From chef stations to grand buffets, multi-course meals to passed apps, the possibilities for your event are limitless. Spice of Life Catering Co. will customize your menu to the season and occasion using ingredients from small family farms in our region. If planned far enough in advance, foods can be grown exclusively for your event, featuring menu items that are truly one of a kind.
I always have a habit of storing food and leftovers in the fridge to consume for later use. According to my actual experiences, the refrigerator is like the best-storing equipment that every family usually has one. I will not mention the shelf life of common food in your kitchen such as meat, spinach in this article, I want to give some helpful information about that of Tahini and Chinese food – my favorite food recently.
How Long Does Tahini Last in the Fridge?
#1 Unopened Tahini
From when you leave the grocery stores and just use up just 1 jar of tahini, the remaining jars are still sealed and can last for a very long time in the fridge. The shelf life of tahini doesn’t depend on the amount of time you store tahini, it depends on the expiry date printed on the package. It can last up to 3 to 4 weeks even after its sell-by date and up to 6 months after its best-buy date when being kept in the fridge or pantry. For some brands, tahini can last up to 2 years so they might be added some preservatives, check the ingredients list to make sure if they use or not. Generally, one thing you need to consider when buying tahini from the grocery store is notice the expiry date, sell-by date and best-by date to avoid purchasing jars of tahini that are close to the spoiling time.
#2 Opened Tahini
Once your jar of tahini is opened, I’m sure that it cannot last as long as the unopened one, the process of food degradation seems to speed up. If you don’t use the fridge, your tahini can last for about 1 to 2 months in the pantry. But if you choose to store in the refrigerator, the shelf life of tahini can be lengthened up to 6 months. To ensure its shelf life to reach the maximum storing time, you should consider wrapping your tahini in the best airtight container. External factors such as bacteria, the smell of other food in the fridge can affect the quality of opened jars if you don’t use any proper storing method. This can definitely cause spoilage to tahini and also means that your tahini could change to a bitter taste.
How Long does Chinese Food Last in the Fridge?
Chinese food expresses an important image of Chinese culture. It uses a variety of flavors and ingredients in a dozen cooking methods. Normal Chinese food I’ve eaten is from the restaurants so it was fully processed. If I cannot eat all of those delicious dishes, I have let them stored in the fridge for the next meals. I have to put them in the airtight containers or vacuum sealed plastic bag for about 3 to 4 days. With packed Chinese food from grocery stores such as dim sum, you can check the sell-by date and best-by date to decide how long can it be safe to eat. Chinese food can last an additional of about 1 month after its sell-by date and about 4 – 6 months after its best-by date.
There are a few microscopic organisms and chemicals that may prevail in your hot tub and a decent Ozonator can viably sanitize the water in your hot tub to make it clean and healthy.
Any pollution is separated by the ozone generator; subsequently, the job of an Ozonator is indispensable. So, here are the 4 best Hot Tub Ozonator that you can choose from if you eventually decide to go out and get one.
1. DEL Ozone Hot Tub and Spa Eclipse
- It has an auto voltage sensing
- It accompanies a 1-year warranty
- Effective in killing microorganisms up to 99.99%
- Detailed user manual inclusive
- Easy installation
- Many clients did not think it was worth it
No additional chemicals are required to clean the water of your hot tub with this sophisticated Ozonator by Del. The solid disinfectant present in it successfully evacuates every one of the bacteria with the chlorine and bromine chemicals, keeping your hot tub water perfect and safe. It also does the job of eliminating odor present in the water.
2. Prozone Water Products PZ1 220V Ozone System
- Fast shipping
- Installation pack is given
- Compatible with leading spa brands
- Appropriate for the portable spa with an 800-gallon limit
- Quick conveyance
- The ozone release delivery framework is patented
- Not operable without venture system
- The cost is on the higher side
It is one of the powerful and solid Ozonators which keeps your hot tub water sparkling with its effective innovation. Specifically meant for the bigger Hot tubs, it supports the patented technology to guarantee an incredible quality management system for your hot tub water.
With this Ozonator, minimal upkeep is required. Very tough, you will have a hassle-free bathing experience with great cleanliness and better water quality.
3. QCA Spas Del Ozone APG-U-01 Ozonator
- Easy plug and play installation
- Qualifies producer with a decent reputation
- Mounting gear included
- Robust plastic body
- Treats microorganisms productively
- No auto voltage sensing accessible
This durable Ozonator guarantees the magnificent ozone-based cleaning to deal with the microorganisms present in your hot tub water naturally. You will not be required to add oxidants like chlorine to treat such bacteria.
It comes in a plastic body which makes it corrosion-free externally and shields the different metal parts inside from rusting. It is powerful in long water purification and comes with great durability. In addition to being moderately priced, it is truly worth every penny spent on it.
4. DEL MCD-50 Spa Ozonator Universal Voltage
- It is a decent arrangement for the huge hot tubs up to 1000 gallons
- The ozonating chip is replaceable
- It can be mounted on the interior of the wall
- Can be installed easily with the necessary components provided.
