Posts tagged with: food

Cutting round vegetables

Cucurbita moschata 'Butternut'.
Image via Wikipedia

Over the weekend I wanted to cook up a butternut squash for dinner and worried about chopping my fingers off while I worked, but I found a FABULOUS tip I had to share!

“It is very simple to prevent rolling of squash. Just fold up a small towel into quarters so there’s some padding and put the squash on top of the towel, this will help prevent the squash from rolling around upon the initial cut. After that, use the flat surface of the initial cut for the rest of the cuts”

Another tip? Use a very sharp knife!

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Holiday destressing tips

Fitness advocate Richar...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

The holidays are stressful for a lot of people. I have two gifts left to buy and am hoping that getting those two gifts won’t be a stressful process, so I’m not too freaked out. For those of you who are stressed right now. Calm down, finish reading this entry, do one thing (or more!) on the list and try to relax a bit!

1. Take a hot bath with some fantastic bubbles or a salt soak. One of my favorite products to use while in a hot bath is Aveeno Stress Relief Foaming Bath. The smell of lavender and ylang ylang is very nice when you’re stressed out. Another product I love to use is a 3-in-1 shampoo, cleansing gel and bubble bath that smells like vanilla birthday cake by philosophy. It smells so good you’ll want to eat it, but just soak yourself in it instead.

2. Go for a walk. Get outside, or even walk on a treadmill, but get up and move around. Exercise has been shown to be a definite stress reducer. Whether you decide to venture into the cold (remember your hat, you lose 7-55% of your body heat through your head!) or sweatin’ with Richard Simmons in your living room, just move around!

3. Smile! Laugh! Enjoy yourself! Laughing reduces endorphins that are critical in reducing stress. Need something funny to check out? My recommendations include: LOL Cats, LOL Celebs or XKCD.

4. Vent to someone you trust, or to strangers you’ve never met before. I keep a personal blog I share some pretty strange things on … and I’m sharing them to get them out of my head and into the world. I really don’t care too much what people think about my venting, and for me it’s an intense stress reliever.

5. Brew a cup of tea, or if you can stand it while you’re anxious, have a cup of good coffee. I don’t like to add to my heart rate when I’m stressed and so I go for one of the teas from Yogi Tea. My favorite tea right now from Yogi Teas is their Berry DeTox. Even though for me it’s only a mental detox, sometimes tea is powerful enough to just do that! If you want, Yogi Tea is willing to send you a free sample!

What do you like to do to destress?

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Perfect Pasta Tips

Pasta Experiment, a.k.a. Kitchen Therapy
Image by selva via Flickr

A break in the recipes today to share some Betty Crocker perfect pasta tips!

  • Use 2 ounces of dried pata or 3 ounces refrigerated pasta for each serving. Fresh pasta cooks in about 1/4 the time of dried pasta, but cooking times will cary according to the shape.
  • Measure 4 ounces of spaghetti (the perfect amount for two) easily by making a circle with your thumb and index finger the size of a quarter and filling it with pasta.
  • Choose a 3-quart saucepan or larger for cooking pasta for two so the pasta can move freely in the boiling water during cooking.
  • Begin with cold water andadd 1.5 teaspoons salt for every 2 quarts of water. Bring the water to a full boil befor eadding pasta. It should remain boiling during the entire cooking time.
  • Find the best sauce for the box of pasta that’s already in your pantry, follow this handy mix-and-match guide
    • Long thing or wide pasta (capellini, fettuccine, linguine, spaghetti, vermicelli) – choose smooth, thin sauces or thosewith very finely chopped ingredients. They will cling better to the large surface area of these pasta shapes.
    • Short, wide and sturdy pastas (mostaccioli, penne, rigatoni, rotelle, rotini, ziti) – select chunky or heavy sauces. These pasta shapes are strong enouch to hold up to larger pieces of ingredients.
    • Pastas with crevices and hollow areas (cavatappi, farfalle, fusilli, radiatore, gemelli, shells) – try sauces with small pieces of meat and vegetables that can be captured in the hollow areas of these pasta shapes.
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Easy breakfasts under 300 calories

Homemade cottage cheese from mike and vinegar.
Image via Wikipedia

Creative Commons License photo credit: dailyfood

Thanks to last month’s Fitness magazine, I have found some fantastic breakfasts that will not only fill you up, but do so with fewer than 300 calories.

Strawberry-Banana & Flax Smoothie

Blend until smooth and drink!

Waffle with fresh blueberries & lemon syrup

  • 3/4 c. blueberries
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 whole-grain frozen waffle (4 in) toasted
  • 1 8-ounce glass skim milk or light soy milk

Mash blueberries with fork and mix w/maple syrup and lemon juice. Top waffle with blueberry mixture, serve with milk.

Toast with walnut and pear spread

  • 1/2 c. low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 tbs chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 med pear, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 slice whole-grain bread, toasted

Mix cottage cheese, walnuts, pear and honey (for smoother texture, use blender). Spread on your toast.

Fitness magazine has a really great website that I recommend you check out. With exercise tips, workout descriptions, and recipes galore, this site is a Godsend for those looking to improve their health.

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