Ideas for Giving High End Chocolate Gifts


High end chocolates are always a welcome gift for all occasions. Usually, these confections come in pretty or even downright elegant containers so if you do not have a lot of time, you can simply give your ballotin or little box of goodies directly without bothering to wrap it. However, there are ways to make chocolate gift-giving more creative, memorable and definitely more fun.


Themes for High End Chocolate Gifts

Birthdays are a good time to give chocolate as gifts. Again, you could settle for one of those boxes that come with their own ribbon so you wouldn’t even have to look for a special bag to put it in before giving it away. However, today it has become no trouble at all to order personalized truffles for a special friend. If you want to approach the idea of a birthday cake creatively, you could make one by piling bonbons neatly on a tray and leaving space in the middle for a candle to blow. You might also want to fill up a goblet with champagne truffles. Remember that with high end chocolate gifts, all you need is a little presentation.

Wedding anniversaries

Wedding anniversaries are merry occasions and if you have run out of ideas about gifts to give the celebrating couple, you can give them a dozen berries dipped in gourmet chocolate for them to feast on. Alternatively, you can give them their favorite high end chocolate bar wrapped in a personalized candy bar jacket complete with their picture. These jackets can be ordered online and delivered to your doorstep.


The Christmas season of course brings to mind all the stockings that you could fill with gifts and chocolate. If you want to go the extra mile, you can include some gourmet chocolate balls filled with pecan or nougat or cream. One globally popular chocolatier produces these chocolate delights in multi-colored Christmas wrappers. These would be a welcome gift for any home.


One candy maker devoted to fine chocolate suggests opening a drawer with a different chocolate offering on each Sunday in Advent then provides a long list of the creations available from their kitchens. Another producer of handmade chocolates offers a dozen Christmas foil wrapped creamy milk chocolate balls complete with metal cap so they can be hung on the tree and eaten during the season. Still another gourmet chocolatier promises a beautiful, edible decoration in the form of a delicious chocolate peppermint Christmas tree.

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is the day for giving high end chocolate gifts and finding chocolate will definitely not be a problem. However, a good way to up the ante for this occasion is to look for novel ways to present your gift. Instead of being satisfied with the usual box or heart that contains your chocolates, you could go for a big chocolate heart that opens to reveal bonbons nestled inside. You could change the packaging a bit and put half a dozen cherries dipped in gourmet chocolate inside a goblet. Or, you could wrap up a few bonbons in several pretty packages and put them in places around your house for the recipient to find at different times during the day.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are both good days for giving chocolate as gifts. Chocolate roses put together as a bouquet would surely warm any mother’s heart. There are also handmade gourmet chocolate pieces that remind everyone of the many chores mothers do while their children are growing up. These figures would include, among others, a rolling pin. Father’s Day chocolates include figures like golf irons and cigars. These can be ordered from gourmet shops that specialize in handmade chocolate.

There are countless opportunities for giving chocolate as gifts but regardless of the occasion, the rationale for giving chocolate remains the same: it is a way of spreading joy and letting people know that they mean a lot to you.

Finding Out if Electric Barbecue Grills Are Right for You


The electric grill is not as popular as the charcoal grill or the gas grill but owning one has some very significant advantages. For some barbecue aficionados, electric barbecue grills are the only choice because they live in places where the use of other types of grills is prohibited. There are others, however, who want to take a second look at electric grills to see if they provide benefits of their own.


The Healthier Option

Today’s consumer is bombarded daily with warnings about carcinogens in the air, in the water and in the food people take in and many know that grilling meat adds to these carcinogens. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, when meat is subjected to intense heat, muscle proteins react to form compounds known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs) which damage DNA and set the stage for cancer. In particular, HCA consumption has been linked to cancers of the stomach and the colon.

An electric barbecue grill allows its user better temperature control, ensuring that the heat does not spike as the grilling goes on. In addition, with an electric grill there are fewer flare-ups that produce smoke which give rise to the formation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

The More Environmentally Friendly Choice

Among all the grills, an electric grill is the most environmentally friendly choice. The Sierra Club and the Department of Energy estimate that the grilling done on the fourth of July alone can burn the equivalent of as many as 2,300 acres of forest thereby releasing 225,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air. Annually, more than fifty million people get their grills going on this day and if only fifty per cent use charcoal grills that would mean the consumption of more than twelve million containers of lighter fluid and twenty-five million bags of charcoal. If the same number of people use gas grills on July 4, that could mean pumping gas into the air from twenty five million propane tanks. Given these estimates, electric barbecue grills would be a greener choice for people who love their barbecue.