- A bit expensive
Perfect for the huge hot tubs, this practical Ozonator is amazing in refreshing the bigger amount of spa water. It facilitates the replacement of ozonating chip which turns out to be the most useful part of this Ozonator, making it durable and cost-efficient.
This is a typically misguided judgment. You needn’t bother with a rooster for your hens to lay eggs, but for the eggs to be fertilized into baby chicks, a rooster will be needed. With or without a chicken nonetheless, a hen will lay eggs regardless. Is especially true if you have backaches or need a BEST AUTOMATIC EGG INCUBATOR
A few farmers want to keep an all-female flock, and urban or rural homesteaders might not have a choice due to zoning laws that prohibit roosters. In most cases, farmers chose not to keep roosters since they can be aggressive and noisy.
When you own a rooster, you must watch your broody hens (who will sit on the eggs, trusting they will hatch), on the grounds that the eggs will begin forming into baby chicks if fertilized. A broody can be used to hatch eggs whenever you want to, but this involves some serious consideration and inspection so you don’t end up eating the eggs she’s trying to incubate.
A few farmers have no problems having a rooster on the flock since they offer some sort of protection for the flock. He will sound the alert if any danger is perceived and will also provide guard against predators.
- They protect the flock. Roosters will protect their flock from predators, protecting them by keeping them together and sounding the alarm if a predator is close by. He will likewise defend them physically against any attack.
- They naturally complete the flock. Chickens usually live with males and females together, so allowing this is simply allowing your chickens to live the normal way. Also, they help monitor the nest boxes, encourage egg laying, find and give treats to the hens and break up fights when they occur.
- They’re wonderful. Chickens are exemplary farmstead symbols, and they are flawless to look at in most cases.
- They have a great deal of identity. Presently, this can likewise be a con, but most people find that roosters are extremely engaging and fascinating animals to have around.
- If you intend hatching chicks the natural way, then you need to have one.
- Zoning laws. If your county or city doesn’t allow them, please stay away from them. Getting a rooster in such a place is simply asking for trouble.
- They can be loud. Yes, they crow in the morning, evening and other inopportune times and this could be pretty annoying. Think about your neighbors’ responses, especially if you live around neighbors.
- They can be aggressive in nature. Roosters have spurs on their ankles that can break the skin. You constantly have to teach them to believe you’re a bigger rooster and this is ideal if you want them to respect you and also if you have a lot of people coming into the farm.
- They can wear out the hens. Chicken sex isn’t consensual, and if you own too many hens and just a few roosters (one rooster to twelve hens is okay), your hens will begin to show the wear: backs scoured clean of feathers, and they’ll be out and out exhausted. Carefully keep up your rooster to hen ration if you intend raising a healthy flock.
New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries we’ve ever visited. To fully explore NZ, we had decided long before arriving that we would rent a car, buy a tent, and camp all across the country. We researched a lot before heading out, and there’s a ton of stuff we found out along the way. Whether you are a local Kiwi or visiting from abroad, we’ve compiled what we learned from our bests and our blunders to bring you the best guide to camping in New Zealand.
Camping in New Zealand: When and Where to Start
Although some (not all) campgrounds in New Zealand are open year-round, camping season generally runs from October 1st to April 30th. December, January, and February are the warmest and most popular months, making the new year the ideal time to camp. However, it can still get chilly depending on where you are in the country, especially in the mountains. Spending the night in the area of Milford Sound, for example, can be quite chilly, and the South of the South Island is generally prone to rain.
To avoid crowds, pay attention to the types of campsites you select and make note of New Zealand’s holidays. Campsites near lakes and beaches can be very busy on holidays and weekends and a lot of sites are first-come, first-served (only some need to be booked in advance).
To start planning, check out the Department of Conservation website (DOC) or if you are already in New Zealand, visit the nearest DOC Visitor Centre. These offices have a lot of information on hand, including brochures outlining all of the conservation campsites throughout the country and which campsites are currently closed or inaccessible. This is also where you would purchase permits for select campsites that require them.
Helpful Apps for Camping in New Zealand
Camping is such a huge part of the culture in New Zealand that several camping apps have been made and are available to download. These apps were immensely helpful to us, so try out a few and decide which one works for you. We ended up using a couple different apps because some campsites would appear on one but not the other. These apps may also show free Wifi hotspots across the country, showers, bathrooms, etc. Wifi is not available while you’re driving in the middle of nowhere, so we would start off our day by marking the GPS coordinates of where we were going to end, as well as anywhere we planned on stopping on our way. Some of the maps and their features also work offline.
Our favorite part about the apps were the reviews. Keeping in mind that an individual’s experience of a campsite is subjective, the reviews give campers an opportunity to relay helpful information to others. For example, some reviews may advise against using a certain route to access the site, or avoiding another site because the only toilet is out of order. We once read a review that warned us about the prevalence of sandflies at a campsite. We thought it would be fine because we were only planning on staying one night, but we had to leave within five minutes because a plague attacked us as soon as we got out of the car.
While we were camping in New Zealand, we used these two apps:
Download for iOS
Download for Android
WIKICAMPS NEW ZEALAND
Download for iOS
Download for Android
What to Bring
We planned on preparing a checklist of items and gear you would need to go camping, but that list can be long and vary depending on how you like to camp. If that is what you are looking for, the folks over at Kiwi Holiday Parks have a general but comprehensive camping checklist that you can find here. We can highlight and add some items that we found helpful specifically for camping across DOC sites in New Zealand.
- Weatherproofing: Bring a waterproof tent with a rain cover. Make sure the tent bottom is also waterproof. Rain is more of a concern on the South Island, but something to prepare for nonetheless. If you may be camping where the nights are cool, a warm sleeping bag will be very important.
- Sun Protection: The sun in New Zealand is no joke. At peak hours during Summer months, the UV index can exceed 12, making sunscreen a must. Bring a hat to protect your head if you are planning on taking some hikes, and don’t forget sun protection for your lips.
- Bug Repellant: We would suggest bug spray if you can’t stand even the smallest amount of annoyance, but we didn’t find it necessary. We didn’t use any except for the aforementioned sandfly plague, but even then it was no match against the swarm. Check out Goodbye Sandfly’s NZ Map for an overview of high density sandfly spots across the country. Our sandfly experience occurred in the dense red cluster you can see at the North of the South Island, so we can vouch for the map’s accuracy in that instance.
- Gas Camping Stove: There are many camp sites where open fires are prohibited. We had with us a portable burner that worked off of a small, contained wood fire, and even that wasn’t permitted sometimes. Luckily for us, the site office had a gas stove to lend us, so go that route from the beginning and ensure you always have something to cook on.
- Flashlight (Torch): At Basic campsites (more on that later), amenities are minimal. The drop toilet can be a walk down the road with no light to guide your way. Having a flashlight will be very handy for those unavoidable nature calls in the middle of the night.
- A Pen and Change/Cash: DOC sites run on a semi-honour system. If there is no supervision on a paid site, a payment box is located at the entrance, and site patrollers make intermittent rounds to collect and ensure payment. Use your pen to fill out the form and detach the portion to be placed on your car windshield. Once complete, you can put the form and exact change in the provided ziploc bag and drop it in the payment box.
- GPS: Couple a GPS with the use of the apps for camping in New Zealand, and finding your site for the night could not be easier. While on Wifi – or using the offline maps – mark down the GPS coordinates of your chosen site and plug them into your GPS when you are ready to head over.
- Food: Stock up on groceries for your trip and make sure you can always go a couple days without restocking. Though you are never too far from civilization while camping in New Zealand, some sites are more remote than others, or you may plan to stay at one site for a few nights in a row.
- Something Heavy: Every night we found a new campsite, we had to search around for something we could use to setup our tent. We could have saved some time had we packed a hammer or something to secure the tent pegs into the ground. If you forget to pack something, find a rock that works and hold onto it for the rest of your trip.
Site Types, Prices and Amenities
New Zealand is packed with DOC campsites with a range of amenities. There is everything from free sites with nothing more than a drop toilet, to paid options with hot showers and kitchens. We stayed at Basic and Standard sites for the most part. When we just could not go any longer without a nice, hot shower, we spoiled ourselves and dropped serious coin on a $15 NZD pp Serviced site. The money is worth it for the Serviced site when you need it, but the cheaper options are better for a more rustic, nature-oriented and likely less populated camping experience. Here is an overview of DOC site options:
Serviced sites and some Standard and Scenic sites require bookings. You can still do like we did and simply show up hoping that there is space. It just means that there’s no guarantee unless you book it in advance. Basic campsites are always first-come, first-served. Use the apps for camping in New Zealand and the DOC website to find out which sites require bookings as you travel. In any case, find out whether the site has access times. The last thing you want to do is drive for an hour only to find out that the entrance gate closed at 8:00 pm.
Budget camping is the focus of this guide, but we should quickly mention that there is the other, the much more expensive option of staying in New Zealand’s Holiday Parks. For more information on Holiday Parks, visit http://www.holidayparks.co.nz/
Ferry and Car Rental
You’ll need a car if your plan is to embark on a cross-country camping road trip. After the plane tickets, the car rental is the first thing we booked. There are many rental options available, especially if you are starting in Auckland. The company we went with and would recommend is Apex Car Rentals, and there’s a very good reason. With certain conditions, Apex includes the Cook Strait Ferry ticket for your car in the rental price. The Cook Strait Ferries (there are several companies) take you from the North Island to the South Island, and vice-versa. Normally, you’re looking at a price of roughly $286 NZD for a small car, and with other rental companies, you would have to pay that.
Here are the details of the Apex Ferry deal, where you can also find the pricing information for the passenger fares (not included, but about $130 NZD return pp). You’ll need to book the ferry tickets ahead of time through Apex, so make sure you have your anticipated crossing dates on hand. If you don’t plan on crossing the strait, then you may find better deals with other companies that don’t include the ferry ticket.
Camping in New Zealand: Do Not Forget
Now that you’re informed and well equipped to experience an incredible camping road trip across New Zealand, here are a few additional basics to keep in mind:
- Fires: Many DOC campgrounds prohibit fires while others provide designated fire pits. In any case, be sure to follow the DOC’s regulations. If you are unsure, check with the site’s office or on the DOC website when there is no office. Always remember to soak your fire before leaving or going to bed.
- Garbage/Rubbish: Respect the area and don’t leave your trash behind.
- Prohibited Camping: There are spaces where camping is expressly prohibited, or limited to certain types of campers. Don’t pitch your tent on a campsite meant exclusively for campervans.
- Site fees: After only a few nights of camping in New Zealand’s breathtaking outdoors, you’ll appreciate the extent to which the DOC has made the outdoor experience so accessible. Support their efforts and always pay your nightly site fees.
Filtering water is to be taken with the upmost attention and concern. Protecting yourself against impurities and improving the taste of the water you drink is an all-important aspect of life. Untreated water sources are contaminated and unsafe to drink. Thankfully, the solutions are more practical than you think.
Do-it-yourself water filters may turn out to be the last chance at your survival. Figure out which water filtration method would be best suited for you, or learn them all to increase your chances of staying alive. These methods have long been practiced by our ancestors for the means of survival and through to present day needs.
Activated Carbon Filter
This surprisingly simple DIY filter provides a great alternative to manufactured water filters and perfect for a survival situation. This is the fastest of the listed methods, but it also calls for maybe the most demanding resource for a survival situation – activated carbon. But, if you are prepared with this in an emergency bag, it would be no problem to carry out this method.
All you need is an empty plastic one-liter bottle, survival folding saw, rinsed activated carbon, and a knife or sharp edge to cut the bottle. Optional items you may be lucky enough to come across are coffee filters, but it is not truly required for this survival water filter. The coffee filters simply help maintain the filter’s lifespan.
Start with an empty, one-liter plastic bottle. Then, turn it upside down and cut the bottom off only a few inches. Make a small hole in the cap of the bottle and leave it on. Fill up the bottle with activated carbon. The bottle containing the carbon will look like it is pointing towards the ground. Finally, pour the dirty water into your new filter. And that is it. The carbon naturally filters out chemical contaminants.
But, here are a few things to further note. If you are filtering your water from a river, stream, pond, etc., you must boil the water first for at least five minutes to eliminate any pathogens. After that is complete, you may use the activated carbon filter. Also, if you have access to paper coffee filters that would help by first filtering out larger debris to maintain the effectiveness of the activated carbon. If you are only retrieving water from rain or a tap, boiling is unnecessary for those sources are cleaner than natural bodies of water.
A great alternative to this plastic bottle filter is using a turkey baster – very similar to a straw. If the turkey baster is filled with rinsed activated carbon, you can suck up the unfiltered water using your own air pressure. Now you got a survival straw!
Sapwood or Pine Filter
This DIY method is a slow one, but still effective nonetheless. Only use this technique if you have the time of half a day to a full day to let water slowly be filtered.
Utilizing the natural filtration power inherently within trees, a water filter can be created using sapwood or pine. The matrix within these trees prevent bacteria from passing through, yet guide water molecules effortlessly downward.
Using a t-shirt or similar type of cloth, tightly wind the fabric around a piece of this wood. The goal is to have water filter directly through the wood from one side to the other, while the fabric ultimately prevents unfiltered water from running down the sides of the wood mixing with the filtered water. Careful and consistent attention is needed to monitor the behavior of the unfiltered water. In other words, do your best to tie or re-tie the shirt around the wood if water is escaping down the sides. If too much water is let through the sides untreated, this process has failed. But, if done rightly so, four liters a day can be pass through the sapwood or pine filter.
Patience is key with this method. Like the snowball effect, this method can produce a lot of filtered water over a longer period if cultivated correctly in the first place. It just takes a while for the first droplets of water to filter through the wood. Once that is complete, a constant dripping of filtered water can be expected throughout the day.
Bringing untreated water to a boil is a tried and true method of removing unwanted pathogens, bacteria, and viruses. For this to be effective, the boil must last for at least five minutes. Once, the water has completed boiling, let it cool down to your liking. If you want it hot as it is, be careful with burning the inside of your mouth. To enjoy a cool drink of water, you will have to wait until it cools down naturally – which may take up to twenty minutes.
Whether you find yourself in an urban environment or wilderness setting, know there is way to create a fire. Brush up on your fire making skills or learn how to before embarking on this method. Yes, this is for sudden survival situations, but still learn now while you can.
Basic fire making skills and a pot to boil the water are needed, but these things can be created or modified in many ways. Be creative if you have to! For those still wary about this method, take the time now on learning how to start a fire from using only the nature around you. Or on the other hand, obtain the skills, substances, and materials to create a fire in an urban survival scenario with what is available.
These three incredible ways to create DIY water filters are simple means to use in a survival situation. They can be the difference life and death from being able to go just push your body longer because of clean water.
Although these water filter setups may seem simple, their efficacy is undeniable. With effort and persistence, anyone can filter water in such situations using the DIY water filtration systems stated above.
Choosing the right cleaning kit for your gun is a crucial part of gun safety. Learning proper gun cleaning techniques and using the proper tools can go a long way to increase the longevity and durability of your weapon.
With so many options on the market, you need to be aware of the following criteria to make sure your decision is a wise one.
