Cooking – Liver

All liver is a great source of iron and B vitamins and should be a regular part of a healthy diet and if cooked correctly liver can be delicious. Although liver does have bad press and many people will not even consider trying it. Sometimes it calls for the cook to be somewhat inventive to get people to try liver. There are many recipes to choose from and it is worth the experimentation.

The best liver is the liver from young animals as it is mildest and tenderest. Calf’s liver is delicate and delicious but fairly expensive. Real calf’s liver is paler in color than the redder more mature baby beef liver. For a mild flavored liver choose the palest that you can find. The darker the color the stronger the flavor.

Take care when choosing liver as sometimes baby beef liver is labeled calf’s liver in the supermarket or grocery store. To ensure purchasing true calf’s liver buy from a butchers or a reputable gourmet supermarket.

Baby beef liver is stronger in flavor than calf’s liver but is very good and preferable to actual beef liver. Liver from beef is dark red and the color corresponds to the strength of flavor. Beef liver is readily available but many believe it is too strong for simple preparations.

Some cooks after buying beef liver soak it in milk or a flavorful spicy marinade such as a white wine marinade before cooking to soften the intense flavor. After marinating throw the liquid away and pat the liver dry before cooking.

A lovely tender well-flavored liver is lamb liver but this is generally quite difficult to find.

Also hard to find is pigs liver, which is strong in, taste but extremely tender. Again for pig’s liver it can be soaked or marinated like the beef liver.

When choosing liver it should be impeccably fresh with no slimy or dry patches and should have a clear scent.

Should you find yourself preparing a whole liver first wipe it with a damp cloth, then with a sharp knife remove any exposed veins, ducts or connective tissue. With your fingers peel away the thin outer membrane without tearing into the liver itself. You then just slice on the diagonal to the desired thickness your recipe calls for.

Of course presliced liver can be purchased and is actually more commonly available than whole livers. If the butcher has not done so remove the outer membrane on the slices.

Before cooking make 1/8th inch cuts at 1-inch intervals around the outside of the liver slice. The reason for this is because liver has a tendency to shrink and curl when it is cooked and these cuts will help to prevent that from happening.

The liver is now ready for cooking. Liver should be cooked until it is pink but firm in the center. If liver is overcooked or cooked on excessively high heat it will toughen.

Liver is a lot richer in flavor than many other types of meat so a 4-ounce serving should be ample as a main course for most appetites.

Why Do We Need Personal Development to Be Successful?

In order to really answer that, we need to define what we mean by personal development. In my opinion, personal development is:

  • Growth as a conscious human being
  • Activities that improve self-knowledge and identity
  • Development of talents and potential
  • Development in different areas of life
  • Building of human capital and employability
  • Enhancing the quality of life
  • Contributing to the realization of dreams and aspirations
  • Is not limited to self-development but includes formal and informal activities for developing others
  • In the context of institutions, it reflects to the methods, programs, tools, techniques, and assessment systems that support human development at the individual level in organizations
  • (hard) work that requires discipline, determination, consistency, patience, time, courage, forgiveness

Let's then take a closer look at some of these bullet points in correlation to success.

Improving your self-knowledge and identity means, among other things, that you become more aware of who you are and what you want. Knowing what you want and where you need to improve yourself in order to achieve what you want are essential parts of success.

If you have already achieved success you can not stay put if you want to remain successful. The world and other people around you are constantly evolving; therefore you need to keep on developing your talents and potential further. Otherwise your success will remain short term.

Depending on your goals, you need constant development in different areas of your life, not just in one. Some of these areas may include health, finances, relationships, emotions, habits and beliefs, to mention a few. A good health will ensure that you are able to do what you want to do. It is obvious that you can do a lot more as a healthy person than you would lying sick on a bed. It is obvious, in most cases, that you can achieve more and free yourself from some of the worries when your financial situation is stable. It is obvious that you can achieve more when you have sound relationships with supporting and loving people to back you up. And so on.