The More Practical Equipment

Cooks who do not have a whole lot of time to scrub and wipe after a barbecue might find that the electric grill just the right equipment for them. Electric grills are easier to clean up than a gas or a charcoal grill. For one thing, there is no fly ash to deal with and no dust to wipe from table tops or patio furniture. Another thing in its favor is that the heating element of an electric grill can be lifted out and cleaned in the kitchen sink. On the average, wiping out the interior of an electric grill is less troublesome. After the barbecue, this leaves a host more time to rest and bask in the memory of a successful gathering.

In addition to the easy clean up aspect, although electric grills take longer to heat up, they are easier to start because all you need to do is plug them in and set the desired temperature. There is no need to light up with fluid and no more waiting time to get rid of fumes.

The More Economical Alternative

In general, electric barbecue grills have fewer parts than other types of grills and this means fewer parts to maintain over the long haul. More importantly,  the cost of operating an electric grill is only a fraction of the cost of using a charcoal grill or a gas grill. With charcoal costing as much as ten dollars per ten-pound bag, and propane tanks costing as much as forty dollars to refill, the electric grill comes out a winner in terms of stretching the consumer’s dollar.

How to Choose from a Wide Variety of Barbecue Grills


Because there is nothing quite like the smell of food being barbecued, there is a constant demand for barbecue grills. If you are one of the consumers who is thinking of getting a grill, here are some pointers for you to consider before making your purchase.


The Type that’s Right for You

Think about which type of barbecue grill would work best for you. Today’s grills provide a wide range of choices depending on how they are fueled: gas, charcoal or electric. Gas grills can either be used with gas from your utility line or a propane tank. Make sure you know how convenient it would be to tap gas from your regular line and weigh this against the chore of refilling propane tanks. Gas grills cut down on the time you need to fire up and involve less post barbecue cleaning up. Therefore, if you are always on the go, a gas grill could be right for you. With a gas grill, you will have the distinctive smoke flavor that makes barbecued foods such a hit, but it will be milder than what you will get from old-fashioned charcoal grills.

Charcoal grills use briquettes as fuel and as a whole, cooking with this type of grill will entail more time and effort from its users than gas grills. Firing it up alone will take more than half an hour and there is considerably more cleaning up after. In addition, the over-all cost of purchasing briquettes will probably exceed the cost of the gas used for a barbecue. On the plus side however, nothing beats the flavor that one gets from a charcoal grill, which for many discerning barbecue diehards, is the only way to go.

A third basic type of grill that you may want to look into is the electric grill. Powered by electricity, this grill comes in two varieties: indoor and outdoor. If you live in an area where the use of gas or charcoal grills is prohibited, this is the grill for you. Take note though, that you will not be getting the delicious aroma that comes with the use of a gas or a charcoal grill.

The Capacity that Meets your Needs

Before you plunk down cash for your grill, you need to consider how big a grill you need seriously. How often will you be using the grill and how many people will you be cooking for? Count all the birthdays, outdoor picnics and gatherings you normally hold within the year and think of how many people you would need to prepare burgers, hotdogs, or steaks for. If you think you will have a crowd bigger than your family more than four times a year, you might want to consider a grill that will get everything done and still leave you time and energy to socialize. When you choose the size of your grill, think in terms its capacity to dispose of burgers or steaks. Barbecue grills that can do more than a dozen patties at a time should be sufficient for gatherings with fifteen to twenty people in attendance. If you need a grill only to cook for four to six people, then a smaller grill should do.

The Necessary Durability

It is reasonable to expect good years of service from your grill unless you are planning to buy one that is practically disposable. As a whole, although they are more expensive, grills with stainless steel or hard aluminum bodies are more durable than grills made of painted steel are. Look at the grate of the grill you are buying. If the grate is made of uncoated cast-iron, you will have to oil it after each use to prevent rust. After a good clean up, regardless of whether it is aluminum, stainless steel or painted steel, it would be wise to allow your grill to cool down and cover it when it is not in use. It would also be good to know ahead of time where you will station the grill during your cookouts and where you will store it in between parties. Remember that ensuring good storage should mean your grill could be used with ease and kept where it will not be damaged.

