The Many Uses of Sunflower Oil in Restaurants

Owning a restaurant can be very demanding at times. You need to keep your customers satisfied by preparing good fresh food and keeping your kitchen hygienically clean in addition to the excellent customer services skills that you need to hone. When it comes to fresh food, it’s the preparation and ingredients that makes the difference. Starting off with a pure sunflower oil will add to the goodness of the dish.

I want to explore how many uses there are for sunflower oil in restaurant kitchens and how it improves these dishes.

  • Frying. Deep frying is one of the most common uses of sunflower oil namely because it has a high smoke point of at least 227 degrees Celsius. It can be used to fry French fries, onion rings, battered fish, chicken and much more. It is, however, imperative that the chef uses pure sunflower oil when deep frying and does not reuse the oil for the next batch. Reusing frying oil will lower its intensity and pose a health risk.
  • Roasting. Using sunflower oil during the roasting process will add a lovely golden brown colour and crispy texture to dishes such as chicken, roast potatoes, vegetables, etc. When a chef prepares the roasted chicken dish, he adds oil to the roasting pan and coats the chicken with the oil before adding the spices. He then places the chicken in the oven, turning it over only once so that he can obtain that sought after golden brown colour that people love.
  • Cooking. This is probably the most common use of vegetable oil, for cooking purposes. When preparing any dish on the stove, the chef will heat the pot; add the sunflower oil, then onions and the remainder of the ingredients. Cooking any meal always starts with heating the cooking oil. Many wonderful dishes are prepared in this manner such as stew, curry, biryani and casserole.
  • Baking. Any good restaurant has dessert on its menu, especially cake. Cake cannot be baked without sunflower oil. The type of oil that you use in baking will make a difference to the texture and lightness of the cake. Sunflower oil makes the cake lighter and complements the other ingredients, thus making the cake more flavourful.
  • Salads. This may seem strange to some but vegetable oil can be used as salad dressing or in the making of salad dressing. Therefore, creating another element of flavour to an otherwise ordinary salad. Every restaurant should have their own signature salad dressing.

Sunflower oil has many different uses for any restaurant that offers a wide array of dishes. It is clearly a very versatile oil that can be used for frying, roasting, cooking, baking and in salads.

Source by Hassim Seedat

What Are the Available Restaurant Maps Online?

Traditionally, when people were looking for a new restaurant, they would pick up a copy of Zagat’s or some other fancy food guide. But in just a few short years, online maps have come a long way and now offer local information on businesses, shops and eateries too. Sites like Google Maps allow users to create their own maps of favorite establishments that they can save or share with friends and family. There are hundreds of food maps online, although a few noteworthy ideas have risen to the top.

On the West Coast, what could be better than eating a real, authentic Mexican taco out of a truck? With heaping portions, loads of options and mama’s homemade guacamole, you just cannot go wrong. You just can’t get that level of deliciousness from a restaurant, Californians say. However, it can be tricky to locate these trucks, especially if you are from out-of-town. Thus, Yumtacos was born.

Creator Joshua Lurie-Terrell of Sacramento, California said he had been keeping a list of the best taco trucks for quite some time. “As soon as friends of mine knew I had this list, people were calling me all the time,” he admits. From there, transferring the data onto a Google map was no problem. Once the site was live, people could add their own taco truck sightings. Yum Tacos primarily focuses on California, although authentic Mexican taco trucks have been plotted from as far away as Baltimore, Maryland.

Another site, Chinesefoodmap, is based on mapping out the Chinese restaurant locations for Chinese immigrants. Web users will also have access to reviews, menus, driving directions and other local information. Creator Brian Hui first created this site only in Chinese and focusing on Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Chinese food establishments. However, the site has grown nationwide to metros like Houston, Seattle and Atlanta, and an English version inevitably popped up as well.

Users of Google Maps have created a number of restaurant “mashups” based on the Google template. One of the most notable sites is Menurequest, which features more than 5,000 links in New York, San Diego, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Napa Valley, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington DC. Users can visit the restaurant’s website, read reviews, get driving directions and make online reservations through this amazing map. These are just a few of the food maps available to culinary curators. Perhaps your very own city has a site designed just for hungry local residents like you.

Source by Mike Ramidden

Galley Provisioning

Galley provisioning needs a lot of thought if you are going blue water sailing, or on an extended coastal cruise, a lot of pre-planning needs to go into your time at sea. Start 2 or 3 months ahead and write everything that you eat and drink down in a binder.

Separate the binder into what you will need including:

• Food Provisions!
• Equipment needed!
• Marine Refrigeration!
• Favorite Recipes!

Keep track of what you eat for the same period on shore, the number of people that will be on board plus the number of meals during this time. When counting the days off shore add extra time, some say 50% more time in case of bad weather, a slow passage or even miscalculation of food needed.

Cruising builds a healthy appetite running out of food or drink, or even basic ingredients can spoil an otherwise idyllic cruise. And being hungry can bring on fatigue and impair a safe passage.

