Kristin Ryals

Author Archives: Kristin Ryals

My name is Kristin, and I'm a housewife with big love for cooking. When I'm not bringing on the Food Network and attempting to become America's Next Top Chef, I'm browsing online for unique recipes to awe my friends with. Outside of the world of cooking (as if there is one!), I enjoy reading, skydiving, live music, and of course, shopping!

Give Your Pasta Dishes A Healthy Makeover

Creamy pasta dishes are my ultimate comfort food. Whether I’m happy or sad, cold or hot – life is just better with some fettuccine alfredo. Unfortunately, as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are being linked to excess carbs, my days of the never ending pasta bowls are shuttering to a halt.

However, I found that with a bit of extra work, certain vegetables could mimic the pasta I was craving. I realized that by keeping the sauces the same, I could get the satisfying cheesiness from the pasta dishes without even missing the actual pasta. If you’ve ever thought of reducing the amount of carbohydrates you eat, you’ll want to keep reading.

Why Go Low-Carb?

The number one cause of death in the United States is heart disease. It makes sense, then, to do everything we can to minimize the risk for ourselves. Ways we can do that include:

  • Stopping to smoke – Nicotine has been proven to narrow blood vessels which can contribute to cardiovascular disease.
  • Eating healthy foods – Whereas it used to be accepted wisdom to cut back on saturated fats, now research is showing that reducing carbohydrates is actually more effective in preventing cardiovascular disease.
  • Exercising regularly – The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day for adults. You can divide up the time differently or workout vigorously for less amount of time; 30 minutes per day is the general guide to strive for.
  • Controlling diabetes – For individuals with diabetes, there is a much greater risk of heart disease. Getting diabetes under control is essential for minimizing damage to your blood vessels. In addition, people with a family history of diabetes should check if they are prediabetic in order to institute lifestyle changes earlier rather than later.
  • Monitor blood pressure – High blood pressure carries a major risk for cardiovascular disease.

Breaking The Carb Addiction

It’s very easy to overeat carbohydrates. The serving size which is listed for cereals and pastas, for example, are much smaller than the typical American-sized portion.

Many times our sugar and carb addiction has us stuck in a cycle. Breaking the addiction is so difficult in the beginning, but after about 5-7 days, you’ll start to notice small small differences. Such as your palate changing, clothing fitting better and an extra boost of energy.

The challenging part is getting over the initial period of sugar dependence. If you’re serious about trying, use the following tips:

●    Plan Your Food

By planning and preparing your food in advance, you won’t turn to sugar and carbs out of hunger and desperation.

●    Stock Your House With Healthy Snacks

When you go shopping, make sure you to buy healthy snacks. Crunch on nuts, dip vegetables into hummus, eat a banana with peanut butter, etc.

●    Try Garcinia Cambogia

Use Garcinia Cambogia as a resource to help suppress your appetite. There is a ton of research on how plant products can be used to aid weight loss by controlling appetites. To find out more about Garcinia Cambogia as well as clinical research studies, take a look at Review Critic. Here you will find reports on the efficacy of different supplements as well as the most trustworthy products and manufacturers.

Delicious Pasta Dishes Without The Pasta

After tweaking my favorite pasta dishes, I’m sharing my tips and secrets to make it easier for others to maintain a low-carb lifestyle. Use these recipes as guidelines. Individualize them to your taste in order to make them as delicious as possible.

1. Zoodles Alfredo

If you don’t have a spiralizer, it’s worth it to buy one. They’re not expensive, fun to use and turn regular zucchini (or any vegetable) into fun zucchini spaghetti.

Ingredients

3 zucchinis

4 tablespoons butter

4 ounces cream cheese

1 cup milk or cream (depending how rich you would like the sauce)

2 cups grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp garlic powder

⅛ tsp pepper

Method

First spiralize the zucchinis, then add them to a pot of boiling, salted water, just like you would with pasta. Cook only for 3-5 minutes, and drain right away, as you don’t want the zucchini to get mushy.

To make sauce, first melt the butter and then add the cream cheese. Stir constantly until it all melts together. Slowly add in the milk or cream then mix in the spices. Lastly, stir in the parmesan cheese.

Coat the zucchini with the alfredo sauce and eat immediately.

2. Veggie Lasagna

Ingredients

4-5 portobello mushrooms, sliced

3 yellow squash, sliced lengthwise

1 package baby spinach leaves

1 jar marinara sauce

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup parmesan cheese

2 cups cottage cheese

2 eggs

Dried basil

Garlic salt

Pepper

Method

Lay yellow squash and portobello mushrooms in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Spray lightly with cooking oil spray and place on a grill or broil setting just until the edges of the vegetables turn brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Mix cottage cheese with 1½ cups of mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup of parmesan cheese, 2 eggs and seasonings (to taste).

Place some marinara sauce at the bottom of a lasagna pan. Then line the squash slices over the entire bottom of the pan. Cover with a layer of sauce, then cover that with half of the cottage cheese mixture.

Next place the portobello mushrooms and cover with sauce and rest of the cottage cheese mixture.

Lastly make a layer using the baby spinach leaves. Top that with remaining marinara sauce and  sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until it looks bubbly and delicious.

Take Away

Thinking of eating a low-carb diet but wondering if you can really sustain it? Use these recipes as a guide in order to create interesting, vegetable-filled dishes. Not only will your body benefit from all the added nutrients in your diet, but you will feel and look great too

Author Bio

Regina White is a practicing nutritionist who got her degree from Saint Louis University. She enjoys finding creative ways to help her clients eat right and feel great from the inside out.