The Price that’s Right for You

Finally, before making your purchase, determine from the onset how much your ceiling is for barbecue grills then shop around and compare prices. If another member of the household is going to do most of the actual cooking, it would be wise to confer with that person before making a final choice. Buying a grill should be a happy, well-planned task that will allow you to bring home something that will give you and your family countless hours of fun.

A Barbecue Chicken Recipe to Make Your Day


Today, many people have changed their barbecue preference from burgers and beef to chicken because this is the lighter, supposedly healthier choice. Along with this growing interest in chicken barbecue comes a search for a recipe that will add excitement to the grill. Here’s one barbecue chicken recipe that will make your day! Served with an assortment of salads and cold drinks, this dish is a shoo-in for a happy meal!



Concocting the Sauce

Mix 1/3 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup ketchup and half a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce. Add 3 cloves of finely minced garlic, a dash of thyme, ground black pepper and the juice of one lime. Using a wire whisk, gradually add a third of a cup of vegetable oil. This helps keep your chicken moist while it is being grilled.

One of the reasons why this recipe is a good one to tuck into your kitchen notebook is that it lends itself to personal touches that will blend with the preferences of your household. For example, you can add a dash of Tabasco if you like your barbecue on the hot side and 3 tablespoons of honey if you like your chicken barbecue on the sweet side. To spice up your chicken, you might want to add a dash of cumin. To give it an Asian flavor, substitute sesame oil for the vegetable oil and soy sauce for the Worcestershire.

Preparing the Meat

The sauce you have prepared will be good for four large chicken breast halves or, depending on their size, eight to ten drumsticks. A combination of white and dark meat will work just as well. Cut up the meat into serving pieces and slash each piece lightly on the thickest part. Save a third of your sauce for basting as you grill then use the rest to marinate the meat for at least two hours in the refrigerator prior to grilling. You can remove the skin if you want a healthier barbecue. For a juicier end product, you may want to simply trim off the excess fat and some but not all of the skin.

If you want to adopt an Asian style barbecue chicken recipe, use boneless chicken breasts, flatten these to about a quarter inch then cut into one inch strips before marinating. You can shorten the marinating time if you grill strips instead of large pieces. Thread these with metal or wooden skewers. If you opt for bamboo skewers for a more Asian look, make sure you soak the skewers well so they do not burn. You might even want to venture into the exotic once in a while and add a pinch or two of curry to your sauce!

Grilling Your Chicken

An important thing to remember when grilling chicken is that it is always a challenge to make sure your chicken is totally cooked but not dry. Unlike beef, chicken should always be well done, never rare. To ensure this, prepare your grill carefully making sure it is not too hot. If you are using a charcoal grill, arrange the coals so that you have a relatively cooler spot for your chicken to cook slowly and thoroughly. Baste the pieces with the sauce and turn them frequently.

Putting a Feast Together

The regular version of this barbecue chicken recipe goes well with tortillas, cornbread or corn on the cob. If you have created an Asian flavored barbecue, you can serve your chicken with Java rice or white rice. On the side you can serve pickles made from ginger, papaya slivers or radish which are available in Asian stores. Go the extra mile and sprinkle sesame oil and sesame seeds before serving. As an accompaniment to your chicken, you can’t go wrong with grilled mushrooms, asparagus, peppers, and zucchini.

Depending on the special touches you have added to your chicken barbecue, you can make your meal truly festive. With this recipe, a little effort will go a long way towards creating a feast you can enjoy!

Best Air Compressor Nailer – A Small Review for Your Home Improvement Project

Hitachi 6 –Gallon 145 PSI

If you are on your way to build something for your home, a barbecue grill or something else fun a air nailer is an important tool for your project. Any person that has watched or used a nailer and stapler to tack wood pieces securely in place knows too well, how handy these instruments can get. The only problem lies in the variety of  air compressors and nailers in the market today making it difficult to choose the right one for you. One of the easiest ways to settle on an air nailer is to look at a few that are available and compare their traits in a review as done below.

Hitachi 6 –Gallon 145 PSI

Hitachi 6 –Gallon 145 PSIIt passes as an excellent package for nailers. The 15-gauge brad nailer handles full range of brad lengths from 5/8’’ to 2’’ making it light in weight and comfortable to hold allows it to offer an on-tool depth that makes adjusting and freeing the tool form damage easy. Users are assured of their safety when using the nailer because it has plastic tip behind its nose.

