How to Cut Your Food Bills

If you’re trying to save money, how about cutting your food bills? There are numerous ways to do this. Here are some simple ones for starters.

 

Make your own meals

 

Buy ingredients and cook your own meals, rather than incurring unnecessary expenses with ready-made ones. With careful selection and economical cooking methods, a substantial, tasty and well-balanced meal can be made cheaply. If you don’t enjoy cooking, use a simple recipe and lighten the chore with some music.

 

Make your own sweets and treats

 

Baking cakes and cookies can be quick and easy, and much cheaper than buying them. If sweet snacks are a must for you, invest in big packs of cheap-brand flour, sugar, eggs, and cocoa or other flavorings. Look up a simple recipe and start mixing.

 

Focus on vegetables

 

You can make a good meal with fresh vegetables and dried beans and pulses, all of which tend to be cheaper than meat. C heck vegetable prices before buying, as they vary widely and fluctuate with the seasons. Invest in resealable flavoring packages such as tomato paste, stock cubes, curry powder, yeast extract and gravy granules. Some pasta, rice, or noodles will provide a filling base, and a little-grated cheese will add richness.

 

Don’t waste food

 

Take care when calculating how much food to prepare. Save leftovers for use in the next meal, or freeze them.

 

Keep food fresh

 

Keep as much as possible of your perishable food in the fridge. Most fruits and vegetables don’t need to be kept cool but may last longer if they are. Opened jars of preserves such as pickle or marmalade will also last longer if refrigerated.

 

Avoid expensive drinks

 

For regular consumption, invest in bulk packs of tea, coffee, or whatever your favorite water-based beverage may be. Save costly alternatives, such as fruit juices and fizzy drinks, for treats.

 

Choose cheap brands

 

Low-cost brands are not necessarily inferior to dearer ones. Higher prices may just reflect fancy packaging. Buying in bulk is often cheaper for every day or long-life items, but compare prices before choosing. Take advantage of discounts, but don’t buy items just because they are reduced.

 

Take a packed lunch to work

 

Making a sandwich only takes a few minutes and is much cheaper than buying a ready-made lunch. If the sight of colleagues tucking into take-always makes you drool, treat yourself to one at the end of the week.

 

Shop with a list

 

Write a list before you shop and keep to it. Remember that your finances must come before your cream cake.

 

Avoid snacking when out

 

Snacks are expensive. If you anticipate needing a little something while out, take one of your homemade cookies.

 

Avoid eating out

 

Eating out can be a cash-drainer, so save this extravagance for a special event. If dining with a party, pay separately for your meal to avoid having to contribute toward extra dishes that you did not order or share.

 

Don’t be too generous a host

 

Playing host to your friends is fun, but there’s no need to go over the top with refreshments. Invite contributions, or warn guests that there will only be nibbles.

 

Cut back on fuel bills

 

Avoid travel expenses by ordering a supermarket delivery, or walking or cycling to the shops. You can also save fuel as you cook. Throw everything into one pan on one ring and simmer on a low heat, lid on. Avoid using the oven, which is costly, or microwave items first and pop them into a briefly warmed oven for a crisp-up before serving.

 

Now check your balance!

 

If you follow these practical steps, taking similar care in other spending areas, your bank balance will soon look healthier. For your final step, make cost-effective catering a habit, and reap the benefits forever.

editor@urbanmediatoday.com

Best food for a summer party

The summer is upon us. This means it’s time for fun, family, and cook-outs. If you’re planning to have friends or family over throughout the season, you’re going want food to serve them. Some enjoy food that is easy, which is perfectly fine. But, if you want to stand out—and have a memorable party—then try some of them outstanding summer foods.

 

First, realize that a skewer…is, not just a skewer. There’s no written rule that says each skewer must have meat and vegetables. Why not spice it up? Create dessert skewers that have a strawberry on each end, while a brownie and marshmallow are placed in the middle. Drizzle chocolate sauce over it. Place fruit onto a skewer and put it onto the grill. Have you ever tried fruit after it came off the grill? If you haven’t tried it, then you must. It’s a whole different range of flavor. You can also alternate your meat and vegetables. Take a piece of roast beef, for instance, like you would have them slice at the supermarket deli. As you place it on the skewer, weave a vegetable (or vegetables) in between the meat. It gives it a very decorative look.

