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Austria Off The Beaten Path – Zell am See, Innsbruck and Bad Gastein

Austria Off The Beaten Path – Zell am See, Innsbruck and Bad Gastein

Mention Austria and everyone thinks of Vienna and Salzburg.
In addition to great names, Zell am See, Innsbruck and Bad Gastein are great locations off the beaten path.

Zell am See

Zell…am…See. The name just rolls off the tongue, but it pails in comparison to the place. Often described as heaven on earth, Zell am See is a dream location in the mountains of Austria. With towering mountains on one side and a lake on the other, the town looks like something out of a postcard. If you pull up photographs of the town, you’ll swear they have been touched up with a software program. This town is simply that beautiful. In the winter, Zell am See is all about skiing with numerous resorts for glacier skiing. In the summer, one can lounge on a boat on the lake or hit the mountains for hiking, camping and rock climbing. The Krimml Waterfalls are extremely impressive. Zell am See isn’t the cheapest of travel destinations, but it should top the list if money isn’t a concern. The best month to go is December when skiing is good and winter festivals occur in the town.


Built on the Inn River, Innsbruck was the home to the 1976 Winter Olympics. And for good reason. As with much of Austria, the town is picturesquely set against mountains and ripe with street cafes and surrounding areas that look like something out of the movie Heidi. As the Olympic designation would suggest, the town is a good launching point for hitting the slopes, but there is much more to it. The historic district has the cobblestone atmosphere you’ve come to expect from town in the Alps. In addition to atmosphere, you can visit historic locations such as the tomb of Emperor Maximilian 1.

My only gripe with Innsbruck is the boring, modern developments around the core of the town that were brought on by the Olympics. They sort of kill the mood, which brings us to Bad Gastein.

Bad Gastein

Bad Gastein definitely gets a nomination for name of the year. It just sounds like a town where bikers would hang out. Admittedly, it is hard to image Austrian Hells Angels, but you get my drift.

Bad Gastein is an old Austrian village without the droll modern fixtures of Innsbruck. Built overlooking a valley, the town has some incredible views. Historically, Bad Gastein is the spa town of Austria with emperors and other VIPs taking in treatment. For atmosphere, the town feels like it hasn’t changed since the 19th century. If you’re looking for old world Austria, this is the place. Make sure to hurry though as the town is supposedly grabbing the attention of developers who are thinking hotels and casinos are a must.

If you visit Austria, Vienna and Salzburg are definite destinations. Just make sure you get out to the incredible towns in the mountains.

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Recipe: heaven on seven chicken voodoo rigatoni

Heaven on Seven Chicken Voodoo Rigatoni

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 teaspoon Angel Dust Cajun Seasoning
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onion, white and green parts
2 tablespoons Roasted Garlic Puree
1/3 cup diced celery
1/2 cup seeded, diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup seeded, diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup seeded, yellow bell pepper
1/3 cup seeded, diced poblano chile
1/4 cup seeded, diced cubanella pepper
1/4 cup seeded, diced banana pepper
1 tablespoon seeded, minced Fresno chile
1 1/2 teaspoons seeded, minced habanero chile
1 teaspoon seeded, minced jalapeño
1/2 teaspoon minced serrano chile
1/2 teaspoon seeded, minced fingerhot chile
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1/4 teaspoon Spanish paprika
1/4 teaspoon chile powder
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup peeled and diced ripe banana
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup water
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup mango juice
1/2 cup papaya juice
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon Key lime or regular lime juice
1 tablespoon Hot as a Mutha hot pepper sauce or habanero sauce
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
2 pounds dried rigatoni pasta, cooked according to package directions

Season the chicken with 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning.

In a 5-quart Dutch oven, preferably enameled cast iron, heat the oil over high heat. When oil is hot but not smoking add the chicken and brown for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in the yellow, red and green onions and the garlic puree cook for 2 minutes.

Add the celery, peppers, and chiles cook until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.

Add honey, sugars, paprikas, chile powder, allspice, coriander, turmeric, salt, black and white peppers, red pepper flakes, remaining 1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, stir for 2 to 3 minutes to coat meat and vegetables with the seasonings.

Mix in the banana, tomato sauce, water, coconut milk, juices and hot pepper sauce. Bring to a boil reduce the heat to medium low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.

When ready to serve, stir in the butter until well blended and toss with rigatoni in a large bowl.

Serves 8-10.

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Product Manufacturing In China – Friend Or Foe?

Product Manufacturing In China – Friend Or Foe?

Guizhou China 贵阳小车河
Source: Flickr

Do you think that Henry Ford would have imagined that in a few decades from revolutionizing industry, we will have a global economy with a global workforce?

Perhaps one of his most valuable visions was his understanding of industry, but today in our world of manufacturing so much of our products are manufactured with parts from all over the globe. It is difficult to purchase a single product today that was manufactured 100% in the USA – or solely in any other country for that matter.