You are guaranteed of unobstructed view of the brad placement from the front or sides. It has a switch that makes changing from sequential firing to bump firing possible. A more obvious feature is its angled carriage. This compressor is driven by an A1+ motor that feeds a six-gallon tank at a maximum rated pressure of 145 PSI. This compressor is an excellent tool for a daily use as long as you have access to a power outlet.

Bostitch CPACK300

Excellent for remodeling activities due to its excellent ergonomics and jobsite friendliness. Users experience reduced muscle tension and tiredness. It is powerful at 40 psi and easy to drag around. A rubber rim protects its gauges, compressor is compact and it is a queter design compared to other designs of a similar nature. The great thing about this nailer is its ability to shoot up to 2000 nails without jamming. The fact that the gun fires comparatively quietly and has a dual safety feature is something that all users appreciate. From quickly upholstering furniture to working with kitchen cabinets, the nailer has a fast and easy to operate stapler that weighs about 2.6 pounds, which is good for a nailer.

Porter Cable PC3PAK

This is top in line of porter cable compressor and nailer is the lowest priced multi nailer package that you can find. With its aggressively inflated tank, motor & compressors that are perched and housed in a plastic shroud that incorporates a cord wrap and handles for lifting and carrying the unit makes it and excellent nailer for starters.

The compressor produces a horsepower of 0.8, maximum pressure of 150psi and 2.6 CFM at 90 psi, which is sufficient to power a framing nailer and intermittent use of a small spray gun. The nailers are first rated with great finish and fit not to mention the different features such as being padded on the tip, having a tool jam free clearance and a trigger lock and adjustable belts. This versatile nailer that is strong enough to handle most of the tasks.

Best Steak Knives

steak knife

Food taste matters to the kind of knives use? Will you agree with?

It takes a good knife for a delicious steak. And a delicious steak is fine for dining. Well and good if you are preparing steak for your business. This will make sense to your sales. Truly, best steak knives to make you up a gratifying and satisfying dining.

Most if not all Chefs will remind beginner cooks to get the good steak knife has good shapes of blades and even handles. These variations of the blades are interesting for the making of good if not perfect cut. There are important features and characteristics of steak knives which chefs and food enthusiasts would like to share.

steak knife

The Steak knife must look good. The elegance of the knife is good enough to use during dining. Let us not forget that steak knife is use on the plate during dining not on the cutting board. This only suggests that steak knife must be sharp to ensure that no added force is present when cutting steak or meat on the plate. Otherwise, plates will be broken.

Now, does edge matter too? Anyway, three basic options to choose from the straight, serrated and micro-serrated.

In fine dining and in formal occasion, everyone is aware that the straight edge is intended for slicing or cutting through a steak like that of butter leaving a very neat and smooth surface of the meat. The serrated blade on the other hand allows diners to cut through cuts for bread and roasts. This is more likely intended for more ragged bites for the roasts.

Buying for these best steak knives has been given solution by technology. Buyers have all the options to read reviews and even guides in picking the right choice of knives for your steak. Well, always considered here is the budget, at any rate, for those with tight budget have also the options to choose from,

Try to check it for yourself with the Wusthof Gourmet 6-Piece Steak-Knife Set. This is the set of six 4-1/2 inch steak knives but with high carbon steel with a stain resistant alloy. The handles are made of synthetic polypropylene for durability. It is from Germany. You may also want to compare this with Wusthof Gourmet 7-Piece Steak-Knife Set with Oak Block. It is a set of 6 steak knives and 6-slot oak storage block. The good thing with this is, it is made of laser-cut, high carbon steel with stain –resistant alloy.

But, speaking of the knives, the most experts would recommend you to buy for the Victorinox 40503 4.25 Black Serated not just because it made from Switzerland, the makers of durable knives but also its stainless steel blade.

Comparing the blades that are made of stainless steel and carbon, stainless steel is the best Steak knives. These Victorinox steak knives will never fail you in your dining task and other thing. You can get the best and the most desired neatness of your cut.

