An Overview of Raw Food Diets for Cats

See the source imageFeeding your cats a raw diet can be a slightly daunting prospect at first, but it is also an extremely rewarding one. Many people would consider feeding their dogs a raw food diet but for whatever reason, cats sometimes get lost in the fray.

It’s true that cats have slightly more stringent dietary requirements than dogs. While many people consider dogs to be carnivores, they’re technically omnivores- dogs in the wild do eat some grasses and other plants, including the stomach contents of their prey. Domestic dogs, as many dog owners can attest, also seem to enjoy a variety of vegetables and fruits. Many raw food dog diets include ground vegetables and fruit because they seem to be part of a healthy canine diet.

Cats, on the other hand, are obligate carnivores. Lacking the dogs’ tendency to scavenge, they hunt, kill, and eat their prey. Rarely will you see a healthy cat snacking on grasses in the wild if there is any sort of meat product around for consumption.

Because dietary requirements are slightly stricter for cats, the raw food diet should be well planned to assure that there are ample nutrients. Generally, making large quantities of food at once and freezing it is a good way to ensure quality control. Supplements such as B vitamins, salmon oil, and taurine can be added to an acceptable proportion of organ and muscle meat (about 15-20% organ meat and very meaty bones such as chicken legs) and then ground together to form a sort of mixture which resembles wet cat food. An electric meat grinder makes this task a pretty easy and quick one, and all that remains is to freeze the mixture in containers and defrost as the cat eats. All supplements can be purchased from any well stocked health or grocery store and are relatively inexpensive.

If your cat is not used to eating a wet diet, you may be in for a transition period. Cats who, in particular, have been “free fed” dry food- that is, allowed to eat whenever the mood strikes them- should be put on a feeding schedule before you even attempt to change their food. This means that you should make food available for about ten minutes twice a day (making sure that the cats are aware of the food) and then remove it. If the cats have already been fed wet food, simply …

Landhaus is a Great Choice for German Food While Shopping in Fehmarn, Germany

I am spoiled rotten. I am also vain. My birthday is the main event every year, as far as I'm concerned, and as such it tends to last a week rather than a few hours. Luckily, my husband recognizes that so after a lovely weekend in Ljungbyhed, Sweden I was also treated to a day of shopping down in Fehmarn, Germany. Shopping always makes me hungry so we stopped for a late lunch at the Landhaus Restaurant right downtown on the main shopping strip. I am a power shopper, so refueling my energy with a good German meal is a necessity.

There are many great restaurant choices in this area of Fehmarn, but the Landhaus had a chalk board outside on the sidewalk advertising jaegerschnitzel for only 10 Euros. The price seemed good, and when in Germany I do insist on some type of schnitzel, so Landhaus it was. I mean, there was a Rathaus right across the street, and we loved the one in Luebeck, but I wanted to try a new place. The Landhaus Restaurant was a good choice.

We opted to eat outside and people watch since it was a gloriously clear, sunny day. They have both cafe tables out here and a block of regular tables under a canopy. We sat under the canopy because we are wusses and the shade felt good. We were barely seated before a gal showed up to take our drink orders and hand us a menu. Impressive. The restaurant was very busy that day, but this did not hamper service at all. So, 3 giant German beers for my husband and the couple who came with us, a coca-cola for me. (oh bite me)

A very brief time later our order was taken. We all went with the jaegerschnitzel special. Normally if I know I am going to review a restaurant I try to make sure to sample at least two dishes, but in this case it really didn't matter. The menu is not extensive, concentrating mainly on the various forms of schnitzels. Because of that, they are very, very good at it.

Our food came out in about 10 minutes and oooh la la I could tell before the first bite that it was going to be excellent. The schnitzel was covered in a wonderful mushroom laden pilsner sauce and came with a side of Pomme Frits. As usual …

Beer and Food

Beer and Food

Some have said, “Man cannot live on bread alone.” This is true; man may need beer to wash down his manna.

The key is to pair the right beer with the right food, for the flavors, for the textures, for the experience. If I were a marketer I might attempt to brand the combinations as something to identify time and again, to re-experience over and over.

Below are some tried and true pairings that will make most any palate hum.

Meet the smokiness of grilled meats with a sweeter brew; a dopplebock’s complex malts will make a steak resonate ever deeper.

Try fish with an American Pale Ale; the citrus of the brew accents the slight seafood flavors.

Vegetable Pad Thai is so much better with an India Pale Ale; deeper malts and complex hops are hip to the hepped up essences of sautéed tofu, ginger, garlic, cilantro and scallion.

Praise cheeses! Boy Toy ‘Chris’ Lavoie of The Stephanie Miller Show]. spling! This includes pairing them (not necessarily Stephanie or Chris) with blessed beers. For a trinity of tastes: Feta is fab with weissbiers; Gorgonzolas and Bleus go great with barleywines (like Chicago’s Piece Brewery’s Mooseknuckle); and a Colby could cuddle a brown ale.