Top 20 Steak Grilling Tips from Experts

Grilling steaks is pretty straightforward if you want it to be good. However, if you want to grill the perfect steak, then it might take you years to master this art. Nevertheless, you can speed up the learning process by using the following 10 tips from experts.

Go to the Butcher

Although many people buy their meat at the supermarket, a far better option would be to go to the butcher whenever you get a chance. On top of that, you should put in some effort to get to really know your butcher and ask when they receive orders. This way, you will know exactly when the meat is fresh.

You should find out information on how long they usually keep their steaks if they don’t manage to sell them. Keep in mind that butchers will always help you get the best meat possible, so it’s a good idea to ask them to cut meat just for you.

Doing your research in order to find the best product is usually going to be your biggest challenge when it comes to grilling the perfect steak. The highest grade of beef available on the market today is USDA Prime beef. Unfortunately, this type of meat accounts for just 1.5 percent of the beef in the United States. In case you find out that your butcher has quality dry-aged beef, then you’ve hit the jackpot. Ideally, you should get a piece of meat that has been aged 15-30 days.

In case you don’t really have the budget for a cut of USDA Prime beef, you can always go with the USDA Choice steaks. These are also very delicious cuts of meat that are more moderately priced. The USDA Choice steaks come from the rib and loin part of the meat.

Get a Bone-In

Bone-in steaks will require more patience, but they’re the tastier option. Even though they take a longer amount of time to cook, you can always bet on the bone to enhance the flavor of the meat. After all, this is one of the reasons why T-bone steaks are so delicious.

Know Which Charcoal to Use

If you want to grill the perfect steak, you will need to get the right charcoal. There are two main varieties of charcoal. The first is lump charcoal, which is more expensive and burns faster. However, it’s also natural and produces little ash. On top of that, it lights very quickly and burns hotter than briquettes.

On the other hand, briquettes represent the cheaper option that also burns longer. But it produces a chemical smell and a lot of ash, which is definitely a bad thing. Not only that, but it takes a lot longer to light. If you have enough money to afford lump charcoal, you should definitely go with that option.

Get a Thick Steak

One of the best ways to ensure that your steak is grilled perfectly is to carefully choose the thickness. The next time you go shopping for steak, make sure to get one that is at least an inch thick. Keep in mind that some people even prefer steaks that are up to two inches thick, since it allows them to get that stunning red center.

Oil It

Before you start seasoning your steaks, you should first coat it with a blend of canola and olive oil. However, it’s important that you lightly coat the steak. This is a very important step in the process of preparation because the oil will ultimately make the meat juicier. Not only that, but it will help aid the charring of the steak’s surfaces.

Season Your Steaks Early

Seasoning your steaks right before you throw them on the grill is not a good idea. Doing this will make a portion of the seasoning to get on the grill. Instead, you should do this between 15 to 20 minutes before the grilling process. This way, you will ensure that the seasoning dissolves on your meat.

Use the Right Kind of Salt

Seasoning your steak with true sea salt is always recommended. When you pair a good piece of meat with any true sel gris or fleur de sel type seas salt, you will get a wonderful steak. Avoiding iodized or table salt is a must since they have more weight to volume, which means that you may end up over seasoning your stake. Feel free to use kosher salt as well, since it’s basically the same as sea salt.

It’s worth noting that any time you are in doubt over whether you’ve seasoned your steaks properly, you should add more salt. Even when you think it’s enough, it’s still recommended that you add a bit more salt, since it’s the most important ingredient. After all, a big portion of it actually falls off during the grilling.

Have the Right Tools near You

You won’t need a lot of tools to cook the perfect steak. In fact, you should only stick to the basics. The three tools that need to be near you when you start preparing the meat include the grill itself, the grill brush, as well as the grill tongs. Once you have these basic tools at your disposal, you can be sure that you’re prepared to make a great steak.

Of course, it’s recommended that you do some research on which tools you should get. For example, when you’re buying a grill brush, you want one that is easy to clean. On the other hand, if you want to work over high temperatures without any problems then your grill tongs should come with long handles.

Make Sure Your Grill is Very Hot

You shouldn’t really throw the steak on the grill if the charcoal isn’t fully caught and heated up. Make sure that the heat is spread evenly across the grill with minimal smoke and flames. Having a very hot grill will ensure that your steak becomes caramelized on the outside and tender on the inside.

Find the Hot Spots before You Start Grilling

Even if you try your best to make sure the heat is spread evenly across the grill, there’s a good chance that it will still have hot spots. In other words, there will probably always be spots on your grill where there is a higher temperature than other areas due to the grates. If you want to find the hot spots on your grill then you should simply place a piece of white bread on it and let it cook for ten seconds. Afterwards, turn it over and place it on a different part of the grill. Locate the hot spots by determining which side of bread is darker.

Don’t Throw Cold Steaks on the Grill

By throwing cold steaks on the grill, you will have a hard time cooking the interior to be red and juicy. Remember that the cooking time for a cold steak is much longer, so you might see it turn gray and dry below the surface. In order to avoid these issues, you should keep your steaks at room temperature for a half an hour.

