Friday, 21 December 2007

Stop Foreclosure

Many Americans are facing the prospect of losingtheir home to foreclosure. But there are ways to avoid it.

Avoiding Foreclosure

Hundreds of thousands of Americans are facing the prospect of foreclosure on their home right now. Foreclosure rates are running higher than at any time in the last twenty years. A combination of over borrowing, low lending standards and a drop in property values is exacerbating the situation. President Bush himself addressed the nation recently with a series of measures designed to help the situation. Read the rest.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

2008 Motorcycle Guide

What's new for 2008? Just about everything it seems. new Harley Davidson models; brand new bikes for Yamaha, Honda and Ducati. The 1098 grows 100ccs for the new World Superbike rules and there's a new Suzuki Hayabusa with even more power !
Check it out here.
2008 Harley Davidson FLHTC Electra Glide Classic
Ducati 848 Superbike
Ducati's new 848

2008 'Busa

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Forex Exponential Moving Average Based Systems

A Moving Average is the technical indicator that shows the average value of a particular currency pair over a previously determined amount of time. This means, for example, that prices can be averaged over 30 to 60 days, or 20 to 40 minutes depending on the time frame you are using at the moment of your trading activity. The basic mechanics of Moving Averages tell you where the forex market is moving, either up or down, at the moment of your analysis by considering two different time frame Moving Averages and plotting them on a chart. It is very important that one of these MA is over a shorter time period than the other one. Many brokers offer this as part of their basic trading platforms. Read the rest.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Forex Trading Guide

An excellent guide to the ins and outs, risks and pitfalls of foreign exchange day trading.

Forex Overview

Forex, or the foreign exchange market (also commonly known as FX or simply, “currency”) involves trading one currency for another. Forex is by far and away the largest financial market in the world. Trades are made between large banks, central banks, currency speculators, multinational corporations, governments, and even the other financial markets. According to The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), a world-wide central bank organization, the average daily trade in the global forex and related markets is currently over three trillion US dollars – A DAY. This is several times larger than all the U.S stock markets combined. The trading is done from all round the world, with little or no hard cash changing hands. Read the rest.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Google Hacks for Dummies

Google is a powerful tool. Most of the time, most users are restricted to using Google as a search engine, and looking at pages on the internet Google has allowed or encouraged you to see, but there is a darker side to Google – “Google Hacks.”

Google hacks are strings of code entered into the search box that will access information that was never intended to be available to the general public. Some enterprising hacker has discovered which particular string of search parameters will provide normally restricted information.

There are many hacking guides, written by hackers. Unfortunately, most of these guides are written for the already initiated and assume a level of knowledge far above the typical user’s. Loosely translated this means they are a, really boring and b, impossible to understand.

The other problem I came across looking for usable hacks is that the hackers are far more comfortable talking to a machine than a person which makes the instructions even more difficult to follow. Here is an example: read the rest.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Top Ten American Recipes

Mark Knowles' salute to American recipes. A top ten favorite list of USA foods from one of the best food writers in the known universe.

Ten Best American Recipes

Friday, 16 November 2007

The Best Gazpacho Soup Recipe

This is a wonderful summer recipe and is extremely refreshing. It is really important to use fresh vegetables. And by fresh, I mean fresh, grown in season locally. Don’t try and make this in November in New York. The rubbish that the grocery store is selling out of season has been flown half way round the world and will taste of nothing.

This is one of my issues with grocery store chains. It is just not possible to get good tasting vegetables that far out of season. They can get them to look good, I will give them that, but when you smell them or taste them, you know they’re garbage, just imported to tempt you into buying and throwing away. I think the grocery store chains make more money out of getting you to throw food away than the food you actually eat. So, only in-season, summer vegetables and you will have one of the tastiest soups ever. Another simple recipe that just takes a little time. Read the rest.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Authentic Indian Baked Spiced Chicken

Authentic Indian cuisine is not hard to make; this recipe calls for crushed whole spices, smells and tastes spectacular and is as close to genuine Indian cooking as you can find. The only thing missing is a clay oven, although if you have a clay oven, this is the recipe to use for it.

If you are unable to find fresh, whole spices, it’s OK to substitute dried, but it’s worth the effort of finding whole spices. While this is an easy recipe, it takes a little time and the chicken needs to be prepared a few hours ahead of time, or preferably overnight. Read the rest.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

How to make Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup may not be a genuine American recipe but it goes in that category for me because I just can’t think of it as anything else. Genuine hodge podge is about right I think. Perhaps it’s a Jewish recipe, perhaps it’s an Eastern European recipe, who knows? Either way, I give credit to the people of the USA for this one. Accordingly, there are thousands of different ways to make this soup, but here is my own personal favorite. This is a really easy recipe, but it no five minute one. You need at least half a day to do this – but most of the time is spent not doing anything other than watching the pot simmer. Read the rest.