For dessert don’t forget a local fruit beer or Belgian Ale with your ice cream or cake.

Beer is healthy, and, in other cultures, is embraced as a part of a healthy lifestyle.

Embrace the possibilities of beer, especially pairing them with food.

In Chicago enjoy local breweries; find my associated links on this web page.…

Better Than Take-Out: Chinese Food at Home

Getting take-out is great when you need to get dinner on the table in a pinch, but often times, the ingredients used can carry excess fat and calories. Making your own "take-out" substitutes at home is a wonderful way to control both the quality of ingredients as well as the fat and calorie count.

Chinese is one of my favorite types of take-out and after fiddling around with some recipes; I've developed my own for creating the perfect Chinese style dishes right at home.

For an appetizer try a Chinese Scallion Pizza. For the pizza, combine 2 cups bread flour, 1.4 tsp. baking powder, 2 teaspoons of oil and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Next, bring a cup of water to boil, and then add the flour mixture, stirring with a spoon until it's cool enough to knead with your hands. Knead until dough is well combined and then transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover with a towel and allow to rise for about an hour. Next, divide the dough into 12 sections, rolling each section into a ball, and then flattening into a 1/8-inch thick circle. After making all the circles, brush them with oil, then sprinkle with coarse sea salt and sprinkle with chopped scallions. Then, simple coil the roll-up dough and then flatten it with your palm, this will distribute the scallions well. To cook, heat a skillet with oil and pan-fry each cake for at least 7 to 10 minutes, serving hot.

Lo Mein is another easy at home dish. Cook eight ounces of pasta (spaghetti or linguine are good choices) according to package directions, drain and put back in the pot to keep warm. Add about a cup of chopped celery, bell peppers, mushrooms, snow peas, sliced carrot, and about a pound of bean sprouts. Next, you'll just need to whip up a sauce by heating about 1 cup of soy sauce in a saucepan with about ¼ cup chicken stock and 1 tablespoon dry white wine. Allow to heat while mixing about one tablespoon cornstarch with one tablespoon water, then add cornstarch mixture to the heated sauce, increasing the heat and allowing the sauce to thicken. Pour over veggies and pasta and serve. You can double the sauce recipe if you prefer more sauce with your noodles.

For the main dish, it doesn't get easier than Sesame Chicken with plain …

Schwan's Offers Good Food but Hasn't Proven to Be Reliable

When my wife and I lived out on the East Coast, we were frequent Schwan's customers. It was hard to find decent meat at the local grocery stores and the company offered quality products at a reasonable price. More importantly, they would deliver them right to our door.

When we moved back to Wisconsin and got settled in our own place, we decided we once again wanted to give Schwan's a try. This time, it wasn't because we couldn't find the same quality; it was because the prices were actually slightly better than what we could find locally.

Unfortunately for us, Schwan's service seems to have gone downhill and we don't know if we will be doing business with them any more.

We've actually attempted to renew our services with Schwan's twice. We ordered food from them a couple of years ago and then did so again just a couple of weeks ago. Both times, we were very disappointed.

In the incident that took place a couple of years ago, we placed an order using their Web site and were told the food would be delivered a couple of days later, when the truck was in our area. Three weeks later, we hadn't received our order and didn't even see a truck. And, several attempts to contact the company also were unsuccessful. Finally, we were able to reach a district manager who apologized to us and allowed us to cancel our order. He explained to us that they were having problems keeping drivers in our area and that caused the delay.

When we saw a driver looking for new customers in our neighborhood a couple of weeks ago, we decided to give Schwan's another chance. This time, rather than order online, we opted to instead place the order with the driver himself. One item was found right away the other item we requested was not in the truck but he promised to deliver it the next day.

We never saw the driver again. And, after a little over a week, we had not received the item we had ordered; forcing my wife to once again have to call in to the company. Two days after she called them, the item was finally delivered by a manager. When he delivered it, there was no apology or attempt to make things right, he just said "here's your order," handed me the item …

Five Foods that Give You Energy

What we eat makes a big difference in how we feel. When it comes to creating energy, there are quite a few foods that can help us feel focused, alert, and ready to take on the world. The key is to go with foods that have a low glycemic index, contain complex rather than simple carbohydrates, and do not have much in the way of excess fats. Try adding these five into your diet each day.

Whole Grains – Forget bleached anything and make sure you get whole grain products into your diet. The carbs in whole grains are much kinder to your blood glucose levels, and will provide energy for longer periods of time, rather than causing a rush followed by a crash. Foods like rolled oats, whole grain breads, and brown rice are good examples.

