With each passing decade, table manners seem to pass on as well. The problem arises when you are invited to a formal dinner. Now what? Here’s a crash course to set you on the right track, at least for now, and avoid embarrassment.
- Dress appropriately for the occasion. In the event that a dress code is required, be sure to dress accordingly.
- Chances are that you have a minimum of one electronic device on you. Turn it off and move it out of site!
- As soon as you are shown to your seat, remove your napkin from the table and place it on your lap.
- Never start eating before the host takes his first bite.
- Choosing the right utensil can be a bit tricky. According to ‘Etiquette’, always start from the utensil furthest away from your plate and work your way in. If your place setting includes two forks, a smaller one on the outside, followed by a larger one, use the smaller one for the appetizer and the larger one for entree.
There are those people who open the fridge door, stare at the food inside and just stand there thinking about whether or not to pull anything out. Then there are those who have been drilled for years to keep the refrigerator door closed, or else all the cold air will escape! Refrigerators are actually very tough when it comes to regulating their temperatures- that is, if the thermostats are in good working condition! However, there are various everyday habits that we have that can damage our refrigerators and freezers. Here are 5 of the most common ways we damage our refrigerators and freezers:
- If the shelves in your refrigerator or freezer have slats, refrain from putting a cover on top of the shelves. Doing so will inhibt the circulation of cold air. Solid glass shelves are not a problem, as the unit is built to accomodate these type of shelves. However, slotted shelves should be left uncovered or, in case of emergency, make sure to cut some holes in the covering.
- Ever used a sharp object to get rid of the crumbs stuck in the rubber gasket? Rubber gaskets and sharp objects are not on the best of terms and will do more damage than good. Next time, try using a soft-toothbrush, a rag and a vacuum cleaner. These do a better job at removing crumbs and do not damage the gasket. Aditionally, when something sticky spills onto the gasket and dries, the gasket will get stuck to the fridge. Pulling the fridge door open can cause the gasket to rip. Make sure to wipe down anything that spills using a soft cloth to avoid gasket mishaps.
- The million dollar question: Does placing hot pots directly into the refrigerator inflict damage? Well, the answer is both yes and no. Putting hot food straight into the refrigerator won’t harm the refrigerator but putting it into the freezer will create moisture that will build up on the freezer coils, forming ice. The real problem is that placing hot food into the fridge will increase the overall temperature in the refrigerator, which can cause perishable food already inside to spoil. That is why it is a good idea to allow the food to cool a bit before placing it in the refrigerator/freezer.
It happens to all of us at one point or another. You are in the midst of cooking or baking when you realize that you are out of an ingredient. Or, perhaps you or a family member has some kind of allergy or intolerance, or maybe you’re just looking to live a healthier life-style. Whatever it may be, here is a short list of the most common ingredient substitutes.
Please note that food made with substituted ingredients may vary slightly in both taste and texture.
All purpose flour: Either use 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour or, substitute 1 tablespoon cornstarch for 2 tablespoons of flour.
Cake flour: To substitute 1 cup of cake flour, use 1 cup less 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour.
Baking powder: For 1 teaspoon baking powder, use ¼ teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon cream of tartar or ¼ teaspoon baking soda and ½ cup sour milk, buttermilk or molasses; reduce other liquid by ½ cup.
Most people who do not know the first thing about cooking will fill every available inch of their kitchen with the newest gadgets, the ones that seem to promise the world. However, if you’re just starting out, or are on a tighter budget, these fancy items are really not necessary. In fact, more often than not, they are simply space-wasters.
The following are 5 must-have kitchen utensils that without them, it is practically impossible to be a chef.
- Knives and cutting boards: Pretty much anything that’s cooked has to be cut up one way or another. Cooking without a knife is like living without air. You simply cannot do without it. That being said, what’s a knife without a cutting board? Aside for protecting the counter tops, cutting boards have a number of other functions, including preventing and reducing knife injuries, reducing clutter, catching spill-overs, etc.
- Measuring spoons and measuring cups: Whether you’re the kind of person that needs to know the exact measurements for cooking or you shake a little bit of this and a little bit of that, there will always be a time when you will have no option but to turn to your measuring spoons and cups. A good recipe can turn disastrous by what seems to you to be a minor mis-measurement.
