The Almost-Chefs: Foods You Shouldn’t Be Afraid To Try Cooking

The idea of cooking a meal tends to fall into one of four categories, depending on the person being asked about it.

 

  1. “Cooking? I love it! I cook for fun, don’t even eat it and don’t care about the waste. I just love the feeling of creating something from nothing.”

 

  1. “Cooking? No. Not happening. I will burn it, it will taste foul, and I know what I like – and that’s takeout and restaurant food.”

 

  1. “Cooking? Well sure I can give it a go. I have some staple recipes that I know how to do reasonably well, but I’ve haven’t had time to try anything more adventurous than that.”

 

  1. “Cooking? I do it because I have to. I hate it, but I know my kids and I should eat fresh food. I despise every second of it, though.”

 

Some of these reactions are displayed by people who there’s not much help for. 1 and 2 are set in their ways. Perhaps 4 could be persuaded to find some joy in their own creations, but it’s unlikely.

 

The real pearl in the oyster here is the third option. A chef who doesn’t know they are one – yet. Someone who cooks for function, so they don’t have the opportunity to experiment.

 

Sound familiar? An enormous number of us fall into this category. We love food, but we don’t have the time to go beyond a few tried-and-tested recipes we know we can rely on. That hesitancy goes beyond the cooking itself; it influences what we choose to cook. We tend to leave aside different ingredients, afraid of cooking them and making a mistake. They become our food White Whales (in the Moby Dick sense… not the eating sense, of course!) [Read more…]

Want To Be A Super Saver? Let’s Cut Your Grocery Bill In Half

Pexels Image Credit: Unsplash

We all know that buying a trolley load food for the week can be expensive and it’s often hard to keep track of how just much you’re spending. If you’ve got a family of fussy eaters, any particular dietary requirements such as vegetarians or vegans to consider, or kids that hoover up food like it’s going out of fashion it can be a nightmare to stay in budget while making sure that everyone’s happy!

 

Stick To Your List

 

Write your shopping list out in advance and plan your meals for the entire week as you’ll then know exactly what you need to buy. We’re aware it sounds slightly laborious, but by doing this, you can keep track of how much everything costs, look out for special offers and stock up on ingredients that you’ll need for each meal. Try to avoid going off the list as you’ll be inundated with what seem like good deals but our advice is always look at their size before adding items to the trolley. Don’t be tempted to buy just a ‘few treats’ to see you through the week or be swayed into purchasing a whole load of stuff for the kids that neither, you, nor they need.

 

Clip Those Coupons

 

One of the best ways to get money off everyday items is by couponing, so you know those little strips of paper you get with your receipt? Well, if you save enough of them, swapping ones you don’t need for those that you do with friends and family you can end up getting a substantial discount on many products or even for free. However, couponing will take up a fair amount of your time. You can spend hours at the kitchen table cutting them out of magazines and newspapers, while needing to know which ones are worth collecting, which appear regularly and what products sell like hotcakes so their vouchers never come up.

 

Make The Most Of Leftovers

 

Tons of perfectly edible food is thrown away every day simply because people do not understand sell and use by dates, are too eager to open brand new packets without finishing old ones first and don’t know how to make meals out of leftovers. If you find yourself with some leftover meat, potatoes, vegetables and sauce, you can easily make delicious fried potato hash cakes but ensure that the reheated meat’s piping hot before you eat them, as otherwise you could end up quite unwell. There are loads of fantastic ideas on how to turn a fridge full of leftovers into a meal fit for a king but Sana, at SuperSana.com has a whole page dedicated on what to do such as turning them into salads, curries, soups and even delicious, meaty lasagnas.

 

Grow Something

 

It’s highly possible, and cheap, to grow your own carrots, corn, lettuce, tomatoes, and even cucumber which is what many people did before commercial supermarkets arrived. Why not turn it into a family project? Getting everyone involved and establish a weekly rota, so you know exactly whose turn it is to check on, water, maintain and, of course, pull up or pick your vegetables.

 

Food-Tastic Ideas You Need To Make A Memorable Breakfast

Breakfast can always be a tricky time for moms. After all, it can be challenging to get your little ones to sit down and eat something before they can go to school. They say they are not hungry, or they don’t want their boring toast or cereal option. But as you know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And if your kids don’t eat anything, they will end up not concentrating properly in the morning. Therefore, they might end up doing poorly when they are at school. And not only this, but they will be hungry in an hour or two so might end up snacking on unhealthy choices. So you need to try and think of some good breakfast ideas that will entice them to eat up! Therefore, here are some food-tastic ideas you need to make a memorable breakfast.

