How to Make Mexican Wedding Cookies

1.Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2.Spread the pecans on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven until lightly browned, about 6-8 minutes. Cool.
3.Process pecans in a blender or food processor or finely chop with a knife.
4.Beat the butter, salt, vanilla, almond extract and 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar until fluffy.
5.Add the pecans.
6.Add the flour until incorporated.
7.Roll the dough into balls the size of large marbles.
8.Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until just starting to brown.
9.Remove from the cookie sheet to cool thoroughly, then roll in the remaining powdered sugar.   

How to Grow Anchusa

Choosing Anchusa
1.Look for plants at nurseries in spring.
2.Buy anchusa in 4-inch to 1-gallon containers.
3.Choose healthy-looking plants with signs of new growth in leaves and flower buds. 
Planting Anchusa

4.Plant anchusa in full sun in well-drained soil.
5.Plant in a place with light afternoon shade in warm climates.
6.Add a light application of organic fertilizer to the planting hole.
7.Place the plants no deeper than they were growing in the containers.
8.Set the plants 1 foot apart.
9.Mulch around but not on top of the plants with 3 inches of organic compost.
10.Water well until soil is completely moist. 
Caring for Anchusa

11.Cut back stems after flowering to just above a set of leaves using bypass pruners.
12.Water with a mixture of liquid fish fertilizer (follow package directions) for more flowers.
13.Remove old foliage in spring, using bypass pruners to cut off the old stems.
14.Apply a light application of organic fertilizer on top of the soil in early spring (follow package directions).
15.Mulch around but not on top of the plants with 3 inches of organic compost in spring.
16.Water well weekly until soil is completely moist in summers with no rainfall. 
Overall Tips:
Grow anchusa in zones 3 to 8 of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map (see Related Sites).
Anchusa is a plain-looking plant when it's not in bloom. Plant it at the back of the border where you can enjoy its early-summer flowers, and it will mix in with other perennials the rest of the season.   

How to Avoid Stomach Problems in Less-Developed Countries

1.Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site to find out if the water is safe to drink in the region you'll be visiting.
2.Drink bottled or canned beverages, and avoid drinks not opened in front of you.
3.Carefully check seals on water bottles; if the seal is broken, the bottle may have been refilled with tap water.
4.Wipe off any bottle before drinking or pouring from it.
5.Drink and cook with water that has been boiled. Add iodine tablets to tap water if boiling it is not possible.
6.Avoid ice cubes, which are usually made from tap water.
7.Brush your teeth using bottled water.
8.Eat only well-cooked food.
9.Peel fruits and vegetables. Do not wash them in tap water.
1..Avoid food from street vendors, dairy products, salads and uncooked seafood. 
Tie a ribbon or string around the bathroom faucet as a reminder not to drink the tap water.
If you want a cool drink, place ice cubes in a clean, leakproof plastic bag, and place the whole bag in the drink. 
Warnings: Drinks not opened in front of you may have tap water added to them. 

How to Time Your Trip to Buenos Aires

General Considerations
1.Keep in mind that the seasons of the southern hemisphere are opposite to those in the north. Buenos Aires is fairly temperate, with a superb spring and fall, a damp and somewhat cold winter (June through August), and hot summer (December through February). The average high in January is 87 degrees F and the average low in July is 41 degrees F.
2.Check out what festivals, attractions and live performances are happening (see Section 2 and Related Sites).
3.Take care of your flight, transportation and accommodations (see Related Hows).
4.Check the weather forecast for Buenos Aires shortly before leaving. 
Attractions and Seasonal Events

5.Learn about Argentina's culture and history at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and Museo Histórico Nacional. Also noteworthy is the Catedral Metropolitana, a beautiful cathedral containing the remains of Argentina's national hero, San Martín.
6.Catch performances of ballet, opera and classical music at the Teatro Colon.
7.Wander around the colorful houses of La Boca, Buenos Aires' vibrant Italian neighborhood, and home to Maradona, king of futbol (soccer). By night La Boca is a favorite tango and nightclub district. Free tango shows are performed on the street on weekends.
8.Examine fascinating handiwork at the weekend craft fair every weekend in the posh neighborhood of Recoleta.
9.Get your bearings at the Plaza de Mayo, downtown, or try to negotiate the nearby Avenida 9 de Julio, believed to be the world's widest street.
1..Find interesting cafes, restaurants, tango bars and cheap accommodations in the bohemian neighborhood of San Telmo. It hosts an antique fair every Sunday starting at 11 am.
1..Visit Argentina's stately second city, Cordoba. The third largest city, Mendoza, is famous for its local wine and outdoor activities, including skiing, rafting, hiking and biking.
1..See more of this fascinating and diverse country. During the summer head to a beach, such as the distant but popular Mar del Plata, or travel to the mountains of Patagonia; wildlife fans should head to the Peninsula Valdes. A visit during the winter makes trips to tropical destinations more desirable - such as the stunning Iguazu Falls in Misiones, featured in the film "The Mission." 
Overall Tips: Dining and dancing are late-night activities in Argentina. Dinner is generally eaten between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. 
Overall Warnings: Buenos Aires grinds to a halt on Catholic holidays (particularly during Christmas and Easter) and on May 25 (the May Revolution of 1810), June 10 (Malvinas Day) and October 12 (Columbus Day). 