Don’t Cut the Steak to Determine Whether It’s Done

There are much better ways to see if a steak is done than to cut it. Depending on how you like your steaks, you should use the following methods:

  • Well-Done – If you want your steak to be well-done, you can squeeze the base. If it’s firm, you have a well-done steak.
  • Medium – If you like your steaks medium, then you should press on it with the middle of the palm of your hand. If it feels firm, then it’s done.
  • Rare – To determine whether a steak is rare, you can squeeze it with the base of your thumb. If you notice that it feels spongy with little resistance, then it’s done.

Don’t Buy Enhanced Beef

If you want to prepare a tasty steak, then you should avoid beef with the word enhanced on the label at all costs. Know that these labels indicate that the meat was injected with additives, which can greatly impact its taste. Instead, you should search for grass-fed beef. This is not only the healthier option, but the tastier as well.

Leave the Fat

A lot of people don’t like fat and cut off all of it when preparing a steak. Although it may look gross on the sides of your uncooked steak, remember that it gives it taste. By leaving even a little fat, you will prepare a much tastier meal.

Don’t Overturn It

Overturning your steak can leave you with disastrous results. Many people make the mistake of flipping them way more often than they should. To grill the perfect steak, you should simply turn it once on each side.

Don’t Cover It with Other Flavors

If you can grill a beautiful steak, then there is really no need to cover it with different flavors. All your steak needs to be perfect is some black pepper and salt.

Use Marinade If You Have Cuts of Lesser Quality

Even though marinades should be avoided if you have a quality steak in your hands, you should use them to make steaks of lesser quality tastier. You can easily prepare a marinade at home by using some standard ingredients like olive oil, Dijon mustard, garlic, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar.

Use Your Meat Thermometer

Even pros use meat thermometers when they’re grilling steaks. Keep in mind that determining the temperature of a steak by hand is incredibly hard and you may not be able to do it even if you have a lot of experience. Depending on the temperature, you will know what to aim for. For example, if you want your steak to be rare, then you should aim somewhere between 120 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit. If medium rare is your goal, then it should be between 130 and 135 degrees.

A medium steak is 140 to 145 degrees, while you the temperature should be 160-165 degrees if you’re aiming for a well-done steak.

Make the Condiments Early

A lot of people make the mistake of trying to cook the rest of the meal when they’re grilling steaks. However, know that you will never be able to grill the perfect steak if you’re not able to focus all of your attention on it. With that being said, you should always make your condiments early. If you attempt to multitask, you may end up ruining both the meat and the side dish.

Let It Rest

Just because you’ve finished grilling the steak doesn’t mean that you should immediately devour it. After all, just because it’s off the grill doesn’t necessarily mean that it stopped cooking. If you immediately start cutting it, the juices will get squeezed to the outside. But if you let it rest for 7-10 minutes, they will disperse evenly throughout the steak.

5 Best Chef Knives for Weekly Home Use

Cooking is so common that only few of us feel like chefs when preparing dinner. You work your creativity and skills to develop good-looking meals that should also be tasty and quick to make. There needs to be harmony between all your kitchen tools so that you can have a smooth cooking process. Slicing, carving, mincing and dicing ingredients can fasten and improve when you use the best chef knives.

Chef knives are professionally-developed kitchen tools that allow you to cut meat, vegetables, fruit and fish. They are made for restaurants, chefs and cooking specialists. You recognize chef knives by the wide and usually long blade and strong and balanced handle. Chef knives were initially invented to help cutting beef. However, they become essential tools once you discover that chef knives are above all multi-purpose.

Assorted fresh vegetables on cutting board on rustic table with a chef knife

What You Should Know about Chef Knives

  • The most popular chef knives for home use have an 8-inch (around 20 centimeters) blade, usually made of carbon or stainless steel. You may also find laminated or ceramic models. However, these are more fragile.
  • The best chef knives are available in online or specialized stores. Don’t fall for the cheapest products available in convenience stores – they are neither long-lasting nor safe. You should research and make a shortlist before picking your favorite knife.
  • Make sure that online reviews include specs, sizes and manufacturing techniques. Click here to see how thorough reviews of the best products of their kind should look like.
  • Weight and cutting techniques differ for any user. Chef knives are a lot about usage convenience and balance. If the knife feels like falling continuously when you use it, you have just found the perfect model.
  • Grip the knife by the handle and cut a sheet of paper. You should use your most comfortable position and end up with a straight cut.

Choosing out of the Best Chef Knives Available Now

1.      DALSTRONG Chef’s Knife

There are products with 5-star ratings which are also market as Amazon’s choice. This is the DALSTRONG chef’s knife. The knife combines craftsmanship with technology by being hand-polished and having an ultra-premium G-10 handle.

The knife is robust while having a premium ability to cut without allowing slices to stick to the blade. Its edge is sharp, and its handle is ergonomic. Specialists say that it cuts with a surgical-like precision. This is thanks to the Japanese rust-free steel, folded in 67 layers to create a spectacular blade.

2.      ZELITE INFINITY Chef Knife 8 inch

Japanese specialists have managed to revolutionize by using craftsmanship for this product also. The chef knife was developed to ensure precision and efficiency for most of your ingredients. You will notice that it’s a bit heavier. However, its weight was calculated to support perfect balance.

The knife is non-stick, stain and rust resistant and was designed with great attention to details, as you can see on its blade. This is one of the best chef knives as it managed to make its design functional. Therefore, it ensures smooth cutting for meat, fish, fruit, vegetables and herbs.

3.      Dom Marzen Chef Knife

The best chef knives need to ensure high quality. Therefore, the Dom Marzen chef knife combines carbon steel which ensures stability to the wooden ergonomic handle which balances its weight. The ultra-sharp blade is made using German engineering technology.