 

Make some fruit-tastic smoothies for the kids

 

It’s often hard to get kids to consume enough fruit in their life. But with the recommended amount being five portions per day, it’s important to ensure they get their fill of fruit every single day. One way of doing this would be by making smoothies for breakfast. For one thing, it makes for an interesting breakfast option that your kids will hopefully not put their nose up at. After all, the delicious flavors can make the smoothies appetizing. And it’s better than sitting down at the table with a bowl of boring cereal. But also, making smoothies gives you a good chance to ensure your kids have their five-a-day. After all, you can add a ton of different fruits to the smoothies to make sure it’s delicious for your kids. And while they might hate particular fruits like oranges and apples when they are whole, they might actually enjoy them in a smoothie! The good thing about a smoothie is they can be consumed quickly. It means your kids won’t have to take ages sitting at the table. And if they don’t finish it before you need to get in the car, they can finish it on the way to school! Remember to let your kids help you to make the smoothies to ensure they drink them! And wash all fruit before you put it in the blender to ensure it’s healthy for the kids.

Pixabay [Read more…]

3 Most Important Things You Need To Keep Your Horses Safe

There are a number of things that a good horse Mom (and Dad) need to be sure they have, to make sure that their horses (same goes for cows, and other animals) are kept safe.  This was a hard lesson that I learned the hard way, and will remember for the rest of my life.

My big boy Alabi

[Read more…]

Drink Up: The Best Beverages For A Cold Morning

Most of us know how tough it is to crawl out of our soft, warm beds in the winter. Especially when the sun isn’t even up, and it’s freezing cold outside. But it still has to be done. Luckily, making yourself, a hot beverage first thing can really help wake you up, warm you up, and set you up for the day ahead. But what are the best beverages to drink on those cold winter mornings? Read on to find out.

 

Earl Grey Tea

 

If you are a tea person, rather than a coffee fiend, then a great way to start the day is with a classic, hot, English cup of Earl Grey tea. Designed to be drunk without milk, this tea has delicate smoky bergamot flavor.

Image

 

It is a marvelously gentle way to wake up your senses on a cold winter’s morning. Add a slice of lemon or a little honey for extra flavor, although the tea cup and saucer is optional!

 

Hazelnut Café Mocha.

 

So this dream of a drink has all the good things in it. Its pretty darn easy to make to, so don’t get your knickers in a twist about not having enough in the mornings, either!

 

All you need to do is make a fresh ground batch of coffee. So check out some of the articles like coffee grinders 101 to decide which grinder to get. Then add to this a mix of cream, melted with hazelnut spread, and cocoa powder. Finish it off with a squirt of whipped cream for an added treat, and you won’t be disappointed.

 

Chai Tea

 

One of the most fashionable brews to get you going in the mornings, Chai tea is delicious and can easily be made at home. A classic cup of Chai tea, is made with black tea and Masala Chai spice, as well as milk.

 

To get the best effect, warm and froth with milk before you add it to the tea. You can also buy Chai tea in bags now. But for the most authentic taste, add your own Chai Masala spice which you can get here.

 

Bulletproof Coffee

 

This is a drink that has become particularly popular within the whole eating movement. It is designed to provide a boost of caffeine as well as enough fat to get your brain and body going in the mornings.

Picture

 

But how do you make it? Well, it’s pretty simple, and all you need are good quality ingredients. Firstly take great quality coffee, beans ground fresh. Add these to filtered water to make your brew. Then add unsalted butter or ghee, grass fed, and there you have it.

 

Hot Water And Lemon

 

For all you purists out there on a healthy eating kick, there really is only one suitable hot beverage for the morning. That is hot water and lemon.

 

In this, you will find no caffeine and caffeine and no dairy. Ok, so it sounds a little boring. But its is actually pretty refreshing. Also you are getting hydrated without having to chug down a load of cold water when it’s freezing weather outside.

 

You can even add a little ginger to spice things up a bit. Which acts are a great cleaning agent and can help to stimulate your digestive system.

 

Kickstart Your Healthy Eating Regime: The Best Ways To Use A Blender

Have you vowed to make more of an effort to eat healthily in 2017? Are you trying to eat more fruit and vegetables or cut out your takeout habit? If so, a blender is an excellent investment. If you’re looking to supercharge your diet, here are some of the best ways to use a blender.

 

Smoothies

You can buy smoothies from cafes and stores, but if you ordered one on a daily basis, you’d soon notice a dent in your finances. Buying a blender is a much cheaper way of doing things. You can also control what goes into your smoothies, which means that you can design flavor combinations, and decide how much sugar you add. Smoothies are often marketed as healthy alternatives to soda and energy drinks. But if you look at the nutritional information, you’ll often find that they contain a lot of sugar. When you’re in charge, you can make sure your smoothies are a healthy option. If you don’t already have a blender, you can read reviews on sites like Blender Friend. You can also access recipes online. Popular flavor combinations include strawberry and banana, apple and mango, and kiwi and lime. The best thing to do is experiment, and see what concoctions you come up with. If you’re worried about cost, you don’t have to use fresh fruit. You can also buy frozen fruit, which tends to be cheaper.