How to Control Drinking Over the Holidays

1.Attend only the parties you really want to go to. One office party, for example, is sufficient.
2.Opt for club soda or sparkling mineral water instead of an alcoholic drink. No one will know the difference except you.
3.Eat something before you begin drinking. It will help the alcohol be absorbed more slowly.
4.Steer clear of the punch bowl unless you know for a fact that it's weak on the booze. Some punches mixed with alcohol can be quite potent.
5.Drink a glass of wine instead of a mixed drink or hard liquor. Drink it slowly and make it last.
6.Arrive close to mealtime if invited to a dinner party. This way, you will bypass the before-dinner drinks.
7.Snack while you drink. Food helps the alcohol be absorbed more slowly.
8.Drink a glass or two of water in between drinks to prevent dehydration.
9.Have a glass of water before going to bed. It might lessen the effects of a hangover. 
Tips: If hosting your own holiday party, offer virgin punches and eggnog as an alternative to alcoholic drinks. The extra effort will be appreciated by guests who are trying to cut down on alcohol. 
Warnings: Do not drink and drive. If you drink alcohol at a party, take a taxi home or have someone pick you up.   

How to Calculate and Use Your Training Heart Rate

Calculate Your Training Heart Rate Range
1.Subtract your age from 220. (Example for a 28-year-old: 220 - 28 = 192.)
2.Multiply the result by 0.55 to determine 55 percent of your estimated maximum heart rate. (For a 28-year-old: 192 x 0.55 = 105.6, or approximately 106 beats per minute.) This is the low end of your training range, or the slowest your heart should beat when you exercise.
3.Multiply the result from step 1 by 0.90 to calculate 90 percent of your estimated maximum heart rate. (For a 28-year-old: 192 x 0.90 = 172.8, or approximately 173 beats per minute.) This is the high end of your training range, or the fastest that your heart should beat when you exercise.
4.Use your answers from steps 2 and 3 to determine your training heart rate range. (A 28-year-old's training range is 106 to 173 beats per minute.) 
Monitor Your Training Heart Rate When Exercising

5.Stop exercising, and use your index and middle fingers together to count the number of beats at your wrist or neck for 15 seconds. (Your thumb has a light pulse, which might confuse the count if you use it instead of your fingers.)
6.Multiply this number by four. This is your beats per minute.
7.Compare your beats per minute to the low and high ends of your training heart range. Is your heart rate within your training range? Do you need to exercise harder? Do you need to slow down? 
Tips: You can purchase a pulse or heart monitor for a more accurate heart rate measurement. 
Overall Tips:
Aim first to get your heart rate to reach the low end of your training range. Then continue to exercise at a comfortable pace and make your way up toward the high end of your range. 
Overall Warnings: If you have any questions or concerns, contact a physician or other health care professional before engaging in any activity related to health and diet. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. 

How to Choose a Blender

1.Measure the space where you plan to store your blender. Pay special attention to height.
2.Decide on a metal or plastic base. Metal is more durable and keeps the appliance more steady when it is in use, but generally costs more. Image a.)
3.Choose a glass or plastic jar. Blenders with glass jars are generally more stable, but also more expensive. A glass jar is also quite a bit heavier than plastic. Image b.)
4.Check the number of settings available and decide which most closely fit your needs. A pulsing function is especially useful. Image c.)
5.Look for special features on the lid that will make it possible to add ingredients while the blender is running.
6.Choose the color you want. Colors are generally available only if you choose a plastic base.
7.Study warranty and service options.
8.Before buying, read the manufacturer's instructions to be sure the blender has all the features you are looking for. click photos to enlarge  
Tips: Blenders with push-button controls are notoriously difficult to clean. Check for special cleaning features that will make cleanup easier.   

How to Cast Off in Knitting

1.Refer to your knitting pattern to determine the number of stitches to be cast off. This number will depend on the type of piece you are knitting.
2.Knit two stitches. There will now be two stitches on your right needle.
3.Insert your left needle into the first stitch you knitted onto the right needle.
4.Pull your left needle up and to the left so that the first stitch is pulled over the second and off the tip of the right needle. One stitch remains on the right needle and one stitch is now cast off.
5.Knit another stitch. Once again, there are two stitches on your right needle.
6.Repeat steps 3 to 5 until all stitches are cast off.
7.Thread excess yarn onto a tapestry needle and weave approximately 2 to 3 inches into the edge of the knitted piece. Cut excess yarn. 
Keep stitches loose and consistent to prevent edge from looking too tightly knitted. Use a needle that is one size larger than the one you used to knit your piece, if necessary.
Keep your hands, arms and shoulders relaxed as you are knitting. This will help you keep the tension of your stitches consistent.   

How to Hire a Photographer for Your Wedding

1.Ask family, friends and recent newlyweds for recommendations, and set up interviews. You can also consult the yellow pages and wedding vendors, but exercise extra caution in checking work samples and references if you find your photographers in this manner.
2.Request to see a complete coverage of each photographer's work - that is, ask for a picture portfolio of an entire wedding for which he or she was hired.
3.Choose an overall photographic style that suits you, whether photojournalistic, candid, formal posed portraits, artsy with added dramatic flourishes, color, or black-and-white for a romantic, classy look - or select a blend of a number of styles. Which can the prospective photographer deliver?
4.Consider the photographer's personality. Decide if you share a vision and will get along well. Remember, the photographer will be your shadow before and during the event.
5.Check prices, including those of packages offered and numbers of prints included. Remember, it may be worth it to invest in a good photographer if it means that the memories of the day will be captured perfectly or near-perfectly on film.
6.Schedule a follow-up meeting to hammer out specifics – specific shots you want and don't want, the shooting schedule on the day of the wedding, film development, how many rolls will be shot, the number of proofs available and the negatives policy (how long they're available and whether they're for sale). 
Confirm that the photographer you hire will be the one to actually shoot the pictures.
Book early; the best wedding photographers get booked a year in advance.
Find a photographer who either is a pro or is excited about shooting weddings, and who brings some personal flair to his or her work.   

How to Celebrate a Canadian Christmas

1.Plan a taffy pull, which in the past was held on November 25 in honor of Saint Catherine, the patron saint of single women. This gathering provides an excuse for single women to meet eligible men.
2.Display a "crèche," or Nativity scene, with "santons," or plaster figures, depicting Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.
3.Sing traditional Christmas carols with English, French or German influence.
4.Make Christmas treats such as chocolate madeleines, iced cookies made with unsweetened cocoa and grated orange rind and prepared in shell-shaped molds.
5.Plan a midnight feast, or "réveillon" (which means "awakening" in French), for Christmas Eve after the mass or other religious services have ended. Invite family and friends to attend.
6.Cut down or buy a Christmas tree and decorate it with ornaments. Expect Santa Claus ("Pere Noel" in French) to leave gifts for the children under the tree. Plan to give gifts to friends and relatives.
7.Make an advent wreath and light candles to signify the coming of the Christ child.
8.Eat turkey, goose or beef for Christmas dinner, or opt for "tourtière," which is a traditional meat pie containing potatoes and onion. Serve desserts such as rice pudding with almonds, plum pudding, or the delicious chocolate Yule log, buche de Noel.
9.Mark the end of Christmas with "La fête du Roi," a holiday celebrated in Quebec on January 6. Prepare a cake with a bean hidden inside. Whoever gets the bean will be the king or queen, according to tradition. 
Consider attending "Sinck tuck," a winter festival started by the Inuit that's celebrated in some provinces. The celebration consists of exchanging gifts and dancing.
Barley Toys and Chicken Bones are traditional candies that can be bought and put into Christmas stockings.
In the 1600s, the Christmas celebration in Quebec took place on the first Sunday of Advent, which fell at the end of November.
In some places in Canada, gifts are not opened until New Year's Day. 
Warnings: Canada is a large and cosmopolitan country made up of many ethnic and cultural groups, so Christmas traditions are quite diverse and cannot be generalized. The above are simply a few examples of local traditions that may or may not be appropriate for your personal celebration of Christmas.