Ultimate Chocolate Brownie recipe

If you are not content with a double shot of espresso to kick start the day, here’s a great recipe to perk up those slow-to-start people among us (myself included). Although, as the saying for beer goes, “Brownies are not just for breakfast.” Read the rest.

Monday, 12 November 2007

The Best Home Made Chili Con Carne

chili con carne

Making your own home made chili is a breeze. Chili con carne means chili with meat. It’s a simple and easy as cooking gets. Everything gets thrown in a pot and left to cook for a while.

Home made chili is a hundred times better than a store bought meal. You know what went into it and you can adjust the heat to suit your families tastes. This particular version is fairly mild, but if you prefer a hotter chili, just increase the amount of chillies and spices. This recipe serves 6 people. A good family meal with some leftovers. That’s another great thing about chili: it makes wonderful leftovers. I prefer to make my own chili powder and use fresh chillies, but if you are using ready-made chili powder, that will work..... Continue reading.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Making an Omelet

How to make an Omelet.

This had to be one of the simplest recipes ever and is probably the easiest meal to cook. It takes less than ten minutes including the preparation work. For this one I have added cheese and onion, but you can adjust the recipe to your needs. Bacon (cooked) ham, vegetables, olives and feta, smoked salmon, whatever you like. If you are using meat, just be sure to cook it first before adding it to the Omelet.

This is for a one person Omelet, but as a general rule, two or three eggs per person is about right. As far as measurements go, with this recipe it’s not vital to use exact measurements. If your splash of milk is a little bigger or smaller than mine, it makes no difference. If you use four eggs instead of two, that’s OK. This recipe is almost impossible to ruin. Read the rest.

Friday, 9 November 2007

How to generate traffic to your website.

One of my friends over at HubPages has just written a really useful guide on how to generate traffic. It's aimed at Hubpage users, but the same rules apply to any website. Take a look, it is here:

Get Traffic To Your Hubs

Thursday, 8 November 2007

The Best Damn Collection of Italian Recipes Ever

I love to cook. that's probably why my waistline is not what it used to be. It' somewhere north oflglkhj. Hmmm.... I seem to be having trouble writing that. No matter. My favorite recipes are Italian. I love Italian food. I also love to write recipes that I personally have tried, made up, experimented with and generally think are the best damn easy Italian recipes ever. I have chosen HubPages as the venue for my recipes. They have an extremely helpful set of people running the site, and it looks good. So, I have compiled a brief introduction and a collection of my favorites here. Click on a photo or a link to see the entire recipe. Try them out. If you like them as much as I do, I will be happy. If you don't - I offer a full refund. While you are over there, take a look at HubPages. It's kinda like WordPress, but with the opportunity to make some advertising money. Never a bad thing. These are in no particular order, I could never pick one recipe over another; they're all great in their own way.

Home made Pizza Napoletana

Best Lasagne recipe

Spaghetti Bolognese

Ossobucu recipe

Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella salad

Risotto alla Milanese

Home made Pizza with Mozzarella, olives and anchovies (Pizza Romana)

Baked meat and Macaroni pie

Macaroni and cheese

Best spaghetti a la carbonara recipe

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Best Hotels on the French Riviera - Le Beauvallon

Le Beauvallon, situated across the bay from St Tropez, between Grimaud and Ste Maxime, touts itself as “The best kept secret of the Cote D’Azur.” This is not entirely true, and they have a strong looking website that disproves it, but compared to many hotels in the south of France, Le Beauvallon is relatively quiet and for a change, welcomes small children. One of the great things about Le Beauvallon is the fact that they have their own private beach and gardens. I will reiterate the fact that they welcome children, because this is not the case in many up-market hotels on the Riviera. Continue reading.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

The Best Roast Turkey Ever

Roasting a turkey is very simple. Many people have been persuaded away from the traditional way of roasting a turkey, but I still think this is the best way to do it. I know it is slightly faster to cook the bird with no stuffing in and many people now buy a ready-made stuffing in a box that just requires water being added. I have tried all the ready made stuffing and do not recommend them. Cooking a turkey in this way is an all day event. If possible involve the whole family. If you are cooking for a large group of family and friends, there is a lot of work to do. Kids will love to help peel the potatoes. (Or not.) Continue reading.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Roast Duck with Morello Cherry Sauce

Roasting a duck is no harder than roasting any other bird. In fact, it is easier because one thing a duck does not need is any added fat. Duck is a naturally fatty food, but most of it will come out during cooking, which is great because we will use this excess fat to cook our roast potatoes. (See roast potatoes recipe)

This is a very simple recipe, because we are going to do nothing other than season the bird with salt and pepper, and roast it. This will serve 4. Continue reading.