You need to figure out which type of container would work best for you and your gun cleaning needs. Most people use a toolbox because of the ease of transport plus the dividing sections. Or, you can use the carrying case that comes with most gun cleaning kits on the market today. So, if you have an extra toolbox that is not carrying that many tools or can downsize your tools elsewhere, then there you go – you already have your container to keep all your pieces organized.
When you obtain all the parts you find that are fit to clean your firearm, organize them properly. Few things about being a gun owner are more frustrating than finding your gun cleaning process to be a cluttered scene. Don’t start with an unorganized toolkit – start fresh and ordered.
Place your toolkit in a memorable place for yourself, but not for any young children or clueless others. Your kit will contain harmful substances and parts that can seriously hurt someone if swallowed or used the wrong way.
Read the owner’s manual of your selected container to see any specific points on which pieces intended to be where. Most of the parts to clean a firearm are lightweight and not too large, which provides more flexibility than ordinary tools. But, if it makes more sense, just use your best judgement to place your parts in an orderly fashion.
Although many toolkits boast a variety of accessories with many different types of bells and whistles, brushes stand to be a staple in every kit. You will always need them to scrub out lead residue in the hard to reach areas such as the handgun slide and muzzle brakes. Anywhere you need to brush up your gun, you will decide to use hard or soft brushes. A kit containing nylon and bronze brushes is what you need to look for when considering the tough to reach spots all around your weapon.
Depending on what you are scrubbing out, you will know which brush to use. For example, use the nylon brushes for soft dirt and residue because there is not any need to accidently scratch the gun when the substance that soft to take off. For more built up residue that can not come off with a simple nylon brush, step up to a bronze brush to be sure of the lead removal. But, before you use the bronze brush, make sure the barrel, or wherever you are cleaning, is well lubricated to prevent scratching. Furthermore, if you purchase a steel brush be extra cautious because it is even much harder than bronze.
Make no mistake this is specifically oil for your gun – not your vehicle. A synthetic gun oil gets the job done. Gun oil provides prevention of rust and heavy metal build up when applied correctly. This is essential to maintaining your firearm. A little bit of gun oil can take you a long way, so there is no need to worry about buying too much. One, small five fluid ounce bottle will provide you a handful of service cleanings for your weapon.
When dabbing it onto the appropriate cloth, be careful to not pour too much of this precious synthetic lube all over. It can really stain clothing or be a pain to remove from carpet and cotton. Use it outside above concrete or folded down cardboard boxes – especially far away from valuable belongings.
This is to be used in perfect combination with the gun oil. It is specifically for cleaning, polishing, and protecting the gun’s exterior surfaces. Silicone cloth is soft, yet cannot be used indefinitely. After one intense use or a few regular cleanings, you will need to purchase more to achieve their usefulness again. But, do not be too quick to just throw them away because they can be used for protecting gun parts when in storage when completely dry.
With your silicone cloth in one hand and your open gun oil in the other, drop a few small bits of oil onto the dry cloth. The reason to only use a pinch of lubricant with the silicone cloth is because that is all it really needs. It can be easy to get carried away with the gun oil on the cloth, but just know an excess of oil on the rag can cause you more problems than not. Too much, and you will be needing more other rags that will be trashed just to clean up the mess. And remember, the gun needs to be absolutely dry before you can continue to use it. Since you only should use a little bit of oil, a portion of the rag should stay completely dry to provide the final polishing touching to ensure a ready to use firearm.
Sure, there are plenty of extra, attractive features you can look for in gun cleaning kits; but, these are the four necessary, key components to selecting the ultimate gun cleaning kit and how to use them. While doing your research, keep these standards in mind. You will be well on your way to maintaining a long life for your beloved firearm. All you need to do is keep safety first as a responsible gun owner, and the rest of your gun cleaning kit journey shall fall neatly into place.
Spices and herbs don’t simply add flavor to dishes, they can enhance your wellbeing and help checkmate your health.
Truly, cooking with spices and herbs can overwhelm you sometimes, particularly in case you’re just used to pepper and salt to your meals. In any case, you’ll soon understand the potential for flavor and depth these spices convey to dishes
The following are the best spices and herbs to always stock up in your kitchen.
In the event that you want a spicy and delicious meal, then this herb is for you. The vast majority concur that cardamom tastes best when it’s newly ground. If you are unable to get this, then cardamom powder will still get the job done.
It can be added to tea, smoothies, coffee, main meals with meat slicer for home use.
A lot of people use cinnamon because of its various medical advantages. Studies have proven that it can aid weight loss, enhance insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar.
Cinnamon is also great because you can add it to relatively every dish. You can sprinkle it on coffee, tea, broth, main meals and on fruits.
If you’re new to cinnamon, sprinkle little amounts until the point when you get accustomed to it.
I’m sure you’ve heard the numerous advantages of this Indian zest. As per investigation, it battles inflammation and reduces the dangers of joint pain, diabetes and a few cancers.
Add turmeric to your stew pot and soups to give them a different color. You can likewise add it to main dishes, roasted veggies and smoothies.
Studies show that saffron extracts alleviate symptoms of depression and improve mood. In one study, women who didn’t take saffron capsules experienced higher levels of depression compared to women who took saffron.
