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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Indian Food: A Beginners Guide


If you are a fan on Indian food, then you know just how tough it can be to cook it authentically. Once you have tasted authentic Indian food, there is no going back. Now is as good of a time as any to get started on learning how! Diverse, delicious and not as difficult to cook as you might think, Indian is among the leading cuisines of the world. With every state, city and even every home having it’s own recipes for thousands of dishes, you can image the variety of ways to cook it is mind-boggling. Contrary to the stereotypes, Indian food is not just about curry, chilies and oil. There is probably no other cuisine in the world that includes as many healthy and diverse vegetables and spices. At the same time, Indian cuisine is not just for vegetarians.

In India, cooking is considered an art and mothers usually begin to teach their daughters and pass down family recipes by show-and-tell, fairly young in life. In most Indian homes, even in this day and age when most women work outside the home, if one is not cooking or eating a meal, one family member is planning what to cook next. Over the course of history, various invaders have passed through India and left their stamp behind on it cuisine. There was Aryan, Persian, Arab, British, and Portuguese to name just a few.

To get started, here is a list of ingredients you should have stocked in your pantry to prepare Indian food:

Daals (lentils)
  • ·      Masoor (split red lentils)
  • ·      Moong (split yellow lentil
  • ·      Urad (black gram)
  • ·      Chana (large split yellow lentil


Aata (to make chapatis, parathas and other Indian breads)
  • ·      Coriander seeds
  • ·      Cumin seeds
  • ·      Dry red chilies
  • ·      Fresh green chilies
  • ·      Turmeric
  • ·      Garam masala
  • ·      Cinnamon
  • ·      Cardamom
  • ·      Cloves
  • ·      Peppercorns
  • ·      Bay leaves
  • ·      Poppy seeds
  • ·      Mustard seeds
  • ·      Fenugreek seeds
  • ·      Aniseed/Fennel seeds
  • ·      Asafetida
  • ·      Thymol
  • ·      Saffron
  • ·      Tamarind
  • ·      Raw mango powder
  • ·      Ginger
  • ·      Garlic
  • ·      Oil
  • ·      Coriander leaves
  • ·      Mint leaves


Once you have these items stocked, recipes will only require fresh meats, vegetables, coconut milk, etc. to complete. Here is a list of the top 10 Indian food dishes for beginner cooks for you to try out! http://indianfood.about.com/od/thebasics/tp/beginnerfood.htm. We hope you enjoy bringing a little bit of the world’s cuisine to your table- happy cooking!


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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Victoria Lianna- Three Gorges Highlights



Formally known as the Victoria Queen, the newly rebuilt Victoria Lianna offers graceful public areas, with high ceilings carved with delicate craft and detail. Personal onboard service and programs, which focus on the Yangtze’s unique destination—its scenery, natural history and culture—greatly enhance the cruising experience. Travelling in sophisticated style, passengers will have on-board internet access, international cable television in living quarters, and international phone service available onboard the ship. Beautifully furnished cabins and suites boast authentic Shanghainese cotton bedspreads and pillowcases, and the highlight, private balconies for viewing the fantastic scenery of the gorges.

The ship, formally known as the Victoria Queen has been newly rebuilt into the Victoria Lianna and offers graceful public areas with high ceilings carved with delicate craft and detail. Like all WLCVacations cruises, our staff is ready to enhance your trip by offering personalized attention and focusing on creating a vacation specific to your desires and needs. The facilities include two restaurants (a single-seating main dining room, and an a la carte restaurant on the top deck), two elevators, a three-story atrium lobby, two lounges, three bars, a gyms, lecture room, library, beauty salon, massage room, and gift shop. There is literally something for everyone aboard the ship- keeping guests entertained and never without something to do, see or explore.