Poule Au Pot (Chicken in the pot) recipe

It was Henry IV of France’s ambition to create such a wealthy nation that every family in the land would be able to afford this dish every Sunday. Of course, that put a little strain on the chicken population come Sunday, but it’s a nice story.

The original recipe for this calls to use the giblets to make a stock, but there is a tendency nowadays to remove the giblets before the chicken gets to the customer, so You will need some ready made stock instead. I prefer to use a liquid stock rather than bouillon cubes for this recipe. Continue reading.

Monday, 29 October 2007


Ratatouille sounds like a hard dish to cook and I think most people are put off by the fact that it includes eggplant. Eggplant is not difficult to cook either, but it does require some preparation work before you can cook it. I will go through this step by step and you’ll find it’s no more difficult than any other vegetable. Ratatouille makes a wonderful accompaniment to many different meals and if you are vegetarian is a great meal served with fresh bread. Continue reading.

The French Riviera - Antibes

The Market

Antibes is an interesting town for several reasons, not least of which is the old castle overlooking the port. It’s many alleys and narrow streets are crowded in the summer, but offer a varied selection of restaurants, fine wine sellers and of course, the ubiquitous tourist traps. Continue reading.

Coq au vin recipe

Coq au vin means literally, “Cock in wine,” but nowadays it has become less traditional to use an actual cock because it’s far easier to find a chicken than a cock. This is another really easy recipe that just takes a little time to prepare. If you wish to make a less expensive version, just use chicken pieces (legs and thighs) rather than a whole chicken. I prefer to use a whole chicken though. This takes very little time, perhaps 1 ½ hours including preparation time. This is another great smelling dish that fills the kitchen with a wonderful aroma whilst cooking. If you have a friendly butcher, ask him to cut a chicken into 6 pieces for you. Even though the wine is going to be used for cooking, it is worth buying a reasonable bottle. Continue reading.

Easy Irish Stew with Dumplings

I am not so sure about this being a genuine Irish recipe, but that’s the name, so I’ll stick with it. This is a very tasty, easy recipe, because basically you just throw everything into a casserole dish and leave to cook. I like to add dumplings and for me, that’s what makes this the perfect meal. It’s a very inexpensive meal and the only thing that takes any real time is a small amount of preparation and a little time making the dumplings. There are lots of ways to make dumplings, but if you follow this recipe, you will have light, fluffy dumplings that complement this stew perfectly. An interesting variety is to add parsley to the dumplings. But only add it if you can find fresh parsley – dried will not do, it’s too strong. Continue reading.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Braised Meatballs with peppers and tomatoes

Meatballs are a truly economical way of eating meat, but many people are put off by the amount of work they think needs to go into them. But the reality is that meatballs are easy – If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty. I like to make them by hand, and they are really easy. I like to mix pork sausage and ground beef, but if you prefer, you can use Italian sausage and ground pork or veal or mix it up however you like. For this recipe I will recommend ground beef and pork sausage because it gives the most authentic flavors. Use a good quality sausage because we are going to add breadcrumbs so we don’t want a sausage that has already been diluted. Continue reading.

Friday, 26 October 2007

The World's Most Unusual Properties for Sale

This is a collection of weird and unusual properties currently for sale around the world.

Dracula’s castle, Transylvania is on the market for around $80 million. Seems like a bargain to us, as long as there are no incumbent tenants.

Vatu Vara island is claimed to be the most expensive freehold island in the world. If you have to ask, you can’t afford it. It is often nicknamed Hat Island because of its unusual shape — the top of its peak is flat because it was once at sea level. It is part of the Lau group of islands and its peak dominates the surrounding skyline. It is said to be one of the last four freehold islands to come on to the market in Fiji. Continue reading.

American style Pancakes Cooking made easy

Pancakes. Every one loves pancakes and most people buy a ready-made mix. Why not try making your own? They taste far better and are really easy to make. And, you know exactly what went into them. No preservatives, no artificial flavors. Much better. This recipe takes about 15 minutes preparation, mostly waiting for the buttermilk to be ready. That’s right, this is a twofer, you will make your own buttermilk too. Buttermilk is not widely available in Europe, so I had to work out how to make my own, and it tastes much better than the store bought. Try it and see. Continue reading.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Risotto alla Milanese

For this recipe, it is important to use Italian rice; Arborio is probably the most well known, but Carnaroli or Vialone Nano are good too. This is a very simple recipe but it does need a lot of stirring, particularly towards the end of the cooking time as the rice absorbs the liquids. This can be served as a main dish, but also makes a great accompaniment to Ossobuco. If you have a paella dish, that’s the best way of cooking this dish, if not, a large heavy bottomed frying pan will work just fine.