Unlike most herbs and spices, saffron is expensive. Fortunately, one squeeze can add flavor to your dish. Abstain from purchasing powdered saffron since a few organizations blend it with different spices.
Ginger has numerous healing propensities, on account of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It treats stomach related issues, nausea and morning sickness.
It can also be used to add flavor to sweet and exquisite dishes. Don’t hesitate to add it to tea, salads and smoothies.
You unquestionably need to keep this in your kitchen, particularly if you feel the need to lose weight. Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, a component that enhances fat burning and boosts metabolism.
Cayenne pepper can be added to relatively every meal including roasted veggies, nuts, scrambled eggs, soups and a lot more.
If you intend adding smokiness to your meals, then cumin is your best option. Truth be told, cumin can help you shed some weight. A study was done and it was discovered that overweight ladies who ate one teaspoon of cumin consistently for 3 months lost 3 times more fat and 3 more pounds when compared to women who didn’t.
Always add cumin to your hummus, tacos, broth and so on.
Now tell us the herbs you currently keep in your kitchen?
If you’ve already read our Iceland Ring Road Trip Part 1, then you know we left off our story having visited the iceberg lagoon of Jökulsárlón. Continuing East and then Northward, our drive along Highway 1 became a more secluded and sparse experience of Iceland. The further we ventured away from Reykjavik and the Golden Circle, the less populated it became and consequently, the less touristy. This also meant longer drives between points of interest. Luckily for us, what Iceland began to lack in tourist spots, it made up for in breathtaking routes and landscapes.
Iceland Ring Road Trip: Driving Northeast
We had read very briefly about wild reindeer that live and travel in the higher altitudes of East Iceland, but we never imagined we would see any for ourselves. While seemingly in the middle of nowhere, we were lucky enough to encounter a family of Reindeer in the distance, wanting to cross the road ahead of us. After a scramble to grab the camera, we were able to capture a few of them on film.
Continuing our drive up the east coast of Iceland meant we would soon be ascending into the mountains that would then descend down into the Northeastern towns. As the ascent began, the unpredictable nature of Iceland’s weather rang true when a thick fog settled in and cut our speed in half.
Driving slowly and with much caution, we eventually made it through the fog and to the highest elevation. Though the terrain was fully covered in snow, it was by far the warmest weather we had experienced since being in the country. All we were ever told about Iceland is how cold and damp it is. It turns out, the Northeast of Iceland is where the warm weather is at. We parked our campervan, took off our jackets and walked around for a bit.
Our descent took us all the way to the small town of Egilsstaðir. It only has a population of roughly 2,200 people and not so much in the tourist department. But sometimes when you’re consistently on the go, there’s nothing you want more than a simple, calming spot to relax, unwind and take in the views. We parked our van in front of lake Lagarfljót, sat at a nearby picnic table and enjoyed.
Our next stop was Iceland’s largest forest, located about 25 kilometers from the town of Egilsstaðir. Up until now, most of our hikes had been on land covered in moss with no trees in sight. Needless to say, it was a bizarre experience to suddenly encounter an abundance of trees, not having realized your mind had unconsciously missed them.
There are over forty kilometers of marked trails and footpaths in the Hallormsstaður National Forest, making it a perfect spot to hike and picnic for the day. We walked for a while, enjoying the heat of the sun, then plopped down for lunch with a view of the mountains beyond.
We didn’t end up staying for long but had us more time, we would have looked into renting a campsite for the night and booking one of the horse-riding tours for the following day.
Dettifoss, Selfoss & Goðafoss
Have we talked your ears off about waterfalls yet? It’s funny because when we started our road trip, we were amazed by all of the waterfalls we encountered, stopping at each and every one. After a couple weeks, however, we became a bit more picky about the waterfall detours we would take. These three are worth stopping for, and you can visit our dedicated ‘Iceland Waterfalls Aplenty‘ post to read about them in detail.
Iceland Ring Road Trip: Mývatn Region
Mývatn is the name of the lake situated not far from the Krafla volcano. Created by a large eruption over two thousand years ago, the area is mostly spluttering mudpots, weird lava formations, steaming fumaroles and volcanic craters. The name is nowadays not only used for the lake, but also for the whole inhabited area that surrounds the lake. Having already been to the Blue Lagoon, we opted not to visit the nature baths.
Our first stop in the region was the giant lava field at Dimmuborgir which, according to Icelandic folklore, connects Earth to Hell.
The area is composed of volcanic caves and rock formations, giving it its name which literally translates to ‘The Dark Castles’. You can hike three marked color-coded trails: Church Circle, Small Circle, and Big Circle. Church Circle is 2.25km and takes about an hour, whereas the other two are much shorter at 550m and 800m respectively.
We then visited Hverfell, a crater that came into existence over 2,500 years ago. It rises close to 500m from the ground and stretches for over 1000m. Composed solely of loose gravel, it reminded us of what you see after a dumpster drops gravel at a construction site. You can hike up from the parking lot with a bit of effort.
Höfði Nature Park was our next stop. A private reserve with hiking paths located in the southeastern corner of the region, Höfði is similar to Hallormsstaður in that you will feel like you are in a different country as you walk through the paths surrounded by the small forest. It also has great viewpoints that overlook other volcanic rock formations.