The standard cabins are spacious for a river ship, measuring at approximately 224 square feet. On board Victoria Lianna, there are 218 standard cabins among the Lower, Main, Promenade and Bridge decks. The junior suites are larger and have hotel-style bathrooms with tubs. There are thirty-five onboard the Victoria Lianna, whereas most ships generally have two. Each junior suite is approximately 333 square feet of well-adorned living space and is found on the Observation and Bridge decks. Guests in the junior suite accommodations and higher will enjoy the added benefit of refrigerators and plush robes. The deluxe suites are even more spacious; they include a separate sitting area and are almost twice as large as the standard cabins. At approximately 421 square feet, deluxe suites are certainly for the discerning traveler who requires the privacy and luxury of a home away from home. There are three onboard the Victoria Lianna, located on the Promenade. Finally, the Shangri-La suites include a Jacuzzi style tub and living room with floor-to-ceiling windows. There are two onboard the ship, which also share a private deck, perfect fro enjoying the particularly intoxicating evening.

To learn more, please visit the WLCVacations website http://www.wlcvacations.com/shipdeck_Victoria%20Lianna_615-300.html#cont, or call U.S. toll-free 877-579-7447.
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

All About Australia Day


Australia Day, the official national day of Australia is celebrated annually on January 26th. The date marks the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Sydney Cove, New South Wales and raising of the Flag of Great Britain at that side by Governor Arthur Phillip. In contemporary Australia, celebrations reflect the diverse society and landscape of the nation, and are marked by community and family events, similar to the 4th of July, which is celebrated in the United States. There are also reflections of Australian history, official community awards, and citizenship ceremonies welcoming new immigrants into the Australian community.

The meaning and significance of Australia Day have evolved over time. Unofficially, or historically, the date has also been variously names “Anniversary Day”, “Invasion Day”, “Foundation Day”, and “ANA Day”. The 26th of January 1788 marked the proclamation of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia (known then as New Holland). The day itself wasn’t actually known as Australia Day until over a century later, with records of celebrations on the 26th of January dating back to 1808, with the first official celebration of the formation of New South Wales held in 1818. On New Years Day in 1901, the British colonies of Australia formed a Federation, marking the birth of modern Australia. A national day of unity and celebration was looked for, however, it was not until 1935 that all states and territories adopted the use of the term “Australia Day” to mark the date. In 1994, the date was marked as a public holiday for all states and territories.

Today, Australia Day is marked primarily with the presentation of the Australian of the Year Awards on Australia Day Eve, with the announcement of the Australia Day Honors list and addresses from the Governor-General and Prime Minister. It is an official public holiday of every state and territory of Australia, unless it falls on a weekend, in which case the following Monday is a public holiday instead. With community festivals, concerts and citizenship ceremonies, the day is celebrated heavily throughout the entire nation. It has now become the biggest annual civic event in Australia. For more information on Australia Day, please visit the official website at http://www.australiaday.org.au.


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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Spotlight: S.S. Antoinette-Castles Along the Rhine



Artists, musicians, writers and poets from all over Europe have immortalized the Rhine’s unadulterated natural beauty in their songs, art, stories and poetry. Even today, the Rhine continues to capture and inspire those who visit- especially Germany’s Upper Middle Rhine Valley, spanning approximately 40 miles between Rudesheim and Koblenz. This area has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site with more than 40 castles gracing its shores, along with vineyards, terraced landscaped and breathtaking countryside.

From the moment guests board the S.S. Antoinette, there is an unmistakable atmosphere of opulence and charm aboard. An expert, friendly staff is ready to greet and assist all travellers- whether you would like suggestions of places to visit, or to learn about the region more, WLCVacations only employees the most knowledgeable and friendly staff, making your experience one of a kind. Guests will enjoy nights of restful and rejuvenating sleep, each stateroom features comfortable beds dressed in fine linens perfect for retiring to after a full day of adventures. The ship also features a beautiful lounge and full-service bar for you to unwind and relax in. A cozy library as well as an elegant restaurant provides other perfect relaxing destinations aboard the ship. As an added bonus, guests can also partake of the fitness equipment in the gym area, unwind in the sauna, or receive a relaxing massage.

This is the perfect vacation for those who want a hassle free vacation where they can unwind and take in the sights around them. We strive to provide guests with the ultimate in luxury and comfort- and with the sights of the Rhine as your backdrop, the views are stunning and keep guests with visual feasts daily. If you would like more information on this trip, please visit the WLCVacations website: http://www.wlcvacations.com/shipdeck_S.S.%20Antoinette_405-241.html#cont, or call U.S. toll-free 877-579-7447.


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