When Marcus Porcius Cato made the first cheesecake back the heyday of the Greek Empire, he probably did not realize that his simple dairy recipe would be one of the world’s favorite desserts, even after several centuries. Indeed, the cheesecake has not lost its appeal and continues to evolve to meet the changing tastes of its aficionados.

For such a delicious cake, the cheesecake is actually rather simple. It is made of sugar, eggs, and cheese (usually cream cheese but ricotta is also often used in Italy), and other ingredients such as cookies, or cookie crusts, and cream. The more modern cheesecakes are topped with all kinds of tropical fruits like kiwi, mango, and strawberries, and are decorated with vanilla and chocolate.

Different people from different parts of the world have added their own twists to the traditional cheesecake, and each version is just as delicious as the next. The cottage cheese-based, world-famous New York cheesecake, for example, is loved the world over for its heavy use of cream and excellent consistency. Equally famous are the Italian-style cheesecakes that use delectable ricotta cheese and vanilla extract for extra flavor.

Almost all other food-loving countries have their own versions of cheesecakes as well. The Germans use quark cheese, Greece uses homegrown Mizithra cheese and Mascarpone cream, and Brazilians add in guava marmalade. Can you guess which country likes maple syrup on their cheesecake? You guessed it right – Canada.

The cheesecake has also found a place in Asia, where it has evolved into flan cakes, famous in Tokyo and in Manila. These flans are usually made of starch and eggs. The vegetarians have also whipped up their own cheesecake – they use tofu instead of cream cheese, and surprisingly, their version tastes just as good.


Legend has it that an unknown Arab nomad accidentally discovered cheese. He embarked upon a horseback journey across the desert filled with a saddlebag of milk. When he stopped to rest, the milk had separated into curds and whey. The logical explanation to this occurrence is the functioning of rennin. The bacteria were present in the saddlebag, which was made from the stomach of a young animal.

Cheese has been a popular food for centuries and has also been mentioned in the Old Testament. Even today, inducing various types of bacteria into milk transform it to cheese. The bacteria in time works on the milk and, depending upon the different types used, specific textures and flavors of cheese are determined.

Cheese is always manufactured from milk. Milk from cattle (cows, sheep, goats) is used at all times. Cheese textures vary from hard to semi-soft, and from mildly acidic to sharp. There are hundreds of different types of cheese available. Primarily, they are classified based upon 4 factors. These include type of milk used (raw, skimmed or pasteurized) and the source of the milk (cow, goat, sheep, buffalo, horse, yak or camel). Other factors include type of bacteria or acid used and the country it is made in.

Since cheese is available in such a wide variety, it can be confusing for the consumer to decide what to buy. Stored cheese is a good travel food. It has a long shelf life and contains high fat, protein, calcium, and phosphorus. Cheese can also be eaten in various forms. These include consuming raw, cooked, cold or warm cheese preparations.


Checks are negotiable instruments asking a bank to pay a specific amount of money from a specific account to a bearer or payee. The account is ideally in the depositor’s name with the bank. The depositor or check maker and the payee can be either natural persons or legal entities. A check must contain all the features to be considered valid. Check number, account number, MICR, date of issue, payee, amount of currency, and signature of drawer are the basic pre-requisites of a check. A check is usually valid for six months after the issue date unless indicated otherwise. However, the validity may vary in different countries.

Checks come in several types. In the U.S., checks are regulated by the Uniform Commercial Code, Article 3. Two very common types of checks are order checks and bearer checks. An order check is payable only to the named payee or his endorsee. It begins with “Pay to the order of”. A bearer check is payable to anyone who is in possession of the document. Such a check usually does not specify a payee and is payable to bearer or “To the order of cash”. This type of check is payable to someone who is not a person or legal entity. When checks are drawn from savings and loan association, they are called “negotiable order of withdrawal”. If checks are cashed from a credit union, they become share drafts.

Checks are used to pay wages also. Such instruments are referred to as payroll checks. A check sold by a post office or merchant such as a grocery for payment by a third party for a customer is called postal order or money order. If a check allows the person signing it to make an unconditional payment to someone as a result of paying the account holder for that privilege, it is referred to as a traveler’s check. Such a check can be replaced in case of theft or loss and are very popular with travelers.

Checking Accounts

A checking account is one of the basic services provided by the financial institutions. It allows individuals and businesses to deposit money and withdraw funds from account by check, electronic cards or ATM or transfer. Here the account holder can use checks in place of cash to pay debts.

Almost all banks offer their customers one or another form of a checking account service. Some may require a minimal initial deposit before establishing a new account, along with proof of identification and address; where as a student or other low-income applicant can opt for a no-frills checking account which does not charge fees for the use of personal checks and other services.

Checking account owners are responsible for keeping a regular track of their available funds, even as bank issue their accounting statements periodically. There are some banks that will protect checking account holders by making the proper payments and notifying the check writer that an overdraft has taken place.

There are different types of checking accounts like: basic checking, interest bearing, joint checking, express, lifeline, senior/student checking and money market. These accounts have their own ways of functioning. Basic checking account holder does not need to maintain a high balance where as interest bearing requires a minimum balance to open the account. Coming to the joint checking account it can be owned by two or more people. There are accounts that are designed for low-income consumers, senior citizens also like lifeline, senior checking accounts.

Other than different kinds of checking accounts there are benefits added to these accounts. Following are a note of these benefits. These checks provide a paper trail or written proof that you paid someone. Having these checks it can be put forth as proof for tax purposes and when you are paying a person or company by mail. It is safer than cash, cheaper than money orders, gives a lots of access options and there are no transaction limits.

Thus a checking account can be more than just a place to keep your money; it makes your financial life managing much simpler and easier.

Check Printing Companies

A check printing company not only prints but also sells and distributes checks to consumers. Consumers use these checks to withdraw funds held in checking or saving accounts in banks and other financial institutions.

Check printing companies are granted the right to advertise and sell checks to consumers. They are required to comply with the Check Printer and Number Act. Check printing companies have the responsibility of verifying the details of new customers such as the accuracy of a person’s name, address, city, state and account number. Verification can be done by way of a recent account statement issued by the bank or a copy of the account agreement. Check printing companies are also required to sell checks to consumers that are in compliance with the requirements of Section 3-104 of the Uniform Commercial Code.

Some community banks in the United States have also started printing checks as a value added service to their customers. Professional Check Systems, Relyco, and Ganson are some of the major companies that offer check-printing services. Check vendors typically charge banks, $9 for an order of 200 personal checks, who in turn charge their customers $12. Banks that receive requests from customers for specialized designs, such as copyrighted Disney characters, often outsource these orders to commercial printers such as Deluxe Corp. or John H. Harland Co.

Check printing companies usually use state-of-the-art printing equipment and material. Either commercial printers or custom printers are used to print checks. Commercial printers can accommodate short run printing and rush printing jobs for different kinds of checks. They make use of pre-designed templates that can be customized to meet customer specifications. Custom printers are used for customers who prefer to choose specific design, size, color and layout of their checks. Check printing companies use appropriate software that makes it easy to create designs.

Check Cashing Services

Commercial banks offer a number of services to their customers, but in recent years, many people have chosen to use check cashing services instead of banks. Check cashing services are an alternative service sector to traditional banking service.

This service has proven to take over the role of traditional financial institutions such as banks and credit unions. The service is offers various options. Customers can bring any type of check to cash, including personal checks, payroll checks, government checks, insurance checks, tax Refund checks, settlement checks, and Social Security checks.

The success of these alternative financial services is due to many factors. Partly, it is due to its ability to compose products and operations to meet the needs of households with little or no month-to-month funds.

Moreover, this service is beneficial to customers as well as the financial institutions. It is a “win-win’ situation for both the financial institute as well as the customer. The financial institutions can set up this system at a low cost and pass on this benefit as a low fee to the customer. As a customer, your banking needs are dealt with easily and quickly at a discounted rate, saving you time and money. This benefit is even greater for those individuals who do not have a relationship with any traditional financial institutions.

Check Automatic Check Cashing Machines that can do transactions without cashier’s in-person intervention can also do cashing services.