Having activities for developing others, in addition to developing yourself, is really what gives you the final boost for success. The old saying "what goes around, comes around" applies here quite well. Helping other people succeed will ensure that they will willingly help you in return. It is much, much more difficult – and in most cases even impossible – to achieve success just by yourself. You can not be the master of everything. And you should not even try to be. Concentrate on doing well what you love doing and let other people help you in the areas that they love doing. Help others develop themselves and they will help you develop yourself. That is for everyone's benefit.

Finally, understand that long lasting success requires work. At times, it can even seem to require hard work. But once you have found what it is that you really love doing, the work does not seem that hard anymore. But it will require discipline, so that you keep your focus on your goals. It will require determination because there will be a lot of people who'll try to talk you out of your dream. It will require consistency because you will encounter many obstacles along the way and you'll have to be consistent to work your way through and around them. It will require patience because the bigger your dream, the more it will take time. It will require courage because you will move toward something that is unknown to you. And, maybe most of all, it will require forgiveness because you will have to forgive yourself for all the mistakes you have made, and will make, and you must also forgive others who have hurt you, so you can move into the future with a clean slate.

And that is all part of the road to success.

Written by Hannu Pirila, CEO and Founder of HPA Consulting, one of the leading Personal Development and NLP Coaches in Finland.

Microsoft Lumia 950: It Could Be Better

The Lumia 950 is Microsoft's attempt to turn your phone into something like a full-on Windows PC. It is built to move you to the next level of worker productivity. Unfortunately it comes up a little short.

The first Windows 10 device is designed to extend the benefits of the Windows experience to the smart phone. The goal is to use the phone to power a desk type experience to a monitor. This includes syncing office documents and photos across all your devices and connecting with the Windows store so your favorite apps, game, music and video are all in one place.

On the plus side, the phone does have a nice quad HD display, 5.2 inches, 564 pixels per square inch. USB-C for fast charging and a large capacity battery. The attractive display is easy to read outdoors. It is scratch resistant with a strong display glass.

Photo quality is on-par with the best smartphones. "Rich Capture" provides a triple LED natural flash. You can adjust the color saturation levels of bright or dark areas. A 20 MP sensor attempts to effectively eliminate motion blur. The quality camera image holds up even in low light.

The phone is constructed of plastic, a negative for some. The battery can be removed and it does has a microSD card slot which many phones do not. The Cortana voice assistant is also included.

Microsoft's secret sauce to all this is the Windows Continuum. The goal is to connect your Lumia 950 to a Microsoft Display Dock and use it with an external monitor, keyboard and a mouse. Office apps and Outlook can be scaled up to create a big screen optimized work environment. The idea is maintain productivity even without a laptop.

The Continuum feature is not really available in Android or iPhone devices. It will take some finesse to get it set up and some experimentation with the right type of cables etc. to make it work.

Once you have it together and working, whether it be in a hotel room or conference area, you can share a PowerPoint presentation or a video on large screen. When done you can undock your phone. Then you can resume working on the same project in a matter of minutes.

Many report problems with typing on the device. Automated spell check is not available. It will take longer to correct errors.

Windows 10 brings a few other additions to the Lumia 950. One is Windows Hello, now in beta mode. Hello is iris-scanning recognition software. It works by just starting into the phone.

App selection for a Windows phone still remains challenging. The platform is not supported by Google. Those who rely on Gmail, Google Maps, Google Drive, and Google Docs will have to find third party applications or go directly to the web for usage.

Pricing starts at $ 550 in the US and will be determined by carrier. A larger 5.7 "inch XL version is scheduled to be introduced later and will cost more.

The 950 is a good start for Microsoft to bring more productivity to the smart phone, but not the end result many were expecting. Unfortunately the design is not really anything new, Continuum set-up can be challenging, and a lack of apps is troublesome.

Windows fans may seize the opportunity to jump on the Lumia bandwagon and work through some of the phone's shortcomings.