Permits & Licenses for Crossbow Hunting

Owning a crossbow does not give one an automatic license to hunt down any game as they please. Many procedures need be followed. Failure to follow these rules may lead to conviction and possible jail term. The rules may vary from one state to the other. We shall look at the most common. The ones that apply in several states. The permits and license that one has to acquire before they can start hunting.

crossbowThe age limit

For one to be eligible to get any license at all, they have to be aged 16 years and older. These age bracket is considered to be adults. Children between 10 to 15 years can also be allowed but their license is regarded as a junior license. In the event that they turn 16, they can be allowed to hunt with the junior license but have to complete a hunter safety course to show that they can hunt without being supervised by an adult.

Adult archery hunting license

For anyone to be given this license, they have to show that they have held an adult license or completed a hunter safety course. In case you have none of the above, an affidavit will be accepted in their place. This license permits one to use a bow and arrow as his only weapons and nothing more.

A combination of fishing and archery license on the other hand allows for an individual of 16 years and above to hunt in inland waters and hunting of big and small game.

Duplicate license

I case you lose your license; you may be able to get another copy from the agent who provided you with the original. However, you may have to pay him some money for the duplicate.

The expanded archery permits

This permit has to be provided together with the archery license for an individual to be allowed to hunt during the expanded archery season.

The small game hunting license

This license is issued to both resident and non-resident individual allowing them to hunt any legal game species. Exceptions may include deer, bear, and turkey. The person has to be 16 years old and above. The license usually has the number of days for the hunting indicated on the license. After that period has expired. The person is not allowed to hunt anymore.

All these licenses expire on December 31st of every year in which they were issued. After their expiry, they are supposed to be replaced once you have paid the required fees.

Any individual hunter is expected to carry their hunting licenses and permits everywhere they go provided they are out hunting with a crossbow (learn more about crossbows and read about the best crossbow reviews in this article. It is to be shown to any law enforcement officer, a guide, or the land owner where you have been hunting.

As mentioned earlier this licenses and permits will vary depending on the locality. Different areas have different permits and licenses. Ensure that you are aware of the ones being offered in your area before you go out with your crossbow to hunt for dinner.

Best Blender Food Processor Combo

How To Use A Blender For Juicing

If you have been wondering how to use a blender food processor combo (like in this article)  you know that it is possible and simple. While it might not be as great as one you can get from a dedicated juicer, it is still juice and you will get lots of nutrients.

Here are the steps to doing that.

 How To Use A Blender For Juicing

  1. Prepare Food

As always, you need to have your food ready. Wash it properly, preferably under running water. If it is vegetables you dealing with, you should spend more time as they usually have more dirty.

When you are done, cut your food. Smaller pieces are better because it is easy for the juicer to work on them. This will also make it possible to have a smooth consistency.

  1. Load It Up

This will depend on the type of blender you are using. I believe this will be straight forward since you do it the same way when making your smoothies.

When all the food is fully loaded, add some water. I cannot clearly state the quantity of water to be added as it will depend on the type of food you are using. But you can use the same amount of water you use when blending. If not sure, just add about half of what is in there.

Make sure you do not cross the maximum line. That might cause leaking.

  1. Turn it ON

It is now time to watch the magic happen. Start the blender and let it run for a few seconds. I am sure your jar is transparent and you will easily see what is going on inside.

Keep it running until you see that the food has been thoroughly broken.

If your blender has multiple speeds, then it is even better. Set it at a slower speed for a few seconds then let it run at a higher speed until the food has turned into a smooth consistency.

This should not take more than 1 minute.

  1. Make Food

Now it’s time to make the juice. If you have a strainer, you can use that. But if not, you can as well use a cloth.

The next thing is to set the strainer or cloth on a bowel. You should then start pouring your juice through it.

The thickness of the juice will depend on the type of strainer you are using. Try to go for one that does not entirely block everything that only water comes out. But again, it should not be too large to the point that everything goes through.

My Favorite Recipe

Here is one recipe you can use to make juice in a blender.


  • ½ lemon peeled
  • 1 beet sliced
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 celery stalks
  • ½ carrot
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • ¼ head of red cabbage
  • 1” of fresh ginger root

But if you have any other juice recipe, then be my guest. It will be as good as the one above or you can head over to and read juicer and blender reviews as well as recipes and nutrition information.

So that is how you can use a blender to make juice. As you saw, the process is not so difficult. The only strange thing perhaps will be the sieving part.