There are many variations of this recipe, but this is a very simple version. If you can find veal stock, that would be best but beef or chicken stock works well too. Most people spoil this recipe by adding the cheese too early. I prefer to add the cheese right within the last few minutes of cooking. Continue reading.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Short Sale alternative to Foreclosure

When people talk real estate these days, there’s a whole bunch of ominous terms being bandied about. With some northern US states hit so hard by the housing downturn that over 30% of their houses are empty, and south Florida leading the state , if not the country in foreclosures, the increase in anxiety is to be expected. But homeowners need not panic, there are alternatives to foreclosure.

Getting in over your head financially doesn’t have to mean losing your home investment. You should always try to work things out with your bank first. Contact them as soon as you’re having trouble making your payments. Banks don’t like foreclosures and you may be able to make a deal that will make your payments bearable and allow you to keep your home. There are also some programs though HUD that can help you stay put until the market balances out.

Once you’ve exhausted your options, you may want to try and negotiate a short sale. read the rest.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Ossobucu recipe

This is a very rich dish and famous world wide. When you buy the veal, try to get the pieces around 2 inches thick. There are very few Italian casseroles and this one is one of the few instances where I like to mix white wine rather than red with tomatoes. Preparation time is very short although it does need to be cooked for about 1 ½ hours, so it needs to be started well ahead of time. Read the rest.

Essential cooking tools

There are dozens, if not hundreds, or possibly even thousands of gadgets for sale to use in the kitchen. My personal opinion is that most of them are going to spend much of their lives at the bottom of a drawer, or the back of a cupboard, with a few exceptions.

There was a time when I would buy all the latest gadgets based on the sales techniques. They will make your life “easier” “improve the quality of your cooking” or “make you a better person.”

As you may have noticed, if you have read any of my other cooking articles, I now use very few pieces of equipment. I have few basic utensils that are indispensable, but the rest of the gadgets and gizmos are just not worth the money. These are my indispensable tools: Read the rest.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Feng Shui your home sold are probably wondering what Feng Shui has to do with selling your home! Well, Feng Shui is the 3,000-year-old ancient art of creating peace and harmony within your home. A balanced environment supports your ability to prosper by improving your well-being for greater happiness. When used accurately it can assist you in your home selling journey to a successful end. Feng Shui is a tool at your disposal to invoke positive, impulse buying emotions within potential buyers. To get your home sold swiftly it is imperative that your home immediately provoke a connection with any potential buyers that enter. That connection lends to potential buyers ability to envision themselves living within your home. Peace and harmony are two such feelings that drive buyers to write and make offers. Let’s face it; if they are not feeling it, they are not buying it!
To create peace and harmony within your home you must consider the impact of your home’s color choices and furniture placement. Continue reading.

Normandy Pork with Cream and Apples recip

This is a wonderfully rich dish I like to serve in the Autumn. It’s not quite a winter dish, nor a summer one, so Autumn feels right. Autumn is a sadly neglected time of year for recipes. There are loads of “summer salads” and “winter warmers” but I feel Autumn gets left out, so here’s a recipe for Autumn. The combination of garlic, onion, apples and cream is unbeatable.

This is best cooked in a heavy skillet with a lid, but if you don’t have a lid for your skillet, a casserole dish is good also. So, if you do not have a lid, the oven will be used as well as the stove top. This is definitely a French recipe. This will serve 4 people. Continue reading.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Boat Drinks

“Gentlemen, we have boat drinks.” The classic toast at the end of the film “Things to do in Denver when you’re dead.” Of course all the characters are dead, but finally they are realizing their dream. Sharing boat drinks with friends on the deck of an expensive boat at sea. Jimmy Buffet had a few words to say about boat drinks as well, “Boat drinks! The Boys in the band ordered boat drinks!” and “Waitress I need two more boat drinks. Then I’m headin’ south ‘fore my dream shrinks.” These are lyrics from the song of the name boat drinks. Read the rest.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Best roast potatoes

My favorite potato recipe.

Potatoes are an important source of vitamin C, higher in protein than most other vegetables and, cooked with their skins, also a good source of fiber.