- Mixing bowls: Every recipe calls for combining ingredients and that is where mixing bowl come in. The good news is, mixing bowls provide for more than just bowls for mixing. They can be used as serving bowls for side dishes or as salad bowls as well.
Having a hard time deciding what to buy your loved one, a close family member, a good friend or that special neighbor for the Holidays? Well, we at TigerChef.com, have decided to try and help you out with a random survey made amongst our friends and co-workers. Here are some suggestions that you may find useful.
- ‘Personalization is the key. My closest friend always makes picture boards. Using her creative talents, she arranges photos that include herself and the person she is making it for. She actually once put together a CD for me with six of
my most favorite tracks on it.’
- ‘My children made a “Lifetime Book” for us for our 40th anniversary. They got all our buddies- some of whom we had not been in contact with for quite some time- and family members – to write down a personal reminder of a little memory that we shared together. They also got a great deal of pictures to go along with the memories. Thrilled? An understatement! We were extremely emotional since we had never realized that so many people think so highly of us and that we had touched so many lives that significantly.’
- ‘No matter what time of year it is, if you see something, buy it- particularly at sale time. That way, when the holiday rolls around and it’s present time, you can shop in your own closet first and you will discover a nice amount of gifts you can choose from. Trust me, it saves you a big headache.’
Whether you hosted or attended a party or prepared a festive meal, then you know nice and well what a difference centerpieces can make to a table. The same holds true with centerpieces for the Christmas dinner. I think I’m pretty safe to say that the Christmas dinner is the most significant one of the whole year and what wouldn’t you do to make it that much more special? Much thought goes into every iota of this special day- from the actual meal, to the presents, to the decorations, the tree and yes, even the centerpieces.
Before you start working on the centerpieces, you have put some thought into it. What is the atmosphere that you are trying to create? How tall/short would you like it be? How much money do you want to spend on them? How much time do you have on your hands to get them done on time? Etc.
Naturally, nothing says chic more than something traditional. Winter plants, candles, berries and fruits, all add to the decor in a very classy way and create a striking ambiance. They can be arranged in an endless amount of ways to create the desired effect.
When it comes to Thanksgiving, the most important “guest” at the dinner table is the turkey. All the others attending the feast will be “keeping an eye” on that turkey. Therefore, you really want to make sure that you choose the right size and type of turkey in order to create the ideal Thanksgiving dinner experience. The following are some tips to help you with your Thanksgiving turkey.
1) Knowing in advance how many other guests will be attending your dinner is an excellent idea and it will save you much headache. On average,
individuals (especially males) can consume approximately two pounds of turkey. As a rule, it is always better to have some left-over food rather than not having enough. You would never want anyone leaving your house hungry. If left-overs don’t sit well with you, just remember that you can always doggy bag whatever is left for your guests to take home with them.
2) A younger turkey is usually a better choice since they tend to be more tender and juicy than the adults.
3) When packaging the turkey, the skin is marked with an A, B or C. You definitely want to pick an A graded turkey since these are the ones that are just about bruise, blemish and feather free. As the letter decreases, so do the skin conditions.
For me, “SHOPPING” is probably my biggest pet peeve. I’d rather sit at home and stare at the walls or out the window than go shopping. In no way do I look forward to a shopping trip as an enjoyable outing on a day off. I always come home with a big head-ache, starving and dead tired. I absolutely hate it! ( My husband loves me for that.) However, there are times when you have no choice but to face the music. Like when the children have outgrown their clothing or when an appliance decides to kick the bucket on me or when a household product goes dry. And now, with the holidays approaching… shopping stares you straight in the face.
With the economy down in the dumps and the sky-rocketing prices, it has become pathetically expensive to shop. Therefore, here are some courses of action you can take to make shopping a somewhat more enjoyable experience.
Barter, haggle, negotiate, bargain… I too would love to just get over with it, but close your eyes for a moment and imagine that sensation of coming home with a steal.
Here are some bargaining tips that just may make you rich one day: