7 Features to Look For in Your Camping Pots and Pans

Cooking outdoors over an open fire seems to add an extra deliciousness to your food. And just like your food has something extra special when cooked over a campfire, so should your camping pots and pans. Camping pots and pans need to be extra tough and versatile. Outdoor cooking is a lot harder on regular pots and pans than what they were made to withstand. Most regular cookware would not survive long if at all if used for camping. Camping is no place for cookware that needs to be babied. So what should you look for in your camping pots and pans?

1) Toughness and durability
Camping pots and pans have to be able to withstand the high heat of the open flame. Many conventional cookwares have low heat limits. Campfires do not have dials to measure the flame and to turn it down if it gets too hot. Sure, you can move it farther from the fire if the flame is too high but even low fires have been known to flare up unexpectedly. Also during camping, your pots and pans will be subject to being banged around more. Even if car or RV camping, the containers and cabinets that you hold your cookware in do more bouncing and shifting than your kitchen (I hope!). Bottom line is you want to invest in camping cookware that will survive the rigors of camping. From a financial standpoint as well as a convenience standpoint, having to replace pots and pans that warped or cracked during camping is a pain.

2) Dark or black bottoms
Dark or black bottoms absorb heat better. This helps heat your food more quickly. After a full day of camping fun, no one wants to spend a long time waiting for their food to cook. Dark or black bottoms will also help conserve fuel. Because your food is cooking faster, you will use less fuel, be it wood, camp fuel or something else . Therefore you will have to spend less money and precious space on fuel.

3) Tight fitting lids
Tight fitting lids have the same benefits as dark or black bottoms. A tight fitting lid will hold the heat in your pot or pan better. This will help heat your food more quickly and conserve fuel. Again this will end up saving you money and storage space.

4) Lids that do double duty
Some camping pots and pans have lids that double as fry pans or plates. This feature will cut down on the amount of things that you need to pack. For some modes of camping, this is a critical feature.

5) Nesting
This refers to the ability to store your pots and pans and perhaps even your lids, one inside the other. This feature is great for cutting down on necessary storage space. Even better when linked with……

6) Removable handles
Other than tough and durable, this is one of my favorite features. This is not a necessary feature but it is a great convenience feature. Trying to pack around long frying pan handles irritates me to no end. It is so much easier and saves so much space to be able to take the handles off and store them all together and then nest and store the pots and pans together. This holds true for everything from backpack camping to RV camping.

7) Rounded corners and edges
Rounded corners and edges along the bottom of your camping pots and pans will reduce hot spots in your cookware. Reduced hot spots will in turn reduce places that your food will stick and burn. This will then translate into better tasting food and easier clean-up after your meal. Double bonus!

Family Vacation Adventures Sailing the Dalmatian Coast

Chartering a boat to cruise the Dalmatian coast, where scenic islands are just a few hours sail apart and protected harbors welcome overnight boats is probably the easiest and best way to experience the beauty of the Adriatic Sea up close and to explore otherwise inaccessible islands, coves and villages. This was one of our best family vacation adventures ever!

We started out in Dubrovnik and set sail toward Split, focusing on the southern Dalmatian coast, which boasts some of the most spectacular wooded islands and warm crystalline waters. The many isles we passed- Lopud, Mljet, Korcula, Vis, Hvar and Brac – just a few of the over 1100 islands found along the Croatian coast, were picturesque, white limestone-laden and pine-clad. We anchored in beautiful fishing village coves, where we relaxed and swam, enjoyed spectacular views, ashore adventures and great seafood.

On Mljet Island, we took a side trip, one of the highlights of our adventure, to scenic Mljet National Park where we hopped on bikes and cycled around Veliko Jezero, the salt water lake with a remarkable 12th century Benedictine monastery set upon an islet in the lake’s center.

We neared Korcula early morning, where we had one of the best photo opportunities in all Croatia – the early morning sun shining on the orange-yellow-ochre of the stone walls, towers and tiled roofs of the Old Town served to create an awesome artists’ portrait. This walled pedestrian town is a delight, full of architectural treasures and its centerpiece, the beautiful 13th century Cathedral of St. Mark.

We anchored in the lovely small fishing village of Komiza, on Vis Island that evening. The quay lined with restaurants beckoned us invitingly. Here, the streets gently climb the hills into tiny residential areas whose homes embrace walled gardens where fruit trees abound. High above the village, a formidable castle illuminated the night sky giving a fairy tale aura to an already enchanting town. A small boat excursion the next day took us to nearby Bisevo Island, home to the Blue Grotto, with its amazing cobalt-blue waters.

Sailing north, we moored in StariGrad, once known as Pharos and the oldest settlement on Hvar Island. Endless lavender fields and vineyards cover this lovely island and Hvar town is not to be missed! Making our way towards Split, our last stop was Brac Island where we anchored in Supetar harbor, a small, peaceful village exhibiting the authentic high-quality stone used for many sculptures and in the building of the With House. This was the ideal finale for a perfect sailing adventure.

Our sailing trip on the Dalmatian coast was the crowning highlight of our trip to Croatia – a boating paradise of turquoise waters, safe harbors, hidden coves and swimming holes, plenty of adventures ashore, and one of the best family vacation destinations!

Fancy Restaurants in Orlando – What Are Some Really Romantic Restaurants in Orlando Florida?

Usually I enjoy going out to casual restaurants where you don’t have to get dressed up or make a reservation, but once in a while it’s fun to try one of the fancy restaurants in Orlando and make a night of it. A lot of people think of Orlando and they think, oh, that’s just a place for theme parks and water parks, not really a culinary Mecca. Believe it or not, there are quite a few very nice romantic restaurants to choose from in Orlando Florida. Here are three outstanding ones to consider.

1. Venetian Room. Located at 8101 World Center Drive, you will really impress your date or significant other if you take them to this elegant restaurant. The head chef has trained in North Africa and Europe, and has also worked at such amazing restaurants as Emeril’s and Shula’s. The menu is European inspired, and the atmosphere is elegant and high-class to say the least. The food and wine you will find here will please even the most sophisticated palate. The service here is also wonderful.

2. Christini’s Ristorante on Dr. Phillips Blvd is another world-class dining experience you will not want to miss. Service is outstanding, cuisine is divine, and the ambiance is amazing. While you are dining you can enjoy the Italian sculptures and art. The menu is filled with classics and old-time specialties, and the wine list is impressive. If you are looking for fancy restaurants in Orlando where you can pop the question, this is one that should be high on your list.

3. Antonio’s Ristorante located at The Fountains Plaza. This restaurant overlooks the Florentine fountain and has a reputation for pampering its guests. With its beautiful floors made of wood, high vaulted ceilings, stone inlay, furnishings of wood and tile, along with a wide open kitchen, you’ll feel the Tuscan villa ambiance. The food is truly outstanding, everything from portobello al forno cooked in a wood-burning oven to North Atlantic salmon and stuffed veal chops. The wine list alone is something to gawk at with its selections numbering more than 250. Truly a 5-star restaurant.

Give one of these fancy restaurants in Orlando a try next time you feel like getting dressed up and enjoying an elegant meal in Central Florida.

How Preppers Can Store Food for a Long Time

When we are struck by disasters, the attention is usually on the most basic things that we need like water and food. One can survive for days without any food, but then that is something that most people would not like to go through. It is much better to do your things when you are satisfied and well nourished. It is good to prepare for disasters and to even store food for such an eventuality. This can be rather overwhelming and you need to consider many things like what to store, how to keep the food fresh, how much to store, and what is needed to create that extra stash. This is something that any preppers would ask themselves and the answers can be really fulfilling if done in the appropriate manner.

How much should be stored?

Every person within the household should have enough food and water that can last for a minimum of three days. More is always better and you can get reserves that can last for even two weeks.

Keeping the food fresh

There is a rule that has to be followed by preppers. That is, always store what you usually use and then use what you store. This is because many of the foods that we know actually have a shelf life that is limited regardless of how well preserved they may be. Do not keep food locked away because it will not last as long as you may imagine. If you store too long, the food will go bad and you will only waste it.

You simply need to rotate the stash of food to ensure that it always remains fresh. You need to eat the supplies while replacing them concurrently. Even for the foods that do not go bad quickly, the nutritional value is lost on the way and it may not be as tasty as you want it to be. The newest items should be at the back and then move others forward. This ensures that the oldest stock is consumed first.

What to store

When you are stocking food, you need to think about the tastes and unique needs of the family. You need familiar foods. This is because they are able to boost the morale and give you that secure feeling especially when you are dealing with stressful situations. You need to include some foods that account for high nutritional value and high calories. Concentrate on the foods that do not need any refrigeration, cooking, special preparation, or water. There are some ready to eat meals that are ideal. These kinds were invented for purposes of survival by the military. These are expensive and they are not tasty. This means that they should not be the foundation for preparing for emergencies.

Some of the ideal food options that you may consider instead include canned foods, dried foods, frozen foods, commercially prepared dried goods, instant milk, and coffee. This will last a long time, especially when they are stored in the right conditions.