The knife also includes 16 – 18% chrome to prevent the blade from tarnishing or fading. You can chop, mince, slice, dice and even cut through bones or frozen food. This product is your reliable help whenever cooking becomes difficult.

4.      Mercer Tool Corp. Genesis 6″ Short Bolster Forged Chef’s Knife

You will need a short-bolstered knife especially when you need to cook fast. The ergonomic handle helps you maneuver it easier if you must carve ingredients. The blade is made of high-carbon German which protects it from discoloration, corrosion or rust.

As manufacturers say, you can use t

he chef knife when your hands are wet. The knife is resistant to hot and cold temperatures, so you can easily take it on a camping trip. Moreover, its simple and stylish design makes it look fabulous next to your ceramic cookware.

5.      MasterGO Ultra Sharp Chef Knife

As we’ve said above, the best chef knives should be multi-purpose. This product is made using German stainless steel and is designed based on Japanese techniques. It has an ergonomic design thanks to its wood handle.

You can use it whenever you need sharpness, stability and precise cuts. Manufacturers also mention that you can use it to create some spectacular sushi rolls. The product also has a high corrosion resistance.

How to Care for the Best Chef Knives

The most reliable and best chef knives come with maintenance instructions. However, many manufacturers recommend users to avoid washing the products in the dishwasher, to protect their blade. Also, you should dry the knife before storage. You can sharpen the knife following guidelines.

You should avoid cutting on hard surfaces such as glass cutting boards. Specialists recommend using polyethylene plastic cutting boards. Also, you should have a knife block or a storage system which keeps blades separate.

Final Thoughts

The best chef knives are reliable and easy to use. You should get used to the products’ specs after a few days. You should hold on to your chef knives for a few years as they are resistant and can always be sharpened.

Find the best chef knives and turn weekly cooking into professionally-looking and delicious treats!

Images Source: Depositphotos.com.

10 Foods That Help Lower Blood Pressure

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, has been a serious health concern for quite some time.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 75 million Americans currently have high blood pressure.

Known as the silent killer for a reason, hypertension develops over time and most people are not aware they have it. Sadly, people may often not realize until they are diagnosed with heart or kidney disease, which stems from high blood pressure.

There is always a reason to get your blood pressure checked regularly with your doctor. Outside of that, if you do have concerns, you can always make lifestyle changes that help to lower blood pressure naturally.

The increased pressure pushing your blood through arteries can cause serious damage over time.  Artery walls can become weakened, and blood vessels can be permanently damaged with continued exposure to high blood pressure.

With no observable symptoms, hypertension creeps up, and when left untreated, leads to serious cardiovascular complications, including heart attack and stroke. What may seem minor at first, can spiral out of control into problems that can ultimately lead to death.

Studies have found that a major contributor to high blood pressure is our diet, specifically sodium and sugar intake. Knowing this allows you to change your diet, so you can keep blood pressure low and remain heart healthy.

Foods That Help Lower Blood Pressure

Unfortunately, the typical American diet consists of a large amount of processed and sugary foods, which are damaging to your body in many ways. The best course of action is to curb these foods and replace them with healthier options.

Several foods are available that can help you regulate your blood pressure while providing healthy and essential nutrients. If you worry about hypertension because it runs in your family or you have other risk factors, then consider switching up your meal plans to get control over your blood pressure before it kills you.

The foods below can help you to lower blood pressure and prevent serious damage to your arteries and blood vessels. Foods that are low in sodium and high in calcium, magnesium, or potassium can help to cut your risk of stroke or heart attack in half.

Switch out some of your usual snacks and meals to include these items to promote a healthier cardiovascular system and enhance your overall health for the long run.

White Beans: One cup of white beans delivers 13 percent of the calcium, 30 percent of the magnesium, and 24 percent of the potassium you need every day. Providing the three power nutrients and remaining low in sodium, white beans are an ideal heart healthy food to add to any dish.

Be sure to rinse well if you used canned versions, to remove any sodium used during canning.

Fat-Free Plain Yogurt: With one cup of yogurt, you get 49 percent of the calcium, 12 percent of the magnesium, and 18 percent of the potassium you need for the day. Perfect for breakfast with some added fruit or used to make sauces and dressings, plain yogurt is a great choice.

Make sure you always buy the low-sugar varieties that are free of flavorings.

Kiwi: One single kiwi a day provides small amounts of the three power nutrients but makes a much healthier snack than chips or candy. They also contain more vitamin C than oranges, so, combined with having no sodium, these furry fruits are good for your entire body.

Kale: Cooked or raw, one cup will provide 9 percent of the calcium and potassium and 6 percent of the magnesium you need daily. Kale is also low in calories and is widely hailed as a superfood because of the large dose of antioxidants it contains, which help to protect your cells from oxidative damage.

They are a great base for any salad and also possess a plant-based fat known as alpha-linolenic acid, which reduces inflammation. Since inflammation also contributes to cardiovascular problems, kale provides double protection.

Pork Tenderloin: Pork gives you magnesium and a decent dose of potassium. As an alternative to other red meats that can contribute to hypertension, this leaner cut of protein is good for regulating blood pressure levels.

It is best to grill or broil the tenderloins, rather than fry them, to ensure you can take advantage of the nutrients without consuming unwanted fats.

Bananas: Known for high potassium content, bananas should be eaten daily for those worried about hypertension. No need to get rid of them if the peel turns brown.

