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.
With the Holidays upon us, and the celebrating that comes along with it, there is a huge probability of having your guests, or yourself for that matter, spill something by accident of course- on yourself, your rug, your tablecloth or practically anywhere! That something can vary between water- which is no big deal, all the way to gravy. Now what? How in heavens name will you ever get that nasty stain out of your tablecloth? Why not give these tactics a shot?
#1- Missed your mouth when you went for that luscious red wine? Grab the salt shaker and pour a very generous amount over the stain. Let the salt sit
on the stain for a minute or two and then scrape away the grains. Rinse the stain with water.
#2- Lost your balance when carrying the plate full of gravy? Chill out! All you have to do is scoop up the excess and sprinkle cornstarch over the spot. Let it stand for about fifteen minutes and then vacuum it up. Next, sprinkle carbonated water over the stain and blot dry it to disclose your freshly cleaned carpet.
#3- Coffee on the tablecloth? It’s simple. Just rinse the coffee stain using cold water, and then treat it with a mixture of one part white vinegar to three parts water. Rinse it with water and toss it in to the washing machine. It will come out as good as new.
There is nothing better than a chilled shake at any given time- no matter winter, summer, spring or fall. Milkshakes are a frothy blend of ice cream, milk, and syrup flavoring and can be made in numerous flavors. The problem with milkshakes is that when you think milkshake, you think fattening. Well, here’s a solution that we dieters have been looking for and it is definitely one of the easiest recipes to follow. If you are planning on serving it to your guests, don’t let them in on our little low-fat secret and trust me, they will never figure it out. For all you folks who want the real thing, don’t let the low-fat scare you. All you got to do is follow the recipe and eliminate the words low fat and fat free.
Get your blender and let’s get started.
- 2 packages cookies
- 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
- 1 pt. low fat vanilla frozen yogurt, slightly softened
- 1 cup low fat milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Fat-free whipped topping, optional
- Chocolate sprinkles, optional
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.
Tums, Pepto-Bismol, Rolaids… Sound a little bit too familiar? Are you among millions of others that are in a constant, head-on battle with acid reflux or indigestion? In that case, try and use these doctor-approved tips which may help reduce or even actually put an end to that infuriating burn:
1) Take a chill on the food race. Where you rushing? The only thing that you “accomplish” by eating quickly is that you are producing a greater amount of stomach acid, which increases the risk of the acid making its way back up into your esophagus. When it comes to the food race, you always want to be the last to reach the finish line.
2) Any fizzy drink knocked-down in the second part of the day- including plain old carbonated water- increases your risk of night-time suffering by 31%. No. Your eyes are not tricking you, you did read right. Now, just a short lesson in biology- The gases do a great job at churning (whipping up) the acid in your stomach, which will prompt the esophageal sphincter muscle (the little door at the bottom of your esophagus) to welcome in the unwanted guests. Come-on fellows, can the coke!
To most people, fall brings one annoying task along with it. That of raking leaves. This is the time of year when most people in North America face that unenviable task of dealing with leaf raking. The most frustrating part of it all is that as soon as you are done raking, there are enough leaves on your property for you to start all over (sigh!) and within a few hours it looks like you haven’t touch the rake since the past fall.
The following are some tips that you can try in order to make your life somewhat easier.
1. Never rake when it’s windy out unless you’re really bored: It is simply a waste of time. The wind will just blow the leaves right back to where they came from and then you are back to square one.
2. Always rake in a straight line: This will help you in knowing which areas you have already raked and which parts of your property still have to get done.
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:
Two pans, water and heat – it’s the core concept of a chafer. But how exactly do they work and how do you determine which one you need?
Chafer pans are food containers that can be continuously heated by portable flame or electricity. The goal is to maintain proper temperatures (not just for taste, but for health reasons as well). A bottom pan (commonly called a water pan) is filled with water, and the steam produced by the heated water warms the inset pan, thus keeping food warm. Lids help further control the temperature – much heat escapes each time the lid is removed.
Types of Chafers:
Disposable chafers are available just about anywhere and are made of thin aluminum. They’re designed for one-time use and rely on sterno fuel for keeping food warm. They are not ideal for catering or buffets, but rather for picnics and home parties.
Economy chafers are the least expensive, and commonly very light. While they do the job, the investment is not cost-effective for long-term usage. Thinner metals can mean dents and dings that can cause food pans to sit improperly, and can result in excess steam escaping. That’s not to say economy chafers are a bad choice – it’s really dependent upon the job, the amount of usage and the handling.
Eliminating and preventing the growth and spread of mold and mildew in your home is an endless challenge. The constant presence of moisture in the kitchen, bathroom, attic and basement makes these area around the house the ultimate breeding ground for fungal growth.
Step 1: Perform routine check ups for mold and mildew. Especially during the rainy and wet season, visit all the rooms around the house, including the attic and
the basement, frequently to check for leaks, moisture buildup or any signs of mold or mildew. Use a strong flashlight to inspect corners and crevices. Be sure to check the folds in your curtains and drapes.
Step 2: Diagnose and cure the cause of the leaks and moisture buildup. Patch up any cracks, leaky roofs and/or windows, and other sources of water and moisture. If necessary, installing additional insulation is a brilliant idea. If poor ventilation adds insult to injury, take into great consideration using air conditioners, dehumidifiers and exhaust fans.
Step 3: Use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum the mold spores off of the affected surfaces. Either use the vacuum cleaner’s brush attachment or you can scour the area with a stiff brush in order to eliminate as much of the growth as humanly possible.
Simply follow these easy and straightforward instructions and you are sure to achieve a ‘wow’ in both taste and presentation. Start out with good quality salmon fillet and serve at room temperature. Decorate with a lemon and lime twist and serve with your favorite red cabbage salad on the side.
1 Large Onion
½ Cup Mayonnaise
½ Cup Ketchup
½ Cup Vinegar
¼ Cup Sugar
2 Whole Bay Leaves Salt and Pepper to Taste