As we know, this service was established for use when traditional financial services fail to fulfill the customers’ needs. Over these years, the needs have grown more expansive and the need to upgrade the service in accordance is gaining importance.

Cheap Yoga Mats

Yoga is an ancient Indian exercise form that involves the use of certain body postures and breathing exercises for body, mind and spiritual health. Yoga is done by sitting, standing or lying down on a mat. Yoga mats should be very comfortable, as the postures should be done in a very relaxed manner. Good yoga mats even enhance the postures.

The main features of a good yoga mat are: durability, strength, softness, and ability to stay firm without crumpling. It should also grip the floor effectively and not allow the user to slide across the floor on the mat. Yoga mats are very easy to maintain. They just need once-in-a-while washing with a mild detergent, either in a machine or by hand.

A yoga mat is the only investment required for yoga. A good-quality mat can range from $20 to $45 or $50. However, there are cheaper mats available for as low as $10. These are made of regular cotton, without too many frills.

Cheap yoga mats are available in various styles, patterns and colors. Traditional mats were made of cotton or jute, but these days, many other materials are being used for yoga mats. Yoga mats are generally 4-5mm thick, since these mats can be stiff enough not to crease on the floor while being flexible enough to be rolled up, carried and washed. Cheap yoga mats should also handle repeated washing. Some yoga mats these days are also non-toxic and eco-friendly. Other different kinds of cheap yoga mats are: sticky mats, travel mats, foldable mats, lightweight mats and others. These mats are available in plain colors as well as interesting colors and patterns.

Cheap yoga mats can be found at exclusive yoga stores. The best source for finding a good, cheap yoga mat is the internet. There are websites that host the best deals on Yoga Mats, which can be compared as well as ordered online. Some suppliers also give discounts on yoga mats, like 50% off or 30% off. Such deals can be seen on the internet.

Cheap Wedding Favors

Planning a wedding of any size or budget can have numerous items that may be quite costly. In addition to planning for the dress and cake, a bride will want to spend thought considering the wedding favors for her guests. These small tokens of appreciation don’t have to be expensive. Frequently, the most enjoyable part of planning a wedding, is the selection of the wedding favor. Preparation for right the token at the least possible cost adds to the fun, allowing the bride a chance to tap into creative talents.

The practice of providing gifts to the guests of weddings began with European aristocrats who would endow guests with a fancy box called a bonboniere, named for the bonbons that it would protect. A bonboniere was crafted of crystal, porcelain or gold and could be encrusted with precious stones. Today these gifts for the guests, are known as wedding favors and is a tradition that has continued worldwide since the sixteenth century. A common belief of many cultures worldwide was, that the wedding couple was the focus of benevolent spirits who brought good luck. They believed that the same auspicious luck could be passed on to anything they touched. Betrothed couples would give small items to others in the village to share same good luck, that was expected to last a year.

For more than a thousand years, almonds were a common gift given to the wedding couple, signifying the good wishes on their new life together. Brides would choose to pass on those same good wishes to others by preparing a small gift of the almonds, beautifully wrapped in elegant fabric. The custom in the Middle East is for the bride to make a gift of five almonds to represent fertility, longevity, wealth, health and happiness. In the thirteenth century the trend of coating almonds in sugar became popular. Today the candy coated nuts are pastel adorned treats, known as Jordan almonds and remain a staple of many wedding celebrations. Jordan almonds provide one of the most common and inexpensive wedding favors when wrapped by delicate fabric to form small bundles tied with ribbon.

Wedding favors are typically presented to guests at the reception table, but can be distributed at the end of an informal gathering of coffee and cake. Brides have learned be very creative when it comes to selecting wedding favors that won’t go over budget, and still honor all of her guests. The trends may vary each year, but the favors a bride selects are never out of fashion. Recent favorites have included flower seeds packaged in transparent, frosted envelopes with a small sentimental card attached with a ribbon commemorating the event. Decorative candles tied with a delicate ribbon are another great item to show sentiment and many can be purchased for about one dollar. Custom designed bookmarks with personalized sentiments can be cherished by guests for a lifetime. Today’s desktop publishing software and quality papers greatly reduce the cost compared to the costs of using a professional printer.

The art of presenting wedding favors, provides unlimited possibilities for a couple to express gratitude to guests for being present at the event. Wedding favors serve a dual purpose of allowing the bride to express herself emotionally or creatively and can be chosen to provide décor to the reception table. The selection of inexpensive favors doesn’t have to compromise quality or elegance. Simple placecards in small decorative frames or placecard holders will make a lasting gift selection. Frames and placecard holders can be made with a variety of materials from ceramic to stainless steel, for about a dollar each. Decorative candles, soaps and cookies are easily found in a variety of shapes from cupids to wedding cakes. Stylish bottle stoppers and bottle openers are available in a variety of shapes and crafted in frosted glass or stainless steel.

If a bride is open minded to a wide range of gift items when shopping, it’s possible to find excellent prices on bulk purchases, or closeouts from retailers that specialize in wedding paraphernalia. Avoid having gifts engraved or personalized, as that will greatly drive the prices up. If it is desired to personalize an item, consider custom designed labels for chocolates, coffee or packages of tea assortments. Although prices for private labeled chocolate bars can be about $2.00 each, a bride or her friends can design and print unique labels with a home computer. Candy bars can be picked up at the local grocery for as little as a quarter each or bought in bulk from a club store.

The presentation of wedding favors is a time honored tradition and provides the bridegroom couple with an excellent means to share feelings with those they care about. Wedding favors continue to be one element of the wedding, where presentation and imagination have a greater value than the price of the item.

Cheap Web Site Design And Hosting

So, you want your own personal or business website. The problem is, you don’t have a lot of money to spend. Here are some ways to help you save money and still put together a high quality website.

First, a blog is a great option for cheap web design and hosting. Most blog sites offer you free web space and an easy to navigate template and posting system. They supply the template and the hosting is free. This is a good way to get your website designed rather quickly. You can also use this option as a temporary solution as your larger website is under development.

Also, consider that a lot of hosting companies do not charge very much for a year’s worth of service. Cheap hosting companies can be found by searching online, asking in forums and visiting product review sites. Just remember that sometimes there is a reason why a hosting fee is so inexpensive. Some hosting companies have tried to cut costs in areas such as customer service. If this is something that is important to you, make sure that the hosting service you choose is getting good reviews by its users.

If you develop your own website design skills, you can save money in that regard. Once you learn the design software or HTML, you can either design your own site from scratch, or download a free or purchased template. If your site is simple, you can usually find a free template that will suit your purpose. If you need more features, you may need to purchase a template.

Another way you can get cheap web design and hosting for your business is to consider bartering. Are you a copywriter who needs a website? Well, offer to do all the website design and hosting company’s writing, while they complete your project. Just make sure that the relationship is fair, and you are both equally compensated.

Although there are benefits to hiring the best website design and hosting companies to complete your project, it isn’t necessary. You can still cut costs and at the same time, put together a website that is professional and meets your needs.

Cheap Web Site Advertising

Web site advertising proves to be very effective in enhancing businesses, small and large companies alike. With thousands of people using the Internet everyday to transact business, to search for information and to communicate among others, promoting your products and services through your website is no doubt more beneficial than usual promotional methods.

Among the cheapest ways to promote your site is by means of exchanging links. You do this by looking for a related website where you can place a link directing to your site. In this way, you increase the number of visitors entering your website. In return, you can place their link to your site as well.

What’s good about reciprocal link exchange is that you are most likely to get desired visitors to your site, since these visitors actually chose to click on the link towards your site. How you are going to retain their interest as they enter your website is another advertising challenge for you. This is where high quality content can help.

Providing web site good content that is not only rich with top-ranking keywords but informative and entertaining as well, will keep your visitors coming back and you can expect more sales.

Not only that, good quality content can also attract possible partners who are interested in exchanging links with you. This again would provide an opportunity to increase traffic to your site.

Although you can find linking partners at no cost at all, there’s a greater chance for you to boost traffic to your site and increase your search engine ranking if you avail of paid link exchange programs. In these programs, thousands of web owners are enlisted and you can exchange links with them. Paid link exchange programs cost about $35 to $40, depending on the number of members who receive your link exchange invitations.