It always amazes me that potatoes in the grocery store are displayed in bright light, washed and prepackaged in see-through bags. This is, of course, a ruse by the grocery stores to get you to throw away more potatoes and therefore buy more. Here is my reasoning:

Washing potatoes in warm water causes them to begin to rot. How many times have you taken a bag of potatoes home and had to throw half of them away a week later? And why wash them anyway? Potatoes grow under ground – in the dirt – why on earth (sic) should anyone want a washed potato? The answer is because Kroger or Sainsbury’s are trying to convince you that dirt on a potato is bad – therefore they wash them – therefore they rot quickly – therefore they get thrown away – therefore you buy more. Simple. Read the rest.

Home made Pizza Napoletana

Home made Pizza beats a delivery Pizza any day of the week. It’s more work but definitely worth the effort. Most delivery Pizza companies, despite their advertising campaigns, put a load of garbage on their Pizza. What Papa John says is true. Better ingredients equals better Pizza. They just don’t do it. So, here is a very simple Pizza recipe to make at home. It will take more time than picking up the phone, but, in my opinion, it’s worth it. And, much, much cheaper. On top of that, you know the ingredients going onto it are better, chosen by you. And it has that magic ingredient-YOU. You know it wasn’t thrown together by some spotty teenager who couldn’t care less. You did it yourself and put a little love into it. Try it and see. Continue reading.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

I love potatoes, it’s no secret. Sautéed potatoes are nice and simple to do. This recipe calls for onions, but if you prefer them plain, just leave out the onion. This is a really easy recipe, but to get the potatoes as crisp as possible, I always use two frying pans so that none of them overlap with each other and are always in contact with the pan. I know it’s a pain, but it’s worth it in the end. And don’t listen to people who tell you you can bake these – it’s just not the same.

You can sauté in any oil, but for the best, cleanest tasting result I prefer to use olive oil. It is not vital to use the best quality, but if you can afford the good stuff, it’s also worth it. Credit for this one has to go to France. This will make two large or four small servings. Read the rest.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Easy Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros is a Mexican dish, but has been adopted by the USA and there are probably more recipes and ways of making this dish than almost any other recipe. My personal preference is a very simple version. As far as I am concerned, way too many chefs mess this dish up with complicated additions. I much prefer to make a basic version, using fresh ingredients where possible. Fresh tomatoes are best, but canned will do if you can’t find good tomatoes. Continue reading.

Friday, 12 October 2007

The Cost of Buying Property in Spain

The following are the costs you should include on top of the purchase price when buying property in Spain.

Lawyers/Solicitor’s Fee:
Although it is not compulsory to engage a solicitor, if you are not familiar with the procedure you can appoint your own solicitor. It is important to seek professional advice from a local solicitor (Abogado). Their standard fee for the purchase of a property is 1% of the purchase price plus VAT. Using a non-local solicitor will be more expensive. The Spanish legal system is very different from other European countries and, to avoid misunderstandings, disappointments and possible fraud, it is essential to seek expert professional advice from the beginning.
Notary Fee:
These are collected by the Notary after preparing the deed and presiding over it’s signing. This fee is fixed by law, on a set scale according to the property value, but is not usually more then 1% of the purchase price including VAT.

Please note all professional fees including the notary’s and land registry’s charges are subject to 16% VAT. Read the rest.

Mild Chicken Curry

Indian food does not have to be difficult to cook. Whilst this is not a traditional Indian meal, the basic ingredients, ginger, turmeric and curry powder lend an authentic taste to the dish.

This is definitely one o the easiest dishes to cook. With a little prep time and a few spices, you can create and unusual, exotic dish in very little time. The great thing about this dish is the wonderful aromas that fill the kitchen during cooking. Just close your eyes and you can imagine you are in India. The chicken needs to marinade for a few hours before cooking, so preparation needs to be done well before the meal is to be served. If time is an issue, you can marinade the chicken overnight, but a minimum of three hours. Continue reading.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

If you feel the need for an impressive, albeit expensive meal, perhaps to impress someone, or just plain indulge yourself for once, this recipe has to be top of my list. The English like to claim this recipe as their own, but the French also have a claim, calling it, “Boeuf en croute.” Either way, I like to think of this as the first “fusion” recipe, because I can see how the two culinary cultures combined for this. So, I am giving equal credit to England and France.

Some people have trouble making pastry, so I am going to let that slide for once. If you don’t enjoy making pastry, go ahead and buy some ready-made. That’s something you will rarely hear from me, but I totally understand because pastry making needs a large flat surface to work on and many kitchens just don’t have enough room, mine included. Just make certain it’s flaky pastry.

Read the rest.