You can mash them up and a make a heart healthy smoothie. Bananas also help to lower stress hormone production, and too many of those can elevate blood pressure, so it is best to keep them to a minimum.

Broccoli: One cup of cooked broccoli gives you small amounts of calcium and magnesium and 14 percent of your daily potassium. Not only can broccoli help to strengthen blood vessels and artery walls, it also possesses cancer-fighting phytonutrients, making it a super-healthy addition to any meal.

Quinoa: With an impressive amount of magnesium to support blood coagulation and flow, quinoa is a healthy side dish that is also high in protein. It is easier and quicker to cook than rice and also contains phytonutrients that help to stave off cancer cell growth.

Avocado: Although fairly high in potassium, avocados are better known for the heart healthy monounsaturated fats they contain. Avocados are perfect to use in salads because they help to fill you up without unnecessary carbohydrates and fats.

They also contain carotenoids, which are useful in preventing cancer and protecting cells throughout your body.

Sweet Potato: As a dessert, side dish, or added to a smoothie, sweet potatoes deliver all of the power nutrients that promote heart health and can help to regulate blood pressure levels. The best part about sweet potatoes is that they can be included in every meal of the day, ensuring you support your heart all day long.

The bottom line is that your blood pressure is so much more than just a set of numbers: It is a solid indicator for the state of your health. High blood pressure can be the sign of a more serious disease or health issue, so you should always pay attention to those numbers.

There are certain factors that increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, including smoking, family history, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet, and diabetes. Whether these factors apply to you or not, it is a good idea to get your blood pressure checked regularly.

 

 

2

Choosing the Best Ceramic Cookware: A Quick Comprehensive Guide

What differentiates ceramic cookware from its peers? Essentially, the coating on the inside is baked or bonded, and it consists of a carcinogen-free ceramic glaze that has been deemed safer to use than other older formulas. Still, just like with any other product, they aren’t a “one size fits all” type of deal.

If you read more ceramic cookware reviews, you will see that each make and model comes with its own specifications. Some are more fragile and prone to breakage or damage, while other newer ones even allow the use of metal utensils in the process. Similarly, while some pots and pans of this variety are dishwasher safe, others aren’t.

Furthermore, it’s important not to forget that this technology is relatively new. Therefore, there isn’t a universal way to clean and look after them. Each manufacturer has their own specifications in this department, which is why you need to consult the instructions that come with the cookware closely before employing them.

Safety Specifications

Nowadays, it’s no longer a secret that using classic pots and pans in the kitchen might be worse for our health than we think. In fact, past studies have shown that the perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA for short, used in traditional nonstick cookware is linked with the development of testicular, pancreatic and liver cancer.

Nevertheless, many of the reviews have been deemed inconclusive by the medical community. Further research needs to be conducted in order to establish a connection once and for all between PFOA and fast-growing cancers. In the meantime, it’s better to avoid any potential problems. And one of the most effective alternatives for this is ceramic cookware.

The only safety and health concerns surrounding the ceramic glazing is that it contains lead and cadmium, two highly toxic and dangerous substances. Nevertheless, these have been phased out over the years, which means that this type of cookware is now one hundred percent friendly and perfect to use in any kitchen.

What to Look For

As previously discussed, depending on the manufacturer, the specifications of a ceramic set of pots, griddles and pans for various purposes will differ. Ideally, you should go for a sturdier model that is both dishwasher and metal safe. This means that it doesn’t have to be washed manually, and you won’t have to fumble looking for a wooden spoon when you just want a quick meal.

Nevertheless, if you want the nonstick coating on the inside to stand the test of time, avoiding these comforts is recommended, even though the label on the packaging says you can. On top of that, make sure that you know exactly what the company policy on using cooking sprays and oils on their products is.

While some varieties allow for a light coating to aid in the meal preparing process, others strictly forbid it. You won’t know until you check the detailed guidelines provided. After that’s out of the way, you can focus on other important features.

If you want to have a pleasant and hassle-free cooking experience, pots and pans with silicone handles will be your best friend. This type of construction doesn’t conduct heat, which means that you can grab onto a cool surface when it’s time to take the food off the stove or out of the oven and serve it to your friends and family.

Another aspect to keep in mind would be that you have a choice between buying the pieces individually or getting a set instead. While the latter might be a lot more convenient from a financial standpoint, you will rarely if ever find a set that contains all the pieces that you want and need. This means that some things will be purchased separately as well.

And speaking of cookware sets, the number of items described includes lids and tops as well. This means that, out of a total of let’s say 12 pieces, at least will be covers. There’s no particular issue with that, but it’s something worth remembering so that you don’t expect to get more containers than you actually will.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to healthier cooking styles, ceramic pots, pans and griddles surely make a difference. The glaze used to coat their insides doesn’t contain carcinogens such as perfluorooctanoic acid, which means that no unwanted substances leach in your food during frying, baking or boiling.

And with lead and cadmium having been phased out from the composition of ceramic, this type of cookware is now safer than ever. So, why not enjoy its benefits and get yourself a few pieces, or even an entire set if you’re feeling adventurous?

 

Rice Bhakri Recipe: Even your Kids Can Do It

Indians have some of the unique and tasty foods in the world. Exotic with a touch of modernity and a lot of chilies!

For many years I have always wanted to prepare an Indian recipe for my family but I didn’t know where to start.

Luckily, an Indian family moved in and I thought it would be a good idea to befriend them.

Not like the friendship will be solely pegged on them helping me prepare Indian recipes but I am looking to visit India soon and who knows we might as well take the vacation together!

