming, fishing competitions, and rowing competitions.

Investing on a kayak resort on our inland ancestral land Credit Picture License: North Alabama kayak fishing via photopin cc

Reasons why fishing using a kayak is so awesome

Reasons why fishing using a kayak is so awesome

Kayaks are increasingly becoming popular as recreational vessels. This is because they offer so many advantages. Kayaks help in keeping fit, they provide families with a great platform to enjoy time together, they provide a great environment for two people to bond together i.e. when kayaking in tandem, they provide one with a great opportunity to enjoy some tranquility, and they are also great vessels for fishing!

Kayaks were traditionally designed as hunting vessels. They were designed to have all the attributes of a predatory vessel. Today these attributes are being taken advantage of to use the kayak as a superior fishing watercraft.

Fishing is an activity that is the number one recreational pastime for many people. For many anglers, one of the things that makes the activity so appealing is the quiet serenity that one gets while out on the waters. While out on the fishing grounds, one is able to think clearly and meditate on things that are close to the heart without the interruptions and distractions of the modern day world.

A kayak helps amplify the awesomeness of this remote heaven due to its design as a vessel for a solitary person.

The kayak was traditionally designed to be used and managed by one person. Even today the best experience on the kayak is on kayaks designed for one person. You will have the optimum maneuverability experience when fishing alone on a kayak. It is easier for one person to maneuver a kayak than any other watercraft. A customary fishing boat would be cumbersome to handle when fishing alone. The design of the kayak provides an intimate fit with the pilot’s body. As such, when out on the water, you feel that you are one with the boat.

Due to the predatory design of the kayak, anglers find it a convenient vessel for fishing. Due to its narrow width, one can paddle across a given distance faster and with less effort. Its rounded hull also makes it easier to turn. These are important characteristics for a fisherman. At times while fishing you might want to rush to a particular spot on the water where there are more fish. You need speed; and if you need to turn in the process, you should be able to do so in speed.

Again due to their design, the kayaks are ideal fishing vessels because they are able to squeeze through places where other bulky vessels cannot pass through. For example, you might spot an opening among the mangrove roots where you can sail through on your kayak and enter a large protected cove where you will find many fish. Fish, like people, will often like to rest and stay in secluded places where there is least disturbance. Only a kayak can be able to get to these secluded places.

A kayak is able to sail over waters only six inches deep. Many watercrafts need much deeper waters. This factor gives the kayak a great advantage in venturing into uncharted waters.

Kayaks are today designed to include many fishing accessories that make fishing a comfortable enjoyable activity for anglers.

Reasons why fishing using a kayak is so awesome Credit Picture License: Hobie_Fishing_Worlds_2014 via photopin cc

Kayak the perfect recreational vessel for the adventurous at heart

Kayak the perfect recreational vessel for the adventurous at heart

Kayaking is a great pastime. I love kayaking when I am out on vacation since it provides many advantages. One of the main reasons that I love kayaking is that I am able to enjoy a mutual activity with my wife while kayaking in tandem. Kayaking helps me to exercise my body, I am able to watch marine natural attractions, I am able to get a sun tan, I can enjoy the breeze and fresh air, and I can also fish from the comforts of a kayak.

There are several factors that make kayaks stand out above other watercrafts when it comes to its adaptability and conduciveness to adventurous activities.

Kayaks are made for easy maneuverability – Kayaks are vessels that were originally made by the Inuit people of Greenland. The Inuit are a people who greatly depend on water and its resources for survival. The waters that are accessible to them are however not very accommodating waters. The seas around Greenland are icy cold and often there are storms and gales that make them quite dangerous.

As such the Inuit people had to come up with vessels that could counter this problems.

Kayaks are also designed such that they can be easily steered in all kinds of sea conditions. Unlike other boats, the kayak is made to intimately conform to the body of the pilot. As such the pilot can use the body to steer the boat. The kayak is one of the few crafts where the solo pilot can readjust the capsized kayak and continue sailing.

The shape of the kayak is also such that there is less resistance while paddling forward, backwards, or while turning. Kayaks are also very stable in rough waters due to their U shaped hull.

Kayaks are designed for solo exploits – Kayaks were made as personal vessels. The traditional kayak was made to fit precise specifications of the owner. Many watercrafts are designed to be used by more than one person. Although some can be managed by one person, they cannot provide optimum performances when being handled by one person. For example a customary boat is more cumbersome to handle for one person than for two or more people.

This is the reason why many extreme individual water sports are performed using kayaks. A single person can get more speed and maneuverability while using a kayak than when using a customary boat.

Kayaks are better designed for easy portability The kayak is not a heavy or very large. The vessel has an average length of 8-15 feet. The weight can vary depending on the materials used to make it although much consideration is given to weight during the designing to ensure that the vessel is not too heavy. This makes the kayak ideal for carrying when going to different kayaking sites. Many kayaks have weights that can be easily managed by a single person.