Traveling a bit further, we found the pseudocraters located in the small village of Skútustaðir. These craters, resembling a beginner course in Mario Kart, were formed by trapped subsurface water that came to a boiling point and exploded to the surface. We followed the path up and down, enjoying the wonderful views over the lake and dogging random banana peels along the way. Google an aerial view of this place to see what it really looks like.
Our last stop in the Mývatn region was at the steamy sulfur vents of Krafla. We parked in the lot and immediately after getting out the campervan, Adamo was smacked in the face with the smell. The odor was unlike any we had encountered before. This wasn’t simply the smell of rotten egg: the air was so pungent that it instantly gave him a headache and he found it hard to breathe. We started walking toward the mudpots for Adamo to take some photos, but he only managed a couple before he had to run back to the van. I think he was being dramatic, he thinks I’ve lost my sense of smell.
We also briefly visited the small city of Akureyri. After the capital of Reykjavik, this is the second largest urban area in the country. To be honest, we didn’t do much in Akureyri, using it merely as an opportunity to relax and take in the sun. It was around 21 degrees Celsius when we got here! There was, however, a nice library where we took some time to plan the rest of our route.
After arriving at Kolugljúfur, we instantly knew we would be spending the night there, and it became one of our favorite memories from our trip. Take notes, because you have to experience it the EXACT same way we did. This is where we arrived after spending most of the day experiencing other sites. We had gotten there around dinner time, driving up to this incredible canyon in the middle of nowhere, seeing the houses across the way and realizing we were the only travelers for miles.
Legend has it Kolugljúfur was originally the home of a beautiful troll. She was named Kola and she dug out the canyon to make it her home, hence the reason the canyon and waterfall are named after her. If you look closely, you can even make out her bed as well as her cauldron where she used to cook the salmon that she caught from the river.
We prepared our meal and crossed the bridge overlooking the canyon to make our way to the conveniently located picnic table. Eating there in solitude was unforgettable. Because it’s daylight for most hours of the day, you kind of has to decide for yourself when it’s time for some shut-eye. So shortly after, we hunkered down in our campervan and turned in for the night. Listening to the sound of the waterfall was so relaxing and made for the perfect night’s sleep.
The westernmost point in all of Iceland, Látrabjarg is the only spot where we were successful in our quest to see puffins up close and personal. We had been unlucky throughout our entire trip and Látrabjarg was ultimately our last opportunity. It was a long drive that was a significant detour into the Westfjords, but we knew we had to try. And it’s a good thing we did: puffins were everywhere. In fact, millions of birds call the cliffs of Látrabjarg home. If you want to the details about our entire Puffin encounter, visit our ‘A Quest for Puffins‘ post.
Believe it or not, Iceland also has a couple of golden sand beaches: one named Breiðavík and the other named Hvallátur. With turquoise water surrounded by rocky cliffs, it makes them ideal spots for taking a breather and enjoying the views.
You can also make a quick stop in this area to visit the old salvaged fishing boats and aircraft that are on display.
After driving throughout the country for over two weeks, our Iceland Ring Road Trip took us back to Reykjavik where we decided to use our last full day to visit the island of Viðey. Just off the coast of the capital, Viðey is situated in Kollfjörður Bay. It was said to contain the best farming land of the country and in the early 20th century, roughly 150 people lived on the island. Currently, however, Viðey is uninhabited.
Visiting the island of Viðey can make for a great half-day trip. The Elding ferry will take you there in 15-30 minutes, depending on your point of departure. It is only $1,200 ISK for a return trip, but free for anyone who purchases the Reykjavik City Card. The island also has several hiking paths. You can explore the paths by foot or, in the Summer, up the ante and rent a bike or horse. We decided to walk as it was a beautiful day and we were planning on being there for several hours. You can also look into combining your trip to Viðey with a whale watching tour, a special offer provided by Elding.
The island is home to Iceland’s oldest stone house (now a restaurant, gallery, and museum), Viðeyjarkirkja church (don’t ask us how to pronounce that), and the John Lennon Imagine Peace Tower (shooting brightly into the sky for two months in the Fall). One thing we really wanted to visit was the Imagine Peace Tower: an outdoor work of art conceptualized by Yoko Ono in memory of her late husband, John Lennon. Annually, the Peace Tower is lit from October 9 until December 8. the former being his birthday and the latter the day of his assassination. The tower’s base is engraved with the words “imagine peace” in 24 different languages.
If you happen to be there in late August, make sure to join the locals to pick caraway seeds that grow on the island. They are supposed to be sweeter and have a more distinctive taste than what we are used to buying and apparently go great with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.
You’ve likely heard of Italy’s Cinque Terre: five connected fishing towns located on the beautiful coast of the Italian Riviera. Joined by a hiking trail, these centuries-old villages are a popular destination for tourists looking to inject some adventure into their Italian vacation. If you are heading to Italy and plan on hiking Cinque Terre, we’ve got you covered with these 7 tips to make the most of your trip.