Manufacturing in China has taken the manufacturing industry by force. With low cost labor and world class factories it is a very viable country to consider when thinking of manufacturing your product. Large corporations have taken advantage of this for many years but with the right contacts and infrastructure smaller firms can now also reap the rewards of manufacturing in China.

Dallas-based manufacturing consulting firm, Global Manufacturing Services works with small-to-mid size firms in the USA who desires to take their product to China for manufacturing. They have a pre-established network of factories in China in a multitude of industries. They work with US-based business from Design-to-Delivery and make it possible for the everyday-USA smaller firm to also get their product manufactured in China with great cost savings.

China is a very appealing country for international manufacturing of all industries, while some countries in the Asian region have found a more niche market. India and Pakistan are more powerful into textiles at this point of time, but still a viable options for global manufacturers.

Although globalization has brought American countries lower wages and lower cost to their manufacturing needs, we have to consider the impact it has to our local economy. More manufacturing needs are being shifted offshore and less manufacturing jobs are being filled on the mainland USA. But when businesses save cost, they can now pass those savings onto their customers in a win-win situation.

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Aruba Beaches

Aruba Beaches

Canberra -8
Source: Flickr

So you’re a beach buddy.
Hmm…I bet you’d like to know everything about the beaches in Aruba. Aruba is after all deemed as one of the best vacation destinations in the Caribbean because of its white sand beaches and turquoise waters that lure visitors from near and far away places.

Well, the Aruba beaches are generally acclaimed and valued throughout the Caribbean and the world for the great wonders that they offer. One of the best qualities possessed by the Aruba beaches is the whiteness of the sand, which greatly appeal to almost everybody in Aruba. The sand is not just white, but is also fine. Visitors in the Island have even claimed that because of fine and white sand in Aruba beaches walking freely barefoot would give comfort to the feet.

Aside from the sand, the Aruba beaches are also noted for the crystal clear waters that surround the island. The island actually boasts calm water that is great for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, and even windsurfing. The trade winds blow gently, making the water best all year round. You can even enjoy sailing in the Aruba waters and witness the beauty of the island and its beaches.

The Aruba beaches are also noted for their gentle atmosphere. What I am talking about here is the Aruba climate that makes your stay in the Aruba beaches so comforting. The climate in the island is tropical. There is no wrong time to visit in the island’s beaches because throughout the year the weather is fine and comfortable. However, if you plan to stay out in the sun for hours during daytime, be sure to wear sunscreen. The sun in Aruba beaches can be intense, especially from 11 in the morning through 2:30 in the afternoon.

Additionally, what makes the Aruba beaches great is that they are accessible from most of facilities in the island. Restaurants that offer the most complimentary dining are just nearby. Aside from some tennis courts, golf courses, and even badminton facilities are available to enjoy. Most of the Aruba beaches are equipped with toilets for convenience. And, if you are looking for some beach gadgets for rent, they are available. A number of rental sites offer other rental services for beachgoers. They rent out beach equipments for your windsurfing and other water sports. What’s more, these offers are available at the best rates possible.

So whatever you need while on the beach, the Aruba beaches have it available for you.

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The Best International Honeymoon Locations

The Best International Honeymoon Locations

A honeymoon is a great idea for couples that have recently been married. Celebrate your marriage together and relax, enjoying the sucess of your wedding. When you are selecting your honeymoon destination for you and your new spouse you will want it to be as perfect as your wedding so some planning is required.

1. Hawaii

Hawaii is the best and origional stop for honeymooners. If you want, you can lounge along the beach or enjoy the tropical scenery. You can take a tour to help you explore the island, its waterfalls, and other beautful natural resources. The ultimate experience is simply to watch the sunset, although in the morning you can experience one of the finest golf courses in the world, play tennis, or participate in a luau.

2. Italy

Italy offers both plenty of sandy beaches as well as snow covered mountains for skiing and snowboarding. There are a number of major cities worth visiting in Italy that is why it might be of interest to spend a day or two in a number of cities, rather than limiting your trip to only one. Rome offers a number of bus tours and walking tours that allow you to take in some ancient historical landmarks. Enjoy the Roman ruins, Baroque fountains and even visit the Vatican if you have the time. The Vatican, in addition to its religious importance, houses countless works of art.

3. Tahiti

The Polynesian island of Tahiti is as good if not better than Hawaii. It boasts endless beaches and palm trees as far as the eye can see. Nearby, there are cafes and shops where you can find the perfect memento of your island vacation. Take an island cruise through the islands of French Polynesia or go scuba diving through the coral reef for the ultimate experience.

4. Virgin Islands

As a lower cost version of Hawaii or Tahiti, the island of Anguilla offers flawless carribean beaches and twice the privacy of the mobbed beaches found elsewhere. A number of delectable restaurants are available where anyone will find exquisite dishes like alaskan king crab, and local delicacies as well.