Basic Provisions:

Get everything dry that is possible and store large quantities in plastic sealed containers, amounts depend on the length of your trip. It is amazing how much variety can be made from flour, rice, baking powder, yeast, powdered milk, pasta, beans, even dried potatoes and vegetables are a good stand by.

Then look at coffee, tea, long life milk, powdered drink mixes, sugar, salt and pepper, cooking oil, vinegar and sauces. Spice things up with dried herbs, chilly and then by adding some tins and frozen products.

When galley provisioning think about the times you’ll feel like pizza, pancakes, lasagna, spaghetti with different sauces, muffins in different varieties, you can whip them all up in no time with these basic ingredients. There is nothing quite like the smell and taste of freshly cooked bread when out at sea! You don’t need an oven to make it either; try using the pressure cooker or a Cob if you have one.

Dry sausages and salamis are great for pizzas and pasta, or an antipasto to have with drinks.

Protein… Meat, Cheeses & Eggs:

Meat is best vacuum packed; it’s tender and keeps longer. A variety of cheeses can be kept without marine refrigeration or months kept in preserving jars covered with virgin olive oil, and some like feta can be flavored with herbs or spices. Cheeses covered with red or yellow wax keep longer.

Keep eggs in a cool place and keep turning them. Some sailors manage without any refrigeration; it can be done with some careful galley provisioning.

Fruit & Vegetables:

Long life fruit and vegetables like pumpkin, cabbage, onions, garlic, potatoes, oranges and lemons, are good to stock up on and store in well ventilated areas; nets are great for this.

Salad vegetables, tomatoes and bananas and others that have a short shelf life store in green supermarket bags and eat early in your voyage. You can buy these provisions at markets along the way.

And when galley provisioning remember when the salad vegetables run out this is the time to think about coleslaw made from cabbage. Many sailors grow their own herbs and sprouts, if there is room and a place that is not going to get bucket loads of sea water drowning them, they help provide fiber and vitamins and liven up meals.

Have three days pre-prepared meals when galley provisioning, easy to eat when you are getting your sea legs especially if you get some heavy weather.
Even on shorter coastal trips this is wise and helps if anyone is likely to get seasick from spending time in the galley.

Yummy Snacks:

And don’t forget the snacks! Lots of them for sun-downers and night watch, great for an energy boost when the weather is too bad to cook.

They can range from cups of soup to chips and dips, biscuits and crackers, cheese and gherkins, energy bars whatever you fancy. And some special treats for special occasions or just for the moral if needed.

Adjust your galley provisioning according to whether you are coastal sailing, blue water sailing and the lands you will visit and availability of stores and markets.

Some countries are great with local markets and fresh produce, others be cautious of introducing ‘creepy crawlies’ to your galley.

Fresh Fish & Seafood:

And don’t forget the freshest meals can be in the sea you sail, fresh fish and other seafood caught from your yacht so have some good recipes to add variety.

And don’t forget your choice of drink be it wine, beer or spirits ( and the mixes), even when going off shore to foreign ports you are not restricted like when you are flying… just take what is a reasonable amount!

Whatever that may be… ? Ever made your own beer? It is possible on board and many sailors do, it’s a big saving too!

Last but definitely not least… water! You can’t survive without it, it is even more important than food so besides full tanks and extra containers of water, find small spaces on the boat to store bottles of filtered water.

I don’t have a water maker and yachts I’ve been on that do I don’t like the taste, and I know others feel the same way, so these bottles can be a ‘life saver.’ Or disguise the taste with a cordial.

Galley Equipment:

The galley is an important part of any boat and the equipment used needs to be taken into careful consideration. If you are looking for quality, and an amazing variety to choose from at a low, low price consider shopping on line.

Galley provisioning adjusts to factors like whether you have a fridge or freezer, and there are preferences here. I have got by very well with just a big freezer, freezing what is necessary and chilling and putting into a cooler what needs to be kept cold.

I have no oven aboard my yacht just a double gas burner and grill, and like so many who cruise a big deep pan is essential for our ‘one pot’ dishes. The other saucepan I use the most is a double pot steamer.

Strong plastic containers of all sizes are an important part of the modern day galley; they keep dampness and ‘creepy crawlies’ out and have a multitude of other uses.

Fall in love with a pressure cooker, one of my most essential pieces of equipment in the galley. They are fast cooking, so save gas and in the tropics speed keeps the heat in the cabin down, and the time spent ‘slaving over a hot stove’.

Even in bad sea’s they are safe to cook in with the sealed lid and they can cook casseroles that are tasty and tender in a fraction of the time of an oven and even bake bread.

The Cobb is fantastic too; a portable cooker that can be used on any surface on the boat or ashore, and runs on a handful of heat beads. It can be used as an oven and makes delicious roasts, smokes fish, bakes bread and pizzas, and can be used as a stove or bar-b-que.