TIP #1: Stay in La Spezia or Levanto
For many reasons, the decision to find accommodation in one of the shoulder towns of La Spezia or Levanto is a smart idea. When we began looking for places to stay, we immediately thought about how great it would be to stay in one of the historic towns of Cinque Terre. That was until we saw the prices. If budget is a concern for you, as it always is for us, then you’ll find the accommodation in Levanto or La Spezia to be more to your liking. Our hostel in La Spezia was centrally located (within walking distance of the train station) and the town was a safe, laid-back alternative.
It’s not always easy to get information online about where the best place to stay would be if you want to be able to access the towns during the day. Once you get there, the interconnections become quite clear and are actually fairly straightforward. There is a train route, operating year-round, that runs back and forth between Levanto and La Spezia. With frequent service, this train also stops at each of the five towns that make up Cinque Terre. Wake up early for breakfast and head to the train station to spend the day hiking from town to town.
If you do stay in La Spezia, head over to the pedestrian walkway an find Mr. Molini to try the unbelievably delicious, melt-in-your-mouth, perfectly salted foccacia. Then head across the street to Gelateria Artigianale to check out the gelato shop run by a sweet elderly couple.
TIP #2: Ditch the Car
If you’ve gone the route of a rental car for your Italian vacation, Cinque Terre is where you’ll find it useless. Access to the towns by car is practically nonexistent. For experienced drivers, there are narrow, winding roads connecting the towns, but those roads stop at carparks at the edge of town. The historical core of the villages is pedestrian only with some congested, narrow hills and stairways to climb.
TIP #3: Buy the Cinque Terre Train Card
Hiking Cinque Terre could not be easier than with the Cinque Terre Train card. At € 16 per person, buying this card gives you access to the hiking trails and unlimited train rides between Levanto and La Spezia for the day. There is another card available for € 7,50 that only grants you access to the trails, but the train card is the smarter option. If you stay in Levanto or La Spezia, you will have to pay once for the train to get to the first town, and again at the end of the day to get back. Because the trail between Manarola and Riomaggiore has been closed for quite some time now, you will have to pay for the train to see both towns. When we were there, the trail between Corniglia and Manarola was also closed, so that would have been another train ticket. Lastly, even if all of the trails are open, hiking Cinque Terre means you may be focusing on completing the trails and not on visiting the towns. If that’s the case, you can prioritize the trails before you run out of energy and use the train access to visit the towns when you’re done.
Cards can be purchased at any of the seven rail stations along the train route. To avoid a long wait, get to the station tourist office when they open. Buying the card first thing at the train station also means you’ll bypass the very long lineup at the beginning of the trail. Regardless which card you ultimately chose, they each include 24-hour Wifi access at the Cinque Terre tourist stops so you can keep your install-game on point.
TIP #4: Avoid Peak Times
We thought we were so smart visiting Cinque Terre in mid-April. Our plan was to saunter onto the hiking trails and have the coastal scenery all to ourselves. Unbeknownst to us, we had scheduled our plans for hiking Cinque Terre during an Italian long weekend. The villages, trails, and lineups were jam-packed. Not once were we alone on the trail, and at times we were even hiking in a lineup. We’ve got photos to prove it.
Don’t get us wrong, we wouldn’t suggest going in the Winter because the hiking paths are often closed. However, Spring and Fall months like April, May, September, and October do have their benefits. Not only will you likely experience a more relaxed Cinque Terre, but accommodation will also be cheaper.
TIP #5: Track the Weather
Our best advice when it comes to hiking Cinque Terre and planning for the weather is to schedule two or three days in the area. Give yourself multiple options for your hiking day. If your first full day is raining, then you can fall back on your second or third day. When we were there, we had scheduled only one full day, and the forecast called for a downpour. We were crossing our fingers, toes, and eyes that it wouldn’t rain. Luckily for us, it only started to rain by the time our day was turning down. But it’s best not to gamble with such an important trip. Of course, following tip #4 and visiting in the shoulder seasons means there is a higher chance of showers, but giving yourself some wiggle room should almost guarantee some perfect hiking weather.
TIP #6: Hiking Cinque Terre… Don’t Kid Yourself
Hiking Cinque Terre isn’t the most difficult thing we’ve done, but it is no leisurely stroll. Via dell Amore – the section between Manarola and Riomaggiore – is said to be incredibly easy but it’s been closed for some time now for repairs. Between Corniglia and Manarola was also closed so we cannot speak to that either. However, we did hike the two most difficult sections and can assure you it’s a good idea to be prepared. Bring enough water, especially on a hot day, and wear sunscreen to be safe. Don’t wear flip-flops and definitely don’t wear heels.
Two people who were hiking ahead of us were complaining the whole time. They expected a simple footpath between villages, but the countless, uphill steps had them considering turning back. They asked us how much longer it would be and we joked that there remained another three hours. One of them almost started crying.
TIP #7: Drink the Lemonade!
Halfway between Vernazza and Corniglia is the tiniest, most strategically placed lemonade and juice shop. The small store has sitting room for approximately 6-8 people with views of the Cinque Terre coastline out the window. The orange juice is prepared as you order it and a container of homemade lemonade stands iced and ready to order by the glass. This is about the point when you’re ready to give up, so they have no problem getting € 3 from passersby for a glass of their main attraction.