 

Frozen lemonade is another delightful treat. You can flavor this nearly any flavor, such as raspberry or strawberry. If you have the time, make at least two different frozen lemonades for your guests. It’s as simple as getting a bottle of Sprite and the Minute Maid Lemonade from the freezer section of your supermarket. Then, all you do is buy frozen fruit to flavor it. Mix it together and you have your beverage. This is going to cool your guests down on a really hot day. I would keep this inside, however, because it could easily melt if it’s kept outdoors.

 

Similarly, think of how you can dress up food in relation to the holiday. This is usually done with strawberries. You can dip strawberries in white chocolate. Dip the strawberry so it covers two-thirds of the berry. Then, dip the berry in blue sprinkles if it’s the Fourth of July. This same concept can be done with pretzels. You can ice cookies all red, all blue or all white. Then place the cookies on a platter in a way that they resemble the American flag. You can do similar dress ups with watermelon and blueberries. The idea is to make your food memorable and make it stand out.

 

You may also want to include easy-to-eat foods. If you invite a lot of people, this will entail a lot of places for people to sit and enjoy their meal. But, if you include finger foods, such as mini corn dogs, chips, and dip, or Chex mix, this makes it easier for people to stand if they can’t find a seat. Try to think of food from the perspective of your guest. Nobody enjoys being crowded around a table. Lefties often bump into those eating with their right hands. It’s not easy to pull chairs in or out, You just feel…crunched. Providing easy-to-eat foods gives people to option to sit or stand; they don’t need to feel so close to others.

 

Finally, have a type of food bar. This doesn’t have to be an alcoholic bar. It could be a dessert bar, an appetizer bar or a bar that simply contains toppings. Make it easy for your guest to find what they want. They shouldn’t have to track you down or disrupt conversations just to find the catsup or silverware. You can have more than one food bar at your party, but make sure all the food is located in a centric area. This is going to make it easy to find everything. Summer is a terrific party time, but throw a party without the hassle. You deserve to have just as much fun as your guests. editor@urbanmediatoday.com

 

Nutrition Tips That Will Help Your Age Well

How much do you really know about maintaining a healthy diet? Is there a plan in place when it comes to nutrition? If so, would you like to make your plan even better? Are all of your nutritional needs met? If you feel shaky about these questions, read on for some tips to help you improve.

Eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. You should try to eliminate snacking all together, but if you find yourself craving something to munch on throughout the day or for a midnight snack, try having a piece of fruit. It can be just as filling as a cupcake or cookie but it’s a lot healthier and a lot fewer calories.

When cooking your lower-calorie and lower-fat diet meals, increase the amount of spices and flavoring you use. This will help you feel more satisfied with less food. If you get a variety of tastes in your meal, you won’t feel as deprived as if you are eating bland low-fat foods.

Limit your consumption of red meat to once a week or less. A great treat, red meat is not as healthy for you as other forms of protein. Try replacing some of your meals with fish, beans, and grains as the main components. Red meat has its place but nutritionally you can do better.

If you can make one change to improve your nutrition, it should be to reduce or eliminate sugars. Much has been made of low-glycemic index foods, and indeed there is a strong basis to show that lowering sugars can guard against health problems such as diabetes, as well as lowering one’s appetite for sugary foods, which can contribute to weight loss.

In order to maintain a healthy body, getting the right amount of sleep is very instrumental. A good sleeping tip that anyone can do is to limit the intake of alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine. These substances can disturb sleep patterns, and therefore, will prevent the body from having proper rest.

Make sure you read all labels and understand you know what it is you are eating before you eat it. You don’t want to go in with any assumptions about foods you are unsure of before you eat them. Do some reading and research to know what is and isn’t healthy for your body.

Add some avocados into your daily nutritional diet. They are rich in many nutrients. Avocados contain monounsaturated fats that help reduce the level of cholesterol. They are also high in potassium, an important mineral in stabilizing blood pressure. Avocados are a good source of folate, which is important for a healthy heart.

Carrots are universally recommended by nutritionists. Most of us eat carrots because we like the taste. They are also rich in carotenoids, vitamins, and iodine. Studies show that carrots lower blood cholesterol and reduce the risk of lung cancer. Also, carrots provide a natural source of sugar, that is safe for diabetics.

