All posts by Dana Williams
Whether you’re a baking expert or a novice, you’ve got to admit that baking can get pretty sticky at times- usually the most inconvenient ones. I would venture to say that the most frustrating baking experience is when you’re done putting all of your blood and sweat into making your cakes and cookies just so, and having half of it stay behind in the pan.
Here are just a few tips that will help you get the most out of your baking experience.
When working with cakes, make sure to grease and flour the pan before pouring in the batter. I find the best greasing agents are either solid shortening or non-stick cooking spray. For lighter colored cakes, grease the pan then sprinkle with some flour. Wait two minutes for the flour to absorb into the grease before adding the cake batter. For darker colored cakes, substitute the flour with some cocoa. The flour/cocoa creates a ‘wall’ around the cake, allowing the cake to slip out easily while keeping its form.
Have a bad feeling about your cake being stuck to the pan? Warm up the pan just a tad by placing it over steaming water or a hot oven for no longer than two minutes. The heat will loosen the grease, making it easier for the cake to pop out.
When planning a large gathering in your home, there is a certain peace of mind knowing that you have a dishwasher that will help you get rid of the oversized stack of dishes that would otherwise pile up in your sink. A dishwasher can be of a huge help when loaded, run and taken care of properly. In addition, it uses less time, energy, and water than hand washing.
- Scrape off any excess food before loading the dishes. Pre-rinsing is not necessary.
- Check all containers for stickers and make sure to remove them.
- Use the suggested amount of dishwasher detergent, and place it in the designated area.
- Always run the dishwasher using the hottest water option available.
- Use commercial detergent, or vinegar for hard water.
- Stay away from gels since they tend to clog up the soap dispenser, they leave a cloudy film on glassware, and stick to the interior. They also have a tendency to leave spots when used with hard water. What’s more, gels usually include bleach, which is no good for the dishwasher’s rubber seal.
- Make sure to leave enough room for the washing jets to reach all items in the dishwasher and to allow for the washing arms to spin freely.
Pizza and Americans have become inseparable. Actually, pizza can be found in approximately 180 countries around the world. Ever wonder how pizza came to be so popular and famous? To start with, pizza originally started out as a food for poor people. Being that food couldn’t be stored for too long, the Italians had to think of ways to finish up their bread. They would top their thin bread with all different ‘leftovers’ and add spices over it. And so pizza came to be.
Although pizza has been around for ages, literally, it only started becoming famous in the 1900’s. These days, every pizza shop adds some kind of a twist to their pizza. Be it a secret ingredient in the dough or sauce, or some different kind of topping. The best part of it all is that you can get the pizza fresh out of the oven, delivered straight to your front door, still piping hot. Thanks to the pizza delivery bag, pizza has become even more popular.
With such a wide variety of pizza bags to choose from, and a large price range, how do you know which pizza delivery bag is right for you?
Thermal bags are the cheapest and most commonly used delivery bags. They simply retain the heat from the pizza. No gizmos or gadgets. Thermal bags are constructed of either vinyl or nylon.
Super Bowl Sunday is this week…what are you making? We here in NY want nothing more than to get cozy under the covers with a steaming cup of hot chocolate and watch the game from our beds. But if you’ve already made plans to host, or promised to bring a dish, here are a couple of recipes that are bound to wow the crowd. Just be sure not to go on the scale for a few days!
On the menu today – chicken fingers with sweet and sour dipping sauce, spicy hot buffalo wings, and nachos and cheese.
Chicken Fingers with Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce
1 lb. chicken breast, cut into chunks
2 T honey
1/4 C milk
2 T chicken consomme
1 C cornflake crumbs
Oil for frying
Sweet and Sour Sauce
1/4 C vinegar
1/4 C ketchup
1/4 C brown sugar
Prepare 2 bowls. In one bowl, whisk eggs until frothy. Add honey, milk, and consomme. In the second bowl, put cornflake crumbs. Coat chicken pieces in egg mixture then dip into cornflake crumbs. Heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Fry chicken pieces 3-4
Myth: Eating healthy= depriving yourself of the good things in life. Truth: Eating healthy= gaining on energy and health and feeling as strong as ever. Here’s a dare for you. Don’t get scared off. All you have to do is put these 5 easy healthy food changes listed below into place and let me know how it goes.
White flour, rice and pasta tend to stick to your body and have a much harder time being digested by your body than brown rice, whole grain breads and whole wheat pasta. In addition to being higher in fiber, brown rice and whole grain flour also contain more vitamins and minerals than white flour and rice.
The fact is that you need fat in your body to keep going. The question is which fats are right for you? Fats that are found in (the most popular ones) olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, and sesame oil are full of good fats that lower the LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise the HDL (good cholesterol). On the other hand, vegetable oil should be crossed off your shopping list for good since it is full of fatty acids that can clog up your arteries resulting in a heart attack.
Find yourself scrambling for suppers this time of year? Taking 10 minutes a week out of your busy schedule and charting your dinner menu will save you time, not to mention money and stress the rest of the week.
Use a spreadsheet to make three columns: main, grain and vegetable. At this time of year, you should probably add a fourth column for soup. Feel free to add as many columns as you feel necessary.