Inflatable kayaks are available. These are kayaks that can be deflated and folded into a very small bundle that can be carried in a normal sized bag. Some of the rigid kayaks are made such that they can be folded or snapped into two or three smaller parts that are easier to carry around.

Kayak the perfect recreational vessel for the adventurous at heart Credit Picture License: Kayaking at Wyalusing via photopin cc

Safety kayaking tips for novices heading out to open waters

Safety kayaking tips for novices heading out to open waters

Despite kayaking being such a great pastime, it also has some risks. Below are some of the safety tips that one should consider before taking on the open waters on a kayak.

Learn some basics about kayaking: This goes without saying. Before going out into the open waters, you need to know the basics about kayaking. Learn the safety rules and get familiar with some self-rescue techniques.

Do you know how to swim: This is very important, not only when kayaking but when using any watercraft. There is always the danger of capsizing or falling into the water. The question of whether you know how to swim or not is not only relevant to you but also to those around you so that they would know how to react when you fall into the water.

Always wear a life jacket: Whether you are an expert swimmer or not, you should always wear a lifejacket when kayaking. This is especially important when kayaking on rough waters such as when whitewater kayaking. Life jackets may not give one that sexy cool look, but they can definitely save your life.

Always confirm the weather conditions before heading out: Weather is quite unpredictable, especially if you are going kayaking out in the ocean or seas. You do not want to be caught by a storm while out in the middle of the sea.

You also need to be aware of the possible changes in the temperature. It might suddenly get cold or hot. As such, you need to be armed with the appropriate clothes. Get a wet or dry suit for wet or cold conditions and in case the sun gets too hot, you might need to wear a long sleeved shirt and some protective headgear. You might also need to pack sunscreen for the skin.

Always follow the kayaking rules: This cannot be stressed enough. You have to adhere to the set rules; this includes observing the weight limits of your kayak, and ensuring that you have all the necessary safety gear on board.

You also need to follow the rules set for the given area you are going to tour. This is especially important if you are going to fish or camp.

Go out with someone: Having a companion or companions while out kayaking is pretty important. Anything might happen while you are out at sea. You might lose your compass or GPS in a storm and lose your directional bearing while out in the middle of the sea. In such a case a companion might help out with theirs. You could also fall sick while out kayaking, a companion will help you out. In case of an accident, you will also have someone to help you out.

Inform someone of your plans: This is especially important if you cannot get someone to go out kayaking with you. You then need to inform someone of your plans. Tell them how long you will be gone and what areas you will be touring.

This is also important when going out as a group. Let someone know how many people you are, what areas you will be in and what you will be doing.

Safety kayaking tips for novices heading out to open waters Credit Picture License: Cab over water via photopin cc

Love born aboard bobbing kayaks on rough sea waters

Love born aboard bobbing kayaks on rough sea waters

My wife and I are not only the best of friends, we are also a great team together. We have not been together for very long, just about five years. Our relationship begun when we met on a kayaking trip in the sea waters of our beach town.

We had never met her before. Kayaking helped us get together. I had been visiting the sea waters regularly during the weekends and I had got to know the waters along the beach pretty well. I had also got to know the recreational kayakers who frequented the sea waters.

When Sara came to live in the city after she got employed by a local company, she had been quite lonely especially since she did not have any person whom she was acquitted with in the town. At first she had spent some time with co-workers who were kind enough to show her around. Soon she however realized that most were drab and most of the time all they did was gossip about other people in the workplace. Her spirit was more adventurous than this.

On a tour of the beach, she had notices the kayaks and had figured that it could be fun going out on one. Her wild spirit led her to hire an old town vapor 10 kayak without any previous experience of kayaking. At least she had an eye for a good kayak. The old town vapor is relatively stable, safe, and maneuverable for a novice. It also provides a lot of room while still offering a lot of protection from the surf.

Getting on board was not a problem for Sara. She was also quite fast in learning how to use the paddles. Soon she was out into the open waters. Unfortunately for Sara, that day the sea was not very calm and it was a bit choppy. Paddling could be a bit tricky for a novice in such conditions.

Being familiar with most kayaking regulars on that coastline, I quickly identified Sara as a newcomer. I also quickly realized that she was not very experienced as she was clearly struggling against the tide. Her paddling was directly perpendicular to the tide and her kayak was just bobbing up and down without moving despite her enthusiastic paddling. Being inexperienced, she probably thought she was moving forwards due to the relative motion of the sea waves.

I approached her on my sit on kayak which I was paddling while standing. I was quite an experienced kayaker. I figured it wouldn’t hurt a bit showing off to the pretty blond having a hard time with her kayak.

Seeing me approach for a distance, Sara at first made like she was not interested, but when I got close and saluted her, she had to respond. I gave her my best smile as I went on to tell her that I realized she was new to the waters. When I explained that she was paddling wrong, she was clearly embarrassed and I could see her blush.

“How is it done?” were the first words I heard from her beautiful mouth. The first words that initiated our passionate enduring relationship that seems to go stronger each day.