Fresh Fruit – For a quick pick-me-up, bananas are an excellent choice. The potassium content is good for both the body and the mind. Potassium helps with mental clarity and maintaining a balanced mood, as well as preventing your muscles from contracting while you spend hours at your desk. The fact that potassium also helps promote good heart health as well as aid the function of the circulatory system doesn't hurt either.

Dried Fruit – Sometimes, it isn't practical to keep fresh fruit on hand. That's where dried fruit can be a great option. Assuming it is naturally dried, fruits like banana chips, apple slices, and apricots provide fiber, vitamin C, and other nutrients that help you feel energized and strong. For best results, buy a dehydrator and learn how to make your own. Doing so allows you to avoid the extra sugar that is in some commercially dried fruits, as well as any preservatives that may reduce the antioxidants in the fruits.

Beans – Beans are loaded with fiber, protein, and the right kind of carbs to give you plenty of energy. The vitamin content isn't too shabby either. Since beans help to lower bad cholesterol levels, they are very important to heart health.

Nuts – Almonds are loaded with nutrients, many of which are needed for balancing the production of neurotransmitters that help keep your mood balanced. The high content of magnesium and vitamin E also helps your body feel energized and ready to take on the day. A handful of almonds is a great way to get a boost when …

How to Keep Picnic Foods Cold

Summer is the perfect time to have a picnic. The only problem is it’s hard to keep picnic foods cold, especially during the blazing months of July and August. The hot temperatures of these months can quickly turn potato salad into a salmonella infested nightmare. Luckily, there are easy ways to keep picnic foods cold.

How to Keep Picnic Foods Cold #1: Buy a Cooler

The size of cooler you will need to purchase will depend on the size of your family. If you have a small family, a large cooler will not work properly to keep your picnic foods cold. This is because picnic foods will stay cold longer if you pack them tightly. When picnic foods are packed tightly the items work together to keep everything cold. A soft-sided cooler will allow you to pack more picnic foods in one space and be easier to transport.

How to Keep Picnic Foods Cold #2: Freeze Bottles of Water

Many people use ice to keep their picnic foods cold, but this can quickly become a big mess. As the ice melts, your picnic foods may become soaked with water. Items that have paper packages will easily be ruined. That’s why frozen bottles of water work better at keeping your picnic foods cold. You can also freeze bottles of juice. I don’t recommend freezing bottles of soda, because the carbonation of the soda will diminish as it thaws out. This is also a much better option than ice packs, because this tip also ensures that your beverages are nice and icy cold.

How to Keep Picnic Foods Cold #3: Thoroughly Chill Items Before Packing Them

It’s actually best to prepare picnic foods either the night before or several hours before the event. This way, picnic foods will be thoroughly chilled. When you place things, like potato salad, into a cooler before they have had time to chill thoroughly, they will rise to unsafe temperatures quickly. They will also warm up other picnic foods more quickly.

How to Keep Picnic Foods Cold #4: Buy Specially Designed Products

Other than coolers, and ice packs, there are items that will keep your picnic foods cold longer. For example, you can buy small refrigerators for you vehicle. These plug into your cigarette lighter and will keep your picnic food cold for as long as you need them to. There are also bowls designed to keep

Fast Food Myths: How Safe is Your Favorite Food?

Throughout my life, I've had a variety of different jobs. I am a foodie and you would think I would love working around food, even if it meant working in a fast food restaurant. Well, you'd be wrong. I've worked in three different fast food restaurants and never could get interested in my work. Anyone who's ever worked in fast food will tell you that it's one of the worst jobs they've ever had. While I didn't enjoy working in fast food, I did learn several fast food myths. I warn you though; you may not want to eat fast food after reading some of these myths.

Fast Food Myth #1: An "A" from the Department of Health Means the Food is Always Safe

This fast food myth would seem to be true, but in my time working in fast food restaurants I learned that this myth was false. Some how, managers seem to know when the department of health is coming to inspect them. A week or so before their arrival, employees are taught new ways to do their job. I would like to say that employees were properly trained when they first began their job, but I'd be lying. The fact is you don't know what employees have been doing. I'm a germ-a-phob, so I was always clean, but that doesn't mean that other employees are.

Fast Food Myth #2: Cooks Wear Hairnets and Gloves

While many larger restaurants do instruct their employees to wear hairnets and gloves, this isn't the case in most fast food restaurants. The only truth behind this myth is that workers are required to wear hats, which does help to keep hair out of the food.

Fast Food Myth #3: Your Food is Always Cooked for the Proper Amount of Time

Sadly, this myth is false. Many fast food restaurants rush their food during lunch hour. People want their food and they want it right then. Most of the restaurants I worked for were good about cooking chicken for the proper amount of time, but not all of them were. Before gobbling down a large order of chicken fingers, be sure to break one open to make sure it's done.

Fast Food Myth #4: You Can Only Get it Your Way at Burger King

This myth is false. Every fast food place I've worked for, or eaten at, has been more than willing …