Others will wait until Microsoft fixes some of the inherit problems with not only the phone but the Continuum system itself before giving it a more serious look.

Beautiful Wall Decor Wedding Gifts

When you are looking for the perfect wedding gift, you want a present that will be cherished, used and remembered forever. A wedding gift that can hang on the wall is an ideal gift in all three respects. Choosing a wall décor wedding gift can be tricky, though, unless you take the couple’s personal tastes and sense of design into account when choosing. Here are some helpful hints to make sure that you select a beautiful wall décor wedding gift that will be truly appreciated and loved.

Consider the Style of the Bride and Groom’s Home

When choosing wall décor it is important to remember that this gift is meant to be on display in the bride and groom’s new home. Take stock of the design choices that the couple has made in their personal living spaces and avoid choosing a kitschy wall item if the bride has built her living room around clean, modern Danish lines. Instead, pick a simple design such as a stretched canvas printed with their initials or names in muted colors. For a contemporary living or family room design, consider choosing a wall print or canvas with a sleek, black frame and a colorful, personalized print. If the couple’s taste runs more to the curves of Art Deco, consider opting for a framed design inspired by the elongated curves and almost-abstract art of the Roaring Twenties.

In general, traditional and country styles will be complemented best by personalized prints and art canvases framed in warm or light wood. More modern designs look best with unadorned black or metal frames, or with unframed canvases. Country samplers are ideal for Colonial style living rooms and dens, especially if the print includes calico or adorable animals.

Consider the Personal Taste of the Bride and Groom

If there is a particular motif that is near and dear to the hearts of the bride and groom, you stand a pretty good chance of choosing a gift that they will love if you keep their personal preferences in mind while shopping. Try choosing prints or plaques in their favorite colors and materials, or printed with motifs that hold personal meaning to them. Don’t offer them a floral wall plaque if their tastes run to minimalist modern paintings, and avoid choosing an abstract wall print if they have a country themed kitchen adorned with cute teddy bears. Consider, too, that there are many more kinds of wall decor than just framed prints. Some of the other wall décor wedding gifts that you might consider are wall plaques made of metal, wood or molded resin, and wood plaques carved with the word “love” and the couple’s wedding details, both of which can easily fit into many different décor styles.

Hand painted slate tiles can also be an ideal choice for a rustic or Colonial kitchen, den or family room, and you can even choose one that is painted with traditional wedding icons or ones with more natural scenes.

Another popular wall décor is a stretched art canvas. It is easy to find stunning stretched art canvas designs that make beautiful wedding gifts. Whether you choose a painted Impressionist scene with a pair of love-bird swans or a country rustic saying bordered in twigs and flowers, there are many lovely canvases that can be personalized to make your gift even more extraordinary.

To really stand out, you can always go with a personalized pewter or copper tray wedding present, engraved with the wedding date and names, or a 3-D resin plaque or clock engraved with the wedding couple’s special day details.

Photo Frames

Photo frames are personalized gifts that are always appreciated. When choosing a photo frame, try to keep in mind the general rules of wall décor, choose photo frames and mats that fit with the general décor of the home and do not be afraid to be whimsical or personal. A classic black glass frame is a perfect accent for a modern or contemporary living room, especially when you add the personal touch of a special engraved message. Silver filigree frames are ideal for wedding photos, and wood frames can fit into any style of décor.

If wall hangings seem a bit personal, you might consider a hanging for the outside of their home. A “welcome” slate or plaque personalized with the couple’s married name can make a wonderful gift for the newly married pair.

Whatever gift you choose, personalization is a key part in ensuring that your wedding gift will be special and heartfelt. Think carefully about exactly what to print in the two or three lines you are given. A favored choice is the couple’s names and wedding details, but you might opt to use a personally applicable quote or wedding wish instead. Whichever personalized present you go with, it is sure to be loved and appreciated for years to come.