Love born aboard bobbing kayaks on rough sea waters Credit Picture License: Sermenzina via photopin cc

Principles of proper sea kayaking & camping

Principles of proper sea kayaking & camping

Kayaking is today a popular recreational activity. Many people are opting to choose recreation sites that provide kayaking facilities due to the many advantages that kayaking provides. A recreation activity that is especially popular is sea kayaking. This is where an individual or a group of people go kayaking on the seas or ocean. Sea kayaking includes hiking and camping along the shore.

Below are some principles that sea kayakers should adhere to so as to ensure that they leave the environment clean and disturbed (leave no trace). These principles ensure that the kayakers will also respect other visitors.

Be ready to share the natural resources and be considerate of others: When out in the open seas or on the shores, it is important to consider the welfare of the other visitors in the vicinity. Try to share space reasonably. For example, it would be only reasonable to let the bigger groups to camp on more spacious beaches and the smaller groups to take smaller camping sites.

It is also good if a group of kayakers can stay as a group rather than be scattered around a large area. This helps give other groups more space and freedom. Bright clothes are ideal when sea kayaking since they help other people to quickly identify you, especially those with motorized watercrafts.

Lastly, groups should try not to make any loud noises. Many people go out into the seas in search of quite, let’s not deny them nature’s tranquility. Noise might also disturb the sea creatures.

Manage your waste appropriately: While out sea kayaking, we are apt to have some waste. This could be waste from food that we had carried such as bones, it could be in form of food wrappers or food containers, it could be the packaging of gadgets such as fishing equipment, or it could be human waste. All this waste should be disposed properly.

All trash that you might have or that you might come across should be packed back and disposed in the proper disposals in the mainland. Human waste should also be packed off. Peeing should only be done on durable surfaces i.e. on gravel, rock, grass, or compact sand. Game entrails should not be deposited in fresh water. However, they can be disposed back into the ocean. If you are kayaking on fresh water, the entrails can be buried some distance away from the water body.

Camp on durable surfaces: When camping after a day of sea kayaking, it is important that a group chooses to camp on established campsites. This is an area that has a stable ground of sand, gravel, rock, or sand. Vegetation should be avoided since the more the vegetation is trampled, the more the established site gets enlarged. Vegetation on dunes should also not be interfered with since it helps to hold the dune in place.

For safety reasons while out sea kayaking, it is important to have a tide map to know the point where the high tide reaches.

For the campfire, consider having a small fire that will minimize the risk of starting a wildfire. You might consider packing a lightweight camp stove for the trip which will also help avoid the need of using firewood.

Principles of proper sea kayaking & camping Credit Picture License: Cullercoats Bike and Kayak via photopin cc

Going out on a kayak is my perfect way of relaxing and exercising

Going out on a kayak is my perfect way of relaxing and exercising

I love fishing. I like going out on the waters where it is quiet and calm and I can ran away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Living in the city at times make me feel like I have tones of pressure being applied on me. Therefore, whenever I can get a chance I to run off into the wild where I am alone with nature.

Being out in the wild is very refreshing for me. I love to breathe in the cool clear unpolluted air that is scented with natural aromas from aromatic flowers or from salty sea waters. Out in the wild I find that I am able to think more clearly and so I use this windows of opportunity to reflect on my life and to plan for my future. I find that going out on a fishing trip is one of the best ways to achieve this.

For a long time now I have been going fishing to a lake that is a few miles from the city. The lake is famous for its fish and calm waters. The lake is expansive and so there is no fear of being overcrowded by people or of overfishing. The lake is also managed by a governmental body that regulates the fishing, controls the traffic, and carefully screens the people before and after they go into the lake to ensure that the set regulations are adhered to so as to protect the fish and their habitat.

When I first discovered the lake I would go out with a few friends who also shared my passion for fishing. I still go out with them to fish although many times nowadays I prefer to go alone. I like the peace and quiet that allows me to meditate in tranquility.

During my solo escapades, I have learnt to use the kayak for fishing instead of the customary boat. At first, I had been apprehensive about using the kayak but after trying it I found it to be an awesome vessel.

A kayak is more ideal to a solo pilot due to its maneuverability. One can use the body to steer to steer the vessel. It is much smaller and hence one can move faster. I also like the comfortable reclining seat found in the kayak. One can change the position of the seat whenever they want to change the sitting posture.

Compared to the traditional sit-in kayak, I like the sit-on-top kayak because it allows me the option of standing on the kayak. This is not possible with the sit in kayak. Sit on top kayaks can also allow me to move around freely while enjoying the full effects of the sun on my entire body. Sit on top kayaks are designed such that they can accommodate a pet comfortably. Unfortunately the authorities at the lake where I fish do not permit pets on the waters.

There are times when I go to the lake not necessarily to fish but to exercise my body. I usually walk all the way to work in the morning and in the evening but I find that this does not help me exercise all my body muscles. Kayaking is a good way of working out my other body muscles.

Going out on a kayak is my perfect way of relaxing and exercising Credit Picture License: Sermenzina via photopin cc