These flat breads originate from Goan region in India goes well with chicken curry, mutton rassa, or even veggies.

Here is a simple rice bhakri recipe which you can try at home with your kids

Prep time:  40 min

Cook time:  10 min

Total time:  50 min

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Rice Flour
  • 4 cups of water
  • Rice flour
  • Cooking Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon salt

Important note: Mix the flour and water in the ratio of 1:1

Preparation Method

  • Boil 4 cups of water and add soil.
  • Mix thoroughly until the salt dissolves
  • Reduce the heat and add the rice flour
  • Mix thoroughly
  • Remove from the flame, cover and allow it to rest for 40 minutes
  • After the 40 minutes, transfer to a kneading bowl
  • Add oil and start kneading by making small balls
  • Light up your fire again place the griddle as you start flattening the balls between your palms
  • Using a rolling pin, continue flattening the balls and dust with a little flour to avoid them from sticking
  • Place the rolled bhakri on the no hot griddle
  • Sprinkle some water on the upper side of the bhakri
  • Cook the underside for 1 min and then flip using kitchen tongs.
  • Apply pressure on the upper side using a cloth ensuring that the bhakri puffs evenly
  • Remove from the griddle and place on a plate.
  • Your Bhakri is ready and you can eat it with the previously mentioned foods or even gravy.

Go ahead and try it at home with your kids.

About the Author:

Jane Grates – Writing from Copenhagen, Denmark, Jane is an entrepreneur, and a full-time housewife. She spends most of her time on doing kitchen stuff reviews and owns several health and home sites such as Jane Kitchen Miracles, That Sweet Gift, The Fit Bay, My Kids Needs That & Nicer Shoes.

Love Bites – The Best Dine And Date Events In Dubai

Being so busy with work, family and other life responsibilities can take its toll on relationships. This is why relationship gurus strongly advise couples to deliberately set aside time for dates.

Why?

“The most important message a date night or special occasion or catch up — whatever form it takes — conveys to the couple is that they are creating a unique and special space for one another,” says Matt Garrett of Relationships Australia.

It’s important to not take each other for granted. When you have found someone who fits perfectly with you, remind yourself that other people aren’t so lucky. Therefore, you need to nurture what you have in every way possible.

Setting aside time and sharing experiences wherein you both can be the person each other fell in love with is one effective way of taking care of the relationship.

Dates are the perfect events for that.

Dine and Date Ideas

Planning dates can feel like a burden if you’re juggling a bunch of responsibilities. Luckily, in Dubai, there are places that make going on dates a breeze because they have everything covered – there’s great food and drinks, fun or romantic activities, and other types of entertainment. All you and your significant other need to do is show up.

So, are you ready to spend quality fun time with your partner? Here are some of the best date events to take advantage of in the City of Gold.

●    Prohibition Brunch

This is not your typical brunch because it’s held much later than usual – between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Here, you and your partner can sample some of the finest dishes in a chic and modern setting.

Both of you can just kick back, relax and exchange stories about the recent events in your life. If it’s been a while since you two shared a meal, this Prohibition Brunch is a splendid way to restore your commitment to making time with each other.

You’ll fall in love with the amazing selection of food while also rekindling the romance of your relationship.

●    Cellar ‘n Cheddar

If you want another chilled date event, set aside a Tuesday evening for sampling an unlimited supply of cheeses and the best wines. This is a great way to learn something new together.

A nice little side advantage of coming to this regular event is that it can serve as inspiration for future stay-home dates. If you want a quick and no-fuss date with just a simple cheese platter, a bottle of good wine, and a movie, you’ll definitely learn the best-tasting cheese and wine pairings to use if you come to this event.

●    Great Gatsby After Party

Head to the Dubai International Financial Center and find a shindig every Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Enjoy gourmet food and great music. And if you’re not feeling in any way inhibited, get on the dance floor and bust some moves to the beats of the DJ.

You’re sure to have loads of fun for a couple of hours. All the carefree dancing and laughter will surely spark joy in your relationship.

If you have more time to spare on Fridays, come much earlier for the Great Gatsby Friday Brunch. Dress up for the event, sample elegant, classic recipes, and perhaps meet new people who are like you – having a grand old time with their partners.

●    Jazz Thursdays with Rita and The Rogues

Dine to the jazz tunes of Dubai’s favorite jazz act.

Treating yourself to jazz music over dinner has many health benefits. If you and your partner had a stressful day, there’s nothing like jazz music to relax and heal your body and soul.

Studies show that jazz music has the ability to lower heart and respiratory rates. It can even improve the verbal memory, focus, and moods of people who have suffered a stroke.

There are many more events in the city that can make dating easy for you and your partner; the four mentioned above are just the regular events. As the seasons change, various establishments throughout Dubai come up with their own special activities.

Keep an eye out for them because they are worth considering for dates that won’t be a hassle to plan, but will surely be a memorable experience for you and your special partner.

Dine and Date Regularly

The importance of going on dates points back to the reality that “relationships take work to work out.” Making the effort is a must. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a simple gesture or a grand one; the key is to do something, to make the gesture.

Dates are actually among the simplest efforts that partners can make to help each other truly feel that they matter. These events only take a few hours, but this special time will certainly have a huge impact on the quality of your relationship.

