Useful Cooking Tip: Cooking Meat, Turkey, Chicken and Vegetables Clean

We all know that when we do cook red meat, turkey or chicken in the water, all kinds of stuff is generated, especially blood residues from red meat and foam from the turkey or chicken. Veggies just in general have sprays and other stuff on them. Well, the best way to take that at least partially is to change the first water all together. Simply take smaller pot and pre-boil red meat, turkey, chicken or vegetables for few minutes. In parallel, fill other pot with desired amount of water and start heating up. Once pre-boiled, drain water and rinse your meat or veggies with fresh water to remove any unwanted residues. Preferably use filtered water. Once this is done, just place it in the fresh water and cook as you wish.

For cleaning red meat, turkey or chicken for BBQing or broiling, always rinse with white vinegar. Don't be afraid to rinse the ground meats also. Don't just rely on the heat to kill all the bad stuff.

The Great Canadian Invention Series: Why the McIntosh Apple is called McIntosh?

The McIntosh apple was discovered in 1811 by John McIntosh on a little farm Dundas County, Ontario, Canada. John McIntosh found a group of trees growing wild on this farm, and since the apples then where part of farmer’s nutritious diet, he moved all of them closer to his farm house. To his and other farmer’s surprise one of the trees was producing juicy, crispy and very fragrant apples. However, it was only one apple tree that was bearing them. Branches of that one apple tree were grafted to other apple tree, a technique where branch from one fruit are transplanted into another tree. The result was successful. And this is how the McIntosh apple became the most popular apple in Canada started by the McIntosh family.

Are You Ready to Make Your Own Apple Sauce?
Yes you are because it is very simple. Get your ingredients, the McIntosh apples – as many as you wish. Peel, slice or dice all the apples, and cooked them in covered pot until mushy – low heat please. Serve warm or cool, with ice cream, yogurt, or oatmeal.

Blogger Blog Posts to eBook Publishing or Conversion Idea, a Proposal to Google Team

The Blogger or web blog was a great invention and implementation. We bloggers around the world can now communicate, share our stories, share our photography, share our hobbies, write fiction & novels, educate, connect with others and have fun. And yet we need more – we want to publish our posts electronically or in print - that is make eBooks.

Proposal: Blogger Posts to eBook Publishing
In here I would like to propose a project to Google Blogger Team - Blogger Posts to eBook Publishing – the online software which downloads Blogger posts into text & image type template ready for printing or digital publishing in PDF format eBook. There are similar tools like that already, but I have only found one book making software which allows downloading of posts from Blogger, WordPress, LiVEJOURNAL(TM) and TypePad®, into the textbook format eBook. However, there are limitations – conversion to PDF [Portable Document Format] is very poor, a format that is very universal and widely used by many thus called portable.

Background Research: Current Available Book Making Software on the Market
I spent endless minutes to search for book making software that would allow me to publish my Blogger posts into eBook. The following listed below are excellent tools, however, they do not offer much of a flexibility to create PDF eBooks from the blog posts. They are free software, however, you must purchase created eBook through their service.

Blurb BookSmart(TM)
Software – free download
Layout Types - portfolio, photo book, wedding, guestbook, cookbook, yearbook, journal, text & photos, text only, poetry, blog to book, blank and more.
Output Formats – BookSmart(TM) format, PDF with watermark, uses PDF convertor, however very little detail provided how to.
Comments – despite of very lame conversion to PDF format, software is excellent and highly recommended.
Web Site –

Software – free download
Layout Types – photo book, calendar, cards
Output Formats – MyPublisher format
Comments – recommended, however, no blog to book feature, and no option to save as PDF format; also a bit slow
Web Site –

PhotoInPress BookDesigner
Software – free download
Layout Types – photo book with text
Output Formats – BookDesigner format and ability to print to PDF [Adobe Distiller]
Comments – very basic software
Web Site –

Software – online, must register
Layout Types – anything you can imagine
Output Formats – must find out
Comments – excellent online book making or other
Web Site –

Have I done my homework? I think I did, unless I didn’t use correct keywords to search for book making software. However, don’t be surprised with Blurb SmartBook(TM), they offer some amazing formats and layouts if you want to publish, print and share your content.