Teenagers can have a hard time getting the nutrition that they need. Girls tend to find that this is a time that they gain weight easily, while boys tend to lose it. Helping your teen strive for a healthy diet that is geared toward nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight will help them get through this hard time of life.

Liven up your homemade omelet, by including fresh or frozen vegetables. Omelets have an irresistible attraction when they contain fresh or frozen vegetables. Vegetables add interest, as well as, texture, color, flavor and vital nutrients. Just slice some up, saute and then add them to the omelet just before you flip and close it up.

While sports drinks with electrolytes are good for situations in which you are undergoing a highly rigorous physical activity, such as playing basketball or football, they aren’t necessary for the average fitness buff. Unless you risk severe hydration during your workout or sports activity, stick with cold water instead of hitting the sports drinks.

Make sure you’re getting enough folic acid in your diet during your pregnancy. If you’re not, the low levels can lead to abnormalities in the fetus or even spina bifida. Even if you have to take a vitamin every day to keep your folic acid levels up, do whatever it takes to keep the baby healthy.

Apples are great sources of nutrition. They are full of fiber, including pectins, which help make you full, pleasantly sweet, contain lots of antioxidants, and in general fill you up without too many calories. Their portability also makes them great for having as a snack between meals or taking to the office.

Eating a balanced diet also means balancing uncooked and cooked foods. Try to make one third of the foods you consume uncooked. This will help you ensure that you’re getting plenty of natural nutrients and they’re not all being destroyed in the cooking process. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables can help.

Vegetables should make up a large part of your diet. Try to include them in every meal. To get more vegetables in your diet add them to everything. Put peas, carrots, and corn in casseroles, add lettuce and tomatoes to sandwiches and wraps, and snack on vegetables with dip. Use vegetables to liven up your food, and you will be eating the recommended amount in no time.

There are tons of different diets and eating plans out there available for anyone to try. It should be noted however that the essential plan of nutrition is the original food chart which incorporates all of the different food groups into a balanced diet. It is important to acknowledge that we need a little bit of everything in order to maintain a healthy body.

Do you know as much as you should know about nutrition? Are you following a better diet now? Are you going to be able to properly modify a nutritional plan to fit your needs? Does your plan provide for your needs? The tips in the above article can help you with some of your fitness questions.  editor@urbanmediatoday.com

Best summer road trips to the east coast

When I was a kid, we used to take summer road trips. On the last day of school, we would pack our suitcases and the car. Mom and Dad would let us stay up late and get into the car while still in our pajamas. We were off to an adventure. Each year we went a different destination, but it was the family time that I remember the most. Wherever you live, east coast or west—you may want to add these cities to your summer road trip list. They each hold something different, but many have so much in common. Either way, enjoy your summer on the east coast.

 

First and foremost is Nashville, Tennessee. This is known as the country capital of the world. But, if you’re not so keen on Garth Brooks or Shania Twain…well, there is non-musical attractions here as well. Those that enjoy music, however, may want to tour Ryman Auditorium. When we were there, we were actually able to go onto the stage. Try to get tickets for a Grand Ole Opry concert or visit the country music hall of fame. The tours in Nashville are plentiful. You can take a showboat tour, for instance, that takes you down the Cumberland River in one of the nation’s largest paddle boats. Tour mansions or go on a sightseeing tour of Nashville’s culinary scene.

 

Charleston, South Carolina is another summer road trip possibility. This is a very southern city with historical roots. It’s well-known for its culinary attributes and has designed a culinary tour for visitors. This gives you the opportunity to taste the different flavors that Charleston offers. Try to sample everything and let your taste buds do the talking. It also has a lot of outdoor attractions. The Riley Waterfront Park, for instance, has an evening carriage tour of downtown Charleston. There are more than enough museums to keep you occupied and a plentiful choice of shows to choose from for your nightlife entertainment.

 

Savannah, Georgia is another terrific spot to visit. Forsyth Park is a must-see while in Savannah. This park covers nearly 30 acres of land. Locals and tourists love to sit and rest within the park. There are often concerts here and a farmer’s market is held within the park every Saturday. Also, take the time to visit the Roots Up Gallery. If you want to soak in the local culture, this is the place to do it. Here you will find pottery and sculptures that were constructed by locals. Many of the painters are unknown, but it opens your eyes to the life that is lived in Georgia. If you have time, take the Capturing Savannah Photography Walking Tour. Here you will discover the historic side of Savannah and really connect with the culture at face value.

 

If you want a bit of a history lesson, head over to the nation’s capitol. There are museums that fit whichever era of history you are looking for the most. The Smithsonian Museum, for instance, is more science and technology based. Yet, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum brings us back to a time with an evil dictator was once in power. Take a bus tour or rent a bike. Take in a show or drive around town finding all the monuments. There is more than enough to keep you busy. You can always find something to do here.

 

Finally, don’t forget about Boston, Massachusetts. At nearly the tip of the East Coast, this city offers something for everyone. It has trolly tours that allow riders to hop on or hop off the trolly. It also has the New England Aquarium. Here you can see sea lions and turtles that are relevant to the Boston area. In fact, there are more than 800 marine species. There are also private day tours for those that are history buffs. Take a step back in time and take a tour of Plymouth Plantation or Salem.

 

Traveling up or down the east coast can be exciting. But don’t forget to spend lots of family time along the way. That’s what makes road trips so fun. editor@urbanmediatoday.com

Best family trips for family in USA

Summer is rolling just around the corner. Before we know it, kids will be out of school. The car will be packed and families will be driving off to summer adventures. But before you pull out of your driveway, it’s best to do planning. What type of adventure do you want this summer? There are all sorts of adventures you can take with your kids. Some of these are day trips, while other involves a hotel or camping. The choice is yours, but adventure awaits.

 

First and foremost, the Grand Canyon is the place to be this summer. This is more than a “big hole in the ground” as so many tend to call it. It’s a national park that offers visitors natural beauty of the land that was formed thousands of years ago. If your family is into the outdoors, this is the place to be. It offers hiking and camping. There is horseback riding and water raft trips along the Colorado River. If you plan to spend time camping overnight, there is that opportunity. Take in the full experience of the Grand Canyon while experiencing the wildlife. This is the dessert, however; it gets cool at night at very hot during the day. You’re going to want appropriate clothes and lots of water.

Another summer trip is taking the family to Honolulu, Hawaii. This is going to be a child-friendly destination. You are going to be surrounded by beaches. If you want to give your children an educational vacation, well—you have come to the right place. In Honolulu is the USS Arizona in memory of the crew that died during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Another Pearl Harbor historic site, Battleship Missouri, is also located in Honolulu. There are also places you can learn to snorkel, surf or even take tours around the island. Honolulu offers activities for everyone that is any age.

 

Disney theme parks are also family friendly. There is Disneyland in Anaheim, California and Disney World is in Orlando, Florida. Your child will love getting their own Mickey Mouse ears and seeing all their favorite characters. They’ll enjoy going on famous rides such as Space Mountain, The Haunted Mansion, or It’s A Small World. (Days after you leave, that song will still be in your head!) Disney has fireworks each night at their resort and puts on an astonishing show. You’re going to want to stay to see it. Try to stay at a hotel within a resort if you can. This means you can get to the park sooner and not have far to go when your feet are tired after a fun day.

 

If your children love animals, the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California would make a great vacation. The aquarium offers different showings and tours that visitors can do while they are there. For instance, they can see a trainer feed a sea otter or watch a film of how the trainers handle the most delicate animals within the aquarium. There are tanks full of marine animals that you or your child may not have the opportunity to see anywhere else. Take your time to slowly stroll through the aquarium, admiring the animals and taking advantage of all this aquarium has to offer,

 

Finally, take your children to New York City. While you’re there, get tickets to the Ground Zero Memorial. This may be something that your child may have only read about in their history books. Make it sink in by telling them how important it is to our nation, explaining that each person that gave up a life is a hero. While you’re in New York, take in Broadway or visit the Statue of Liberty. New York City is rich in culture. Head down to Times Square and take in the shopping, while exploring Manhattan or Queens.

 

It doesn’t matter where you go for your child’s summer vacation. What matters is that everyone involved has fun. Don’t choose your activities in relevance to yourself or a particular child. Rather, have a family meeting and agree on an agenda. Then, pack everything (and everyone) in the car. Adventure awaits! editor@urbanmediatoday.com

Signs of a heart attack in women

 

Heart attacks are the number one killer of people in the United States. High blood pressure, lack of exercise and age are often all contributing factors. But it’s important to realize that men and women are different in this scenario. Neither gender has the same symptoms. This article only pertains to those symptoms of women. While heart attacks are never pleasant, it’s good to be prepared. Learn how to spot an attack when it comes on.

First, there is heavy discomfort in the chest. It feels like the chest is squeezing. For women this may appear all throughout the chest; for men, it most commonly occurs on the left side. It feels as if the chest is getting tighter and more compact. This may be lead to a shortness of breath. You find yourself gasping for air, especially as you lie down on a bed or the floor. Cold sweats may break out as you come over with a clammy feeling.

Another symptom may be a pain the neck, jaw or back. It’s important to note that women can have pain in either arm, whereas men generally have pain only in their left arm. When a woman has severe back pain related to a heart attack, it spreads to the arms. This pain can often be so severe that it awakens you from a restful sleep. It could appear in your neck or jaw as well, but don’t overlook it. It’s not because you slept on your pillow wrong or you didn’t floss the night before. This pain is real and you need to call 911.

Unusual fatigue is another common symptom. Many women have a busy routine. They hustle their children to school and activities, hold down a job and take care of the house. But suddenly you feel like a two-ton truck ran over you—and backed over you again. This heavy fatigue could be a sign of a heart attack. Unusual fatigue comes on when tasks like making the bed make you tired. While you aren’t overexerting yourself, even the lightest of activities is too much. If you feel chest pains, sit down. Take a breath and relax. If they get severe, call an ambulance.

Pain may also occur in (or around) your stomach. When women have heart attacks, it’s common to have nausea and vomiting. There may also be a pain in the belly or above the belly button. This pain is not related to indigestion and should not be overlooked. Instead, it is pain that has spread from your chest. Your body is trying to warn you that you are in danger of having a heart attack. Likewise, this will not be an isolated pain. At this point, you most likely have pain somewhere else in your body.

Finally—and this shouldn’t be a surprise—you have anxiety. You’re scared or nervous about what may happen. Maybe you’re alone or your spouse isn’t home yet. Your phone may be in another room. There are all kinds of scenarios at which a heart attack could claim a life, but don’t allow it to claim yours. Your life is worth living. Do whatever you have to do in order to get help. Use your voice. If you have strength, bang or beat on something. Get into the ambulance and get to the hospital. Heart attacks are surprised killers, but you don’t have to be its next victim. editor@urbanmediatoday.com

Keeping Yourself In Good Shape Is A Snap

You are interested in learning more about fitness. With so much information available on the Internet, it is hard to narrow down what is legitimate and what is trash. In this article, we will provide you with high-quality tips and tricks that may just work for you.

Professional guidance can make fitness training much more effective. If you have a friend with lots of experience with exercise and healthy eating, do not hesitate to get advice from them. When you reach the limits of what your acquaintances can teach you, consider engaging a personal trainer. A personal trainer’s expertise, can deliver great results and be more than worth the expense.

Whatever fitness routine you choose, be sure to include cardio-vascular exercise. Staying heart and lung healthy is extremely important, and a cardio workout will do just that for your body. Try to do 30 minutes of cardio or aerobic exercise at least 3 times a week. This can take the form of running, biking, using a treadmill or elliptical trainer, or swim. Remember not to overdo it. If you find yourself short of breath, you should take a break until your heart rate slows down.

You can save time in the gym by only resting as needed. It is not important to rest between every set. You can take rest breaks as needed. You will probably need less rest between your early sets, and more breaks as your muscles fatigue. This can cut your gym time by fifteen to twenty percent.

Make sure you’re stretching before and after your workouts. You want to do moving stretches, like jumping jacks and windmills, in the beginning, to loosen your muscles up. Afterward, you should do stationary stretches to stretch out your muscles and let your body cool down, after your work out, to avoid getting any cramps.

Rather than seeing exercise as something you “must” do, try to see it as something you want to do! Love dancing? Then hit the nightclubs! Enjoy a good hike? Then grab your running shoes! Cleaning the house, taking a walk with an old friend, romping around in the backyard with your dog – if it’s something you enjoy doing, you’re much more likely to stick with it.

Keep track of your dirty and new fitness clothes by keeping the dirty ones in a bag separate from the clean ones. Keeping them separate makes them easier to find without having to dig through gross and smelly workout outfits. Then when the week is up, you can take the entire bag and wash them at once.

Improve your running by learning to breathe properly. To breathe properly when running, lift your tummy as you inhale. Doing this causes your lungs to fully inflate with oxygen so that you can run for a longer period of time. You can practice by laying on the floor with a book on your tummy. The book should rise as you inhale.

Try to engage in more cardio during your workouts. Doing so regularly can even cause your pulse rate to become naturally slower. Try aiming it below 60 bpm, as this is what many fit individuals have theirs at. This kind of exercising makes the heart more fit, which also makes the heart much stronger.

When you are trying to work on your handling skills for basketball, try using some kind of work glove of leather glove. While you have them on, it will be harder to handle the ball and dribble. When you take them off your fingertips will become more sensitive and you will have better control.

Be sure to include a balanced diet as part of your fitness routine. If you continue to eat unhealthy foods, you will never get the results that you want from your exercise program. Pay attention to the calories that you are eating as well; you want to make sure that you stay within the recommended daily limit.

Smaller muscles are typically weaker muscles which mean exercises that focus on them should come first. Work with dumbbells first to take advantage of these muscles early. Proceed to barbells and then machines. This will allow you to step up to the larger, stronger muscles as you go through your routine.

Bundle up and get out for a brisk winter run. Cold air will not hurt your lungs if you take the right precautions and a good pair of winter running shoes will keep you from losing your footing and getting hurt. It can be great to get out and see the winter scenery while getting the exercise that you need.

During the rest of one set of exercises, select another exercise that works for a different muscle group. Keep alternating until you’ve done the appropriate number of repetitions. This allows your muscles to rest in between exercises while not sacrificing time while you sit around doing nothing. One muscle group can relax while you work on another, instead.

When performing crunches, you should try and put your tongue on the roof of your mouth. A common problem people face when doing a lot of crunches is that their neck can get injured. Putting your tongue on the roof of your mouth can align your neck so that it won’t strain.

Being physically fit requires the right diet. No diet is right for everyone so each individual must think about what diet is right for their fitness goals. If you are trying to lose weight, focusing on a low-calorie, low-fat diet is probably for the best. If you are trying to gain muscle mass, increasing your calorie count and eating foods high in protein will help you achieve this goal.

In summary, there is a lot of information on the Internet to sort through and determine what is legitimate. Hopefully, you not only found this resource useful but you learned something new about fitness. With the tips that we provided and some self-motivation, you should not be far off from being an expert.  editor@urbanmediatoday.com

How To Impress Your Friends And Family With Your Cooking

Food is such an essential part of our lives. Cooking is a survival skill, but it can also be a passion. The love and effort that can go into cooking even the simplest dish can shine through to the recipients of this food. By showing respect for your ingredients and paying attention to some small details, you can make the very most of your food no matter what ingredients to which you have access.

One of the best things that you can do to save money and improve the quality of your dressings is to make your own. Homemade dressings will save you a lot of money in the long run and will also taste great, as most of the ingredients are natural and healthier.

Make sure you spread out your condiments when making a sandwich. Most people rush through the early steps of making a sandwich. They spread their condiments around in the middle rather than making sure they cover the entire piece of bread. Cover your bread from corner to corner with condiments for flavor in every bite.

Keep a few cut up, washed, and prepared vegetables in your freezer. This will reduce your prep time when you’re cooking a recipe. Onions and peppers are great to freeze. Just buy them fresh, wash and cut them when you have time, and store them in individual zip lock bags.

If you are making meatloaf or meatballs, it is important to taste the meat before you cook it. You want to make sure that it has the perfect amount of seasoning. You can taste it by making a small patty and frying it in a pan, almost like a hamburger.

Cook your veggies in chicken broth! The chicken broth will help to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan and will also add some delicious flavor to them. Broth can be found at nearly any grocery store and is very inexpensive.

Slice garlic when you sauté it. Many people mince garlic. If you plan to sauté it in a pan, this might not be the best idea. When you sauté minced garlic it is likely to burn. If you cut the garlic into slices it cooks more thoroughly and without burning.

Make sure that you let cookies cool down completely – at least 15 minutes – before removing them from the cookie sheet. Otherwise, they are more likely to stick to the sheet and break apart. Also, by eating them while they are still hot, you could possibly burn your mouth.

Read the recipe fully before you begin any cooking endeavor! Just reading the list of ingredients does not ensure that you are fully prepared to complete the meal. There are many different techniques and tools that may be required so do not be too ambitious when tackling a new recipe.

While cooking is fun, generally, the cleaning up that follows, is not. To avoid having to deal with a big mess after a day of experimenting or meal preparation in the kitchen, keep your sink filled with hot soapy water (refreshing when necessary) and clean up as you go along. Besides keeping your end of day cleaning down to a minimum, you will also have clean hands as you touch and prepare food throughout the day.

A foolproof way to clarify butter. Melt several sticks of butter over low heat in a heavy-based saucepan. When you see froth on the top, solid particles on the bottom, and a clear yellow liquid in between remove the pan from the heat. Skim the froth off the top, and strain the clarified liquid into a container, leaving the milk solids behind.

Choose authentic Parmesan cheese for the best flavor. Parmagiana Reggiano is authentic parmesan cheese, made according to strict standards in certain areas around Reggio Emilia in Central Italy. It has a nutty, mellow flavor that is highly superior to parmesan cheese that is produced elsewhere. For the best flavor, buy the cheese in chunks, and only grate it when you are ready to eat.

For perfect hard-boiled eggs, follow these simple rules. One, the pot should be big enough that the eggs do not touch. Two, bring water just deep enough to cover the eggs to a boil. Three, add each egg with a spoon to the boiling water, so it doesn’t crack. Four, boil eight minutes. Five, run eggs under cold water.

The secret to a great mole sauce is the cocoa powder. Take a cue from Mexican mole and try using a bit of cocoa powder in your typical Italian pasta sauces, as well. A touch of cocoa powder imparts a “been simmering for days” Flavor and complexity, while not being too overpowering.

Using fresh ingredients can greatly improve the flavor in ones cooking. The freshest ingredients possible can add a richness and new level of flavor to an old favorite or whatever one is going to be cooking. If one wants to make a salad, then they should obtain the ingredients the day that they are going to make it to ensure freshness.

To keep your knife from dragging and making a mess of ice cream cake or cheesecake, run it under hot water (or dip it into a nearby bowl) and wipe it with a tea towel. The hot water heats the blade, enabling the knife to glide through the cake, which results in nice, even slices.

When you are making guacamole you need to make sure that you have a lime on hand to squeeze over it after it is prepared. If you do not sprinkle lime juice on the top of guacamole the avocado will start to turn brown and it will give the guacamole a very unappetizing appearance.

Cooking is an activity that is what you make of it. You can either let it be a chore or enjoy it as the creative process it is. Cooking can be very satisfying. The creation of an edible piece of artwork that started as such a different ingredient can be an almost miraculous event and is as rewarding for the cook as it is for the person who eats the final product. editor@urbanmediatoday.com

Top ab exercises for women

 

Every woman wants tights abs. Swimsuit season is almost here and that means hot bikinis by the beaches. Every year this a goal that each woman strives to meet. If you’re serious about making it this year, now is a good time to start. Try these simple abdominal exercises below to get your torso into shape before those bikinis go on sale.

One exercise you can try is the mountain climber. Get your body into the push-up position. Your neck and head should be aligned with your spine. Your elbows and legs should be straight. Your feet should be straight and support your body on the toes. Now, shift all the weight to your arms as you rotate your legs, bending your legs and bringing them to their chest under your body. Move one leg forward at a time and then move it back. When your right foot comes back to the starting position, move your left leg forward, knee to chest. Start to get faster the more you move along. Complete a set of ten to fifteen repetitions per set.

The bicycle kick is another abdominal exercise. Lay on your back and rest one foot flat on the floor, bent at the knee. Bend the other knee and bring it forward to your chest, touching it with the opposite arm’s elbow. If you bring your left leg forward, touch it with your right elbow. This helps to tighten abdominal muscles within your middle section. Move slowly at first and then pick up speed. Repeat this exercise ten times.

The crisscross crunch is another great abdominal exercise. In this exercise, you lay flat on your back with your legs at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands, inter-locked, behind your head to support it. Then, move one leg forward and touch it with the opposing arm. This means that your left leg would touch your right elbow. And, your right leg would touch your left knee. Each time you touch your knee, hold for a count of five. Then, release and return to the starting position. Do two sets of ten.

Sit-ups may also be considered an abdominal exercise. Start by laying on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat. Move your arms so they are pointing straight in the air. Now, move into a sitting position by reaching your hands to your knees. Hold each sit-up for a good abdominal stretch and release. Continue doing sit-ups for the next 60 seconds, setting a record and moving past it each time you do this exercise.

Finally, move onto your side and lean on your elbow to support your head. Place your remaining hand on your hip. Bend your bottom leg, but keep your top leg straight. Now, lift your top leg above your hip bone. Hold your leg in this position for a few seconds and move it back to the resting position. Do ten repetitions of each side in order to have tighter abdominals. If you incorporate all these exercises into your exercise routine, you’re going to have tighter abs just in time for swimsuit season. editor@urbanmediatoday.com

 

Have Trouble Even Boiling Water? Check Out These Simple Cooking Tips For Help!

What’s the greatest meal you’ve ever eaten? It probably didn’t take you long to recall that delicious meal. Now, what if you could cook the most delicious meal you’ve ever eaten or better yet, be the source of someone else’s greatest meal? Here are a few cooking tips to make that a reality.

To prevent your homemade pizza from becoming soggy with all of the juicy toppings you add, lightly coat the bare dough with olive oil. Pizza sauce, peppers, and meats can all weigh down a pizza dough and cause it to be soggy even after baking so be sure to brush on a bit of olive oil for a crispier, firmer pizza!

Substitute Greek yogurt for mayonnaise in creamy salad dressings. If you are on a diet or just trying to eat healthily, you can still make creamy salad dressings with healthy ingredients. Just substitute the mayonnaise in them with a low-fat Greek-style yogurt. This will make the dressing much healthier.

Sharp knives are essential in any kitchen. Dull knives not only are ineffective, but they’re also dangerous! If you have to work on forcing a dull knife to go through something, you’re much more likely to accidentally cut yourself in the process than with the one quick, clean cut of a sharpened knife.

A good thing to remember regarding cooking is to store your ingredients and spices in a cool dark place and not on top of your stove. This is because humidity and light tend to cause spices and herbs lose their flavor. This is one of the things new cooks tend to forget.

Herbs and spices have a powerful impact on the quality of your cooking. To preserve these important, expensive ingredients, keep them in a cool, dark place with minimal humidity. All too often spices are left near ovens and sinks. The heat, light, and moisture in such places leach the flavor out of high-quality spices.

Keep a few cut up, washed, and prepared vegetables in your freezer. This will reduce your prep time when you’re cooking a recipe. Onions and peppers are great to freeze. Just buy them fresh, wash and cut them when you have time, and store them in individual zip lock bags.

If you are looking to save time for cooking dinners because of your busy schedule, being prepared beforehand can make all the difference. Having ingredients already prepared and measured out to be cooked, as well as having the meat thawed out can save you valuable time when it comes to making dinner for the family.

When cooking, many people forget about proper care for the spices that they use to season their food. All spices should be stored in a cool dark place and never above a stove. The reason for this is because storing spices in areas where there is a lot of heat, light, or humidity will cause them to lose their flavor.

Always have a lot of napkins handy when you are cooking in the kitchen. You never know when a spill will occur, so always prepare for the worst. Purchase thick napkins that can hold a lot of liquid if you want to get the most absorption when cleaning up a mess.

Ginger roots can be used for several dishes so it’s worth learning how to store them. For a few days, you can just put them in the refrigerator’s vegetable drawer. For a much longer storage, freeze the unpeeled ginger root and cut the piece you need while it is frozen.

Get creative when you cook your food. Cooking is an art-form. You should not limit yourself to the usual flavors and combinations. Try adding different fresh vegetables in place of canned vegetables. Use varieties not found in canned vegetable mixes. You will soon find your meals have much more flavor.

To save money and improve your health, cook the recommended portion sizes and plan your meals ahead of time. Meat is one of the most expensive ingredients on your plate. By eating the appropriate portion sizes you can be sure that your family is getting plenty of vegetables and whole grains. editor@urbanmediatoday.com