Jot down all the possible options that you can think of under the proper header. In place of writing potatoes, be specific and list baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, hash browns etc. The greater the variation the better!
Once you’re done listing all the dishes you can think of, organize the list in order of preference. Place the foods that you and your family prefer and that will take the least time to prepare at the top of the list.
Now that we have the list in order, it’s time to plug it in to your chart. Create the chart by placing the days of the week in a column down the left side and placing the soup, main, grain and vegetables in the row across the top.
Things to keep in mind when charting your menu:
Obesity, in North American children and adults alike, is on the rise. We are all very well aware of just how detrimental excess weight is for our health. Is there anything we can do to nip the problem in the bud, without having to give up on the goodies?
Eating healthy is more about taking baby steps than about making drastic changes. The following tips are several uncomplicated steps and you can easily make them part of your daily routine for a better tomorrow.
- Nibble on homemade trail mix: dried fruits, nuts, cereal, and chocolate chips.
- Spread peanut butter on apple slices as an alternative to crackers.
- Reach for air-popped popcorn in place of potato chips.
- Combine ½ cup whole milk with ½ cup skim; ultimately switching over to skim milk.
- Make cottage cheese pancakes in place of the usual ones for breakfast.
- Buy low fat dairy products instead of the full fat products.
- Cut your intake of sugary drinks, one cup at a time and top up on water instead.
A large majority of the population conveniently forget to apply sunscreen before exposing themselves to the sunâ€™s rays. How terrible can tanning without sunscreen really be? Consequence = red hot itchy skin, fatigue, and mild dizziness. Nipping the sunburn in the bud is important, since it can help you control the effects of the dangerous UV rays.
Immediate relief to help minimize the pain and send you on the road to recovery can be found in your very own kitchen.
- Plain yogurt contains the perfect enzymes and acids needed to calm and soothe your sunburnt skin. You might experience some unpleasantness at first, but once the yogurt is applied, relief is just about guaranteed to follow within minutes. You can apply the yogurt by either soaking a piece of cloth in yogurt or just by applying it directly to the sunburn.
- Mix some baking soda or cornstarch with water to make a paste and apply it to your skin. Otherwise, empty a box of baking soda into your tub, fill the tub with lukewarm water and soak in it for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This can help do away with the burn altogether.
- To avoid the itching and the peeling that are guaranteed to follow your sunburn, peel and mash some fresh apricots. Apply the mush to the burned area and leave it on for 15 minutes. Use lukewarm water to wash it off.
- Another great solution is vinegar. Place 1 tablespoon of vinegar in 1 cup of water, and use cotton balls to apply it to the burnt area. Alternatively, you can fill a spray bottle with the solution and spray it onto the sunburn.
- Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agents are what make honey a super burn soother. Either use your fingers to cover the burn with honey, or slather honey on a piece of gauze and apply it to your burn.
Ever considered cleaning your barbeque grill? Perhaps you should. Not just once a year, but after every use. Aside for being a danger to your health, the longer the ‘garbage’ is left to sit on your grill, the harder it will be to clean.
Love barbequing, hate cleaning. Fear no longer! Listed below are 5 quick and simple tips on getting your grill clean.
- Leave the grill to cool off just enough so that you will be able to touch it without burning yourself. Scrub the racks using soap and water before hosing it down. Be sure that the racks are 100 dry before replacing them back on the grill to avoid rusting issues.
- Cover your grill with a piece of foil while it is still hot. Before using the grill again, scrunch the foil up into a ball and brush the grid using the foil to get rid of any food that was left behind on the grid.
- Baking soda is at it once again. Combine ¼ cup of baking soda with ¼ cup of water. Use a wire barbeque brush to rub the solution over the grill. Allow the paste to dry before wiping it down with a dry rag. Let the coals burn off any remaining scum before barbequing your next supper.
- Take the racks off the grill and place them in a garbage bag. Spray some Easy Off or any other oven cleaner over the grids and knot the bag. Let it stand overnight. The following day, open the bag, but take the necessary precautions to keep your face away from the bag since the fumes can be hazardous. All that there is left for you to do is to wipe it down. Once again, be sure to burn the grid before placing food on it.
Playing sports is not all about winning. It’s about having a grand time and staying/getting fit. What better time of year than the summer to play sports, work those muscles, and break into a sweat? The heat gives you no justification for not exercising, as long as you make sure to stay well hydrated.
The following is a list of the top seven summer sports that are worth whatever time and energy you’ve got.
- Tennis. You’ll be amazed at how great a sport tennis is. It’s much more fun than you can ever imagine, not to mention that it is a superb full-body workout.
- For an overall body workout, swimming is great. On a hot summer day, where else would you rather be than in a pool? Big fun, big exercise!
- Summer and biking go hand-in-hand. Biking with friends or family will give you a good time, while biking on your own can give you some time to think. Either way, you’ll be working your abs and legs, burning those extra calories, with the added bonus of enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
- Want to volley? Not only will you have a great time playing volleyball (on the beach), but it is also a really great workout for your arms and legs.
- Basketball can be played both indoors and outdoors which is what makes it an all-year sport. However, there is still nothing like playing basketball out in the open on a nice summer day.