AUTHOR BIO

Kunal Lahori is a passionate leader, boasting a long track record of successful management across a variety of business industries in the UAE. He founded Bazxar in the DIFC, the most exciting bar in the city that looks, feels and tastes like nowhere else in Dubai. He is also notably the founder of the award-winning El Sur, a contemporary Spanish restaurant located in the Westin Dubai. In addition, he is the founder & CEO of Pret To Go, a brand of organic and healthy cafes located across the UAE in 8 business clusters in Dubai and Abu Dhabi Airport.

What to Expect From the Best Meat Slicers? We Have Them All Listed

The best meat slicers are kitchen gadgets that we definitely can't live without. They make it easy slicing meat but do so much more than that. Review Radar believes there are questions that should be answered when you decide to purchase a meat slicer. Such as, is the meat slicer worth the investment? How much space will this gadget take away from my counter space?

To decide whether the best meat slicers are worth the trouble let us consider some of the things that you should you expect when you use meat slicers.

1. Saves Costs

One of the major things you should expect when you purchase the best meat slicers is the reduction in the amount of money spent buying pre-sliced food. With the meat slicer in your kitchen arsenal, there is no way you won't end up saving up more money over the year that would have been spent on pre-sliced meats. You also don't have to purchase pre-packed steaks as well. You can get a leg of lamb and use a bone knife to bone it, chill in the freezer and then slice it into steaks.

2. Saves Time

The best meat slicers will save you a lot of time in getting your meals ready. This is true for those with smaller families as well as larger families as well. What you need to do to get your meat sliced is to assemble the slicer and put the meat in along with the ingredients. Once you turn it on, the whole process begins and you will have your own meat as soon as possible.

3. Fewer Contaminants

Meats that are placed on the counter waiting to be frozen can pick up contaminants and bacteria but when you slice your own meat, you know how fresh the meat and you are also sure it contains no contaminant nor has it started decomposing.

4. Multi-functional

With the best meat slicer, you will be able to do a whole lot of things you never thought were possible. You will be able to shave food like ham into thin slices that will give you potato crisps. If you also have compromised hand movements or a disease that might make it hard to cut through raw meat, a meat slicer will do the trick for you.

5. Great Texture

When you grind your own meat, you get to chop it off to your own liking by making it dense or substantial. This is quite different from what you would get if you bought already grounded meat which comes with a mealy texture. Depending on your taste or for the type of food that you need them for, you can decide to go for a finer grind for meals like meatloaf or twist it a little to make it lighter for meals like sausages. There is also the option of flavor. If you desire a stellar sausage or burger meal, you should go for meat slicers.

6. Safety and Convenience

There is a certain level of safety that you feel when you slice your own meat as the whole process is known to you as well as the mechanism used in making it. This is way safer than purchasing that often comes with preservatives and other artificial chemicals. It is also convenient to use and will take few minutes of your time.

7. Better Meals

The truth is fresh grounded meat is better. Unless you have the time and resources to visit the butchers directly, you will never get freshly grounded meat at the stores. The meat lying idle there pose a health risk as it would have lost some quality over time as well as have its flavor diminished over time from exposure to the elements.

Another interesting thing to expect with the best meat slicers is that you have total control over the meal and you know what was used in the sliced meat that would be consumed by your family.

With all these benefits, it's hard not to purchase a meat slicer for use in your home. The best meat slicers sure make a difference in the meals that you make. Do you have a meat slicer at home? Let us know what the experience has been in the comment section.

Author Bio:
Emmanuel is a health and fitness enthusiast who is tired of seeing people complain about gaining weight and thinking they have no way to deal with it. As a result he now serves as a small time activist and blogs about health and fitness topics to empower people to change their lives.

1. Saves Costs

One of the major things you should expect when you purchase the best meat slicers is the reduction in the amount of money spent buying pre-sliced food. With the meat slicer in your kitchen arsenal, there is no way you won't end up saving up more money over the year that would have been spent on pre-sliced meats. You also don't have to purchase pre-packed steaks as well. You can get a leg of lamb and use a bone knife to bone it, chill in the freezer and then slice it into steaks.

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2. Saves Time

The best meat slicers will save you a lot of time in getting your meals ready. This is true for those with smaller families as well as larger families as well. What you need to do to get your meat sliced is to assemble the slicer and put the meat in along with the ingredients. Once you turn it on, the whole process begins and you will have your own meat as soon as possible.

3. Fewer Contaminants

Meats that are placed on the counter waiting to be frozen can pick up contaminants and bacteria but when you slice your own meat, you know how fresh the meat and you are also sure it contains no contaminant nor has it started decomposing.

4. Multi-functional

With the best meat slicer, you will be able to do a whole lot of things you never thought were possible. You will be able to shave food like ham into thin slices that will give you potato crisps. If you also have compromised hand movements or a disease that might make it hard to cut through raw meat, a meat slicer will do the trick for you.

5. Great Texture

When you grind your own meat, you get to chop it off to your own liking by making it dense or substantial. This is quite different from what you would get if you bought already grounded meat which comes with a mealy texture. Depending on your taste or for the type of food that you need them for, you can decide to go for a finer grind for meals like meatloaf or twist it a little to make it lighter for meals like sausages. There is also the option of flavor. If you desire a stellar sausage or burger meal, you should go for meat slicers.

6. Safety and Convenience

There is a certain level of safety that you feel when you slice your own meat as the whole process is known to you as well as the mechanism used in making it. This is way safer than purchasing that often comes with preservatives and other artificial chemicals. It is also convenient to use and will take few minutes of your time.

7. Better Meals

The truth is fresh grounded meat is better. Unless you have the time and resources to visit the butchers directly, you will never get freshly grounded meat at the stores. The meat lying idle there pose a health risk as it would have lost some quality over time as well as have its flavor diminished over time from exposure to the elements.

Another interesting thing to expect with the best meat slicers is that you have total control over the meal and you know what was used in the sliced meat that would be consumed by your family.

With all these benefits, it's hard not to purchase a meat slicer for use in your home. The best meat slicers sure make a difference in the meals that you make. Do you have a meat slicer at home? Let us know what the experience has been in the comment section.

Author Bio:
Emmanuel is a health and fitness enthusiast who is tired of seeing people complain about gaining weight and thinking they have no way to deal with it. As a result he now serves as a small time activist and blogs about health and fitness topics to empower people to change their lives.

 

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Does Hard Water Affect Home Cooking?

Hard water impacts your cooking – it's a fact. And the hard water problem is vast. England's water is considered very hard, with some areas having 200 ppm. Statistics from the United States show that 85% of homes have hard water. And hard water will change the way that your food tastes.

Delicious food requires attention, the right mix of ingredients and the right water. Your food is impacted by the minerals that lead to hard water, including magnesium and calcium. The type of food you cook will be the main variable in how drastically hard water impacts your food.

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10 Must Have Kitchen Tools for The Master Baker

You don’t need to be a master baker to take advantage of these kitchen tools, in fact, they’re a necessity for bakers of every level. Some things are just essential to life.


1. Oven Thermometer
You might be wondering why you need this when your oven does it for you, but unless you have a brand-new oven, then there’s a good chance it’s completely inaccurate. As every baker knows, the temperature is a big deal. So, save yourself a whole lot of time and trouble and pick up an oven thermometer.

2. Hand Mixer
Stand mixers are all well and good, but sometimes you need a good old fashion hand mixer to get down to business. It’s the ideal tool for someone just starting out or who just bakes for the fun of it. It’s an affordable tool that will serve you well, whether you’re making the ultimate scones or whipping up meringue.

3. Scales
If you cook and bake then you’ll know how free with measurements you can be in cooking. It isn’t the same situation when it comes to baking – recipes are everything. The most precise way to measure your ingredients is by using a scale. It will make your baking a breeze.

4. Silicone Mats
Forget running out of parchment paper; silicone mats are everything you didn’t know you needed. Expect evenly baked cookies and never struggle to scrape your treats off the tray again. Even better if you choose a dishwasher friendly mat, toss it in with everything else and move on. You’ll find yourself using them for things other than baking, too.

5. Hand Sifter
Have you ever spotted the need to sift your dry ingredients on a recipe and shrugged it off like it’s an unnecessary hassle? There is a legitimate need to sift dry ingredients; it aerates them to prevent lumps and bumps. It’s an inexpensive but critical kitchen tool for anyone who loves to bake.

6. Rimmed Baking Trays
They’re the ideal option for sheet cakes, bread, cookies, and even roasting vegetables. They’re particularly handy when you’re dealing with mixes that are fairly liquid as the rim ensures no leakage in your oven (and it won’t waste your mix).

7. Pastry Blender
You might think you don’t need a pastry blender, but it’s incredibly handy for a variety of tasks including biscuits, pie dough, and scones. It’s great when you need to break cold butter up to create a sumptuous flaky dough. The biggest issue most tools have is they tend to warm your butter, but it’s vital to keep it cold when you’re making pastry!

8. Cooling Racks
Sure, you can struggle by without one – if you want soggy baked goods. Cooling racks are vital because it ensures your treats cool evenly, as opposed to allowing the bottom to continue baking in a hot oven pan. You only need a few to make sure your baked goods get the best possible treatment before you enjoy them with a cuppa.

9. The Accoutrement
There are certain things that no baker can do without, and that includes a rolling pin, mixing bowls, whisks, spatulas, measuring spoons, and measuring cups. Thus, the accouterment. You can pick up a rolling pin at little cost, and it’s an absolute must if you are into cookie and scone making. You might try to get around it and use other tools to do the job, but it’s time to give in and invest in a decent rolling pin. Whether you prefer plastic, metal, or glass – mixing bowls are indispensable. Stop trying to use salad bowls to do the job when you can buy the real deal.

Of course, whisks and spatulas are a vital part of the baking process. You should have a variety of sizes and styles as you’ll need them for mixing, stirring, spreading frosting, and scraping bowls. If you’ve ever been baking and found yourself frustrated with your tools there’s a good chance it’s been about a spatula or whisk. It’s something so small, but so important. Go for quality; there’s nothing worse than a snapped tool mid-whisk.

Yes, we suggested that you go for kitchen scales, but you still need measuring spoons and measuring cups for certain ingredients. Make sure you have a variety of sizes, and your best bet is to opt for a set of each to cover the variety of sizes. You never know when you’ll need to measure an eighth of a cup for some obscure new recipe you found online. It’s a good idea to cover every eventuality, as there is nothing worse than being mid-recipe and realizing your kitchen tools are seriously lacking.

10. Cookie Scoops
Yes, you can finally create cookies that are perfectly shaped, but you can do more than that with them! Get them in various sizes and use them for muffins, pancakes, cupcakes, and even ice cream and mashed potatoes. There are small ones which are ideal for small cookies and truffles.

You can find the above-mentioned kitchen tools online and utilize incredible discount vouchers from Laura Ashley kitchen accessories to cut down your cost. So make sure you update your kitchen with all the necessary equipment for a perfect baking experience.