View an example of my eBook I manually created in MS PowerPoint – Story Blob Stories

Process Flow from File/Blogger Post to eBook
[Step 1] Run Google Book Making Software
[Step 2] Choose Book Size & Style
[Step 3] Create Cover Page, back and front, and insides
[Step 4] Choose Layout [text only, text & images]
[Step 5] Choose Theme
[Step 6] Upload Content from My Computer or Blogger
[Step 7] Insert Page Numbering, Additional Footer Information, Header
[Step 8] Edit (Change Layouts of Individual Pages, Insert more text, Insert images, Page Numbering, Footer, Header)
[Step 9] Generate Table of Contents
[Step 10] Generate Index, Tags, or Keywords
[Step 10] Save as PDF

Optional Processes for Selling and Printing
[Step 12] Submit to Google Bookstore
[Step 13] Find Local Printer
[Step 14] Request Print Copy

Libraries [optional]
[1] Library of Preset Layouts / Ability to Create from Scratch
[2] Library of Preset Themes / Ability to Create from Scratch
[3] Library of Fonts
[4] Library of References – add references database to be used in the eBook

[1] One happy blogger – me, and probably many more out there.
[2] Reduced shipping / international charges to the end customer because ability to find local printer.
[3] Due to better printing equipment for end customers, printing companies are closing down. This may open new on demand printing options to small printing companies.

To summarize all above, the request is simple, ‘idiot proof’ book making software, reliable, fast and automated that has ability to pull out files from My Computer / Blogger and generate an eBook, just like Blurb SmartBook(TM). However, in my case I rather pay for the software, than have free software and pay for each print. We are nearly digital society, so let’s save some trees, thus digital copies, or print copies on demand.

Dear Blogger Team:
I hope you can review my proposal and consider adding this item to your project list. Should you need any help, you know where I am. As you can see this is not a new concept, however, may be excellent new addition to Google Labs. Thank you.
Document Release: 0; Document Last Modified: March 10, 2009

How to Take Photos of the Moon? – Part 3: Digital Camera Settings

We know that weather is going to be good and you went out and spend thousands of dollars on your new digital camera equipment, now you need to know settings on your camera to take nice close up photo of the moon.

This tutorial is very simple. All you need to know is how to change metering mode and exposure on your camera. Refer to your manual. However, this is what you need to look for.

If you have SLR camera, then the camera most likely has three metering modes: evaluative [square brackets with circle with dot in the middle], partial [square brackets with circle without a dot] and center-weighted average metering [just a bracket without a circle and dot].

For taking photo of the moon you will need to set your camera to partial metering mode. This mode is effective when the background is much brighter than the subject or darker, in our case it is darker, and the moon is brighter. The partial metering mode covers fewer than 10% of the viewfinder area at the centre. These modes are usually changed using knobs on the camera, at least in my case on my Canon EOS 20D.

If you have point-and-shoot camera, than most likely you have the following three metering modes that are usually changed using menus: evaluative [square brackets with circle with dot in the middle], center-weighted average metering [just a bracket without a circle and dot] and spot [square brackets with circle without a dot] metering. The spot metering in point-and-shoot camera is same as partial metering in SLR. This is in reference to Canon EOS 20D and Canon PowerShot SD600. The spot metering meters the area within the spot AE point at the centre of the LCD monitor.

In addition to all above you need to find out on your camera how to adjust the exposure. Standard exposure level is when the level mark is in the middle or at zero.

Easy Digital Camera Settings for Taking Photo of the Moon
[0] Set your camera to Programmed Mode P where Av and Tv is automatically adjusted, however, still letting you set all the parameters as asked below. You can do it manually, but why not take the advantage of the camera’s intelligence and save yourself a time. Do not try Fully Auto Mode.
[1] Set up your camera on the tripod or stable object to support your arms.
[2] Set to ISO 200. You do not need higher than that, as the moon is already very bright. Higher ISO will make photo grainy.
[3] Set or ensure that the AF focal point is on the centre of the view finder.
[4] Set the metering mode to Partial on SLR or Spot on Point-and-Shoot. A very important setting, otherwise, the moon will be one big bright ball.
[5] Set focal length to 300mm or 400mm. This is if you have any of the lenses with that focal length, or set to maximum on your lens.
[6] Set Exposure to -1. You may want to experiment with this depending how bright the moon is, some times you may go as low as -2.

Note the Following
Av the Aperture priority mode - is the lens opening
Tv the Shutter priority mode - is the shutter speed
In the P Programmed mode these are adjusted automatically.

[1] Moon Photography: How To Take Photos of the Moon - Handy Tip
[2] A Bit of Knowledge: How To Take Photos of the Moon - Handy Tip For SLR Digital Cameras
[3] How to Take a Picture of the Full, Half or Crescent Moon? – Part 1: Moon Calendar & Weather Conditions
[4] How to Take a Picture of the Full, Half or Crescent Moon? – Part 2: Digital Equipment Required
Document Release: 0; Document Last Modified: March 03, 2009