Compile some recipes’ together and make sure you have all the ingredients and equipment and put these in your binder. Not just main meals and one pot meals, but some treats to delight the crew with! Bon-Appetite!

Source by Christine Couch

The Image Adjustment Lab and New Histogram in Corel Photo Paint X4

The Image Adjustment Lab is an area within PHOTO-PAINT that allows you to make global changes, correcting the color and tones of most images quickly and easily. Before using the Image Adjustment Lab, it’s best to do any cropping or retouching beforehand.

Also, if you have any masking to do, it’s a good idea to do that beforehand as well. Since the Image Adjustment Lab will make global corrections to your images, masking off the areas that you don’t want to be color corrected is important. My suggestion is to take only the areas that you want corrected and copy those sections as separate Objects (layers).


Some of the features of the Image Adjustment Lab allow you to:

  • Look at a before and after preview of the section you’re working on.
  • Create an Auto Adjustment (which is often a correct color balance or very close to it the first time you use it).
  • Set a White and Black Point.
  • Make global corrections such as Temperature, Tint, Saturation, Brightness, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows and Midtones.
  • NEW: The Real-Time Histogram allows you to edit images with greater accuracy. The histogram lets you know if the highlights or shadows will be clipped and it also shows you if the dynamic range has been expanded too much (which may create a posterizing effect). It’s recommended that you use the automatic features first. If they don’t give you the result you’re after, then you can start experimenting with the various sliders.
  • Use the Create Snapshot feature to take snapshots of your work in progress. These are displayed below the working image, allowing you to keep track of your adjustments. If, for any reason, you don’t like the changes, you can click on a previous snapshot to restore the color balance or you can access the Click to Reset button to start over from the beginning. These features make it relatively easy to manipulate images, but it’s easy to get caught up in the features and lose track of what you’re doing. I recommend that you keep a notebook handy when working on images (especially when working on a complex project) and take note of the settings. These will come in handy when you work on a new project with similar issues.

To access the Image Adjustment Lab, go to the main toolbar and click on Adjust: Image Adjustment Lab. This brings up the Image Adjustment Lab dialog box.

The Controls

At the top of the dialog box are a number of tools which govern navigating your way around the dialog box.

  • These are the Rotation tools, the Pan tool, the Zoom tools (zoom in/out, fit in window (F4) and display image at normal size) and the Preview Modes.
  • On the right hand side are the automatic and manual controls which are organized in a workflow order for image correction. Essentially, you start in the upper right hand corner and work your way down. These sliders (which include the option for numeric entry include: Auto-adjust, Temperature, Tint, Saturation, Brightness, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows and Midtones.
  • The Auto adjust button is often the only tool you’ll need. It corrects the lightest and darkest areas and adjusts the tonal range in each channel.
  • The White/Black point automatically adjusts the contrast in the image. The black/white eyedroppers also create some tonal neutrality in the image and aren’t just for setting the white/black points.
  • The Temperature slider corrects the color casts by “warming” or “cooling” the color casts in the image. This allows you to compensate for lighting issues at the time the photography was taken.
  • The Tint slider governs the green and magenta in an image and is the control you would use after the Temperature slider to fine-tune the image.
  • The Saturation slider controls how vivid your colors are. Moving the slider to the right increases the effect while moving it to the left decreases the effect.
  • The Brightness slider controls the overall brightness or darkness of an image.
  • The Contrast slider contros the difference in tone between the light and dark areas of an image. Use of this control can mute colors or increase image detail.
  • The Highlights slider controls the brightness in the lightest areas of the image. Here, you would also use the Midtones and Shadows sliders to fine-tune the image. Of the next two controls the Shadows slider lets you adjust the brightness in the darkest parts of the image, while the Midtones slider controls the brightness in the midrange tones of an image.
  • Directly below these controls are the Real-Time Histogram, the Hints pane and the Create Snapshot button. As mentioned earlier, the histogram lets you know if the highlights or shadows will be clipped and it also shows you if the dynamic range has been expanded too much (which may create a posterizing effect).
  • The Hints pane gives you information about each slider and gives information about how to use them. To see the corresponding hint for a given slider, hover your mouse above the slider and the information will appear.
  • Below is the Create Snapshot button. This is used to preserve details of the changes you make as you go through the process of correcting an image. Each snapshot contains the detials of your changes. Clicking on Create Snapshot creates a thumbnail beginning on the lower left of your images. These allow you to revert to an earlier stage of image correction in case you don’t like what you’ve done currently.
  • Immediately after that are the Undo/Redo and Reset to Original controls which appear on the lower left of the dialog box. You can use these buttons to Undo/Redo parts of your image, or click on the Reset to Original button to reset your image to the beginning of your corrections.

The Image Adjustment Lab Dialog Box

Ideally you’ll want to take care of light/color correction issues on location, but that isn’t always possible.

Beyond this chapter is a video tutorial that I’ve created on how to use the Image Adjustment Lab. Another option for image corrections is to work with the Tone Curve, which is also quite effective.

Source by Nathan Segal