Image sourced from https://www.flickr.com/photos/thevelvetbird/14430283996

 

Soups

When it’s pouring down outside, and you’re trying to get warm, there are few things more comforting than a hearty bowl of soup. Soup is a cheap and easy dish, which is also really versatile. You can rustle up large batches and freeze what you don’t use, and there are so many different flavor combinations to try. If you’re a fan of the classics, go for chicken and vegetable, tomato and basil or leek and potato. If you fancy something a little different, why not try spiced pumpkin, chorizo and French bean or broccoli and Stilton?

 

Lean burgers

Are burgers your Achilles heel? If so, don’t worry. With the help of a blender, you can make much healthier versions than the ones served at your local diner. Opt for turkey mince or blend a salmon fillet. Add herbs, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper and blend with an egg and a dash of olive oil.

 

Pasta sauces

Pasta sauces occupy both ends of the scale when it comes to healthy food. On one hand, tomato-based sauces with vegetables are nutritious with high fiber and low fat values. On the other, you get cheesy, creamy sauces, which are laden with fat. Try and make your own sauces from scratch rather than buying pre-packed tins and cartons. This way, you can add as much veg as you like, and you can regulate the sugar and salt content. All you need to do is add the vegetables you want to use to your bowl, add seasoning and a drop of oil, and seconds later, you’ll be ready to go.

Image credit http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Vegetable-Pasta-Meal-Food-Dish-Lunch-Plate-1285316

 

If you’re on a healthy eating mission, a blender is a great investment. Hopefully, these suggestions will help you produce healthy, tasty meals with minimal hassle.

Get The Right Stuff: Equipment You Need Even In A Minimal Kitchen

We all like to think we know our way around our kitchens. For the most part, we do, but let’s be honest. Put your hand up if you’ve never used a kitchen implement for something other than its intended purpose. And if your hand is currently up, I don’t believe you. Sorry, but come on. Surely this is something we’ve all done.

 

Do it often enough, and you can convince yourself that “the right equipment” is something that kitchen supply companies have made up. And don’t get me wrong. You don’t necessarily need a melon baller, a citrus zester or a ravioli crimper.

cantaloupe

Image Credit

 

But if you want to run a modern kitchen, you do need more than just the most basic tools. A minimalist kitchen can be a joy – as long as it’s not so minimal it’s practically empty.

 

Don’t Make Your Pans Pull Double Duty

 

We’ve all been in a hurry and had to press a kitchen implement into a service outside of its usual utility. Maybe the saucepan is in the dishwasher, so you use the skillet to poach an egg. Once in awhile, this approach is okay, but there are reasons we have different pans for different jobs.

 

How thick a pan is, and its shape governs how it will distribute heat and how tidily it will do the job it needs to do. You may want to save space, but you also need to save time – and using a saucepan for a stir fry will just mean you have a more time-consuming task to complete.

 

Use The Right Knife For The Right Job

kitchen-knives

Source

 

When you see knife blocks for sale at low prices, you can easily rebel against the bargain hunter inside. “I know the deal is good, but when will I need a paring knife or a boning knife?”.

 

Fast forward to a few weeks later, when you’re trying to prepare a meal which involves some very fine cutting. A serrated steak knife will make a mess. A large chef’s knife will be too cumbersome. Similarly, picture yourself carving the Thanksgiving turkey next year with a bread knife. Some more helpful tips can save you a lot of time and mess.

 

Protect What You Have

 

Almost as important as having the right implements for a job and using them right, how you protect them will make a difference. For example, a wooden spoon is a great standby in any kitchen. If you wash it in the dishwasher, though, it will spoil before very long. This can lead to it developing grooves in which bacteria can live.

dishes

Source

 

Similarly, a cast iron skillet should never be scrubbed with abrasives or put in the dishwasher. By doing this, you strip the pan’s patina and make it less useful going forward. All you need to do is wash it with hot water and a stiff brush. By taking proper care of your kitchen implements, you don’t need to replace them as often or use alternatives.

 

If you get the right kitchen equipment, it can last you for years and be effective from the first use to the last. It’s worth paying more for the right items – the time and expense it will save you in the future more than pays for the initial outlay.

 

My Petunia – Stories of my Oldest

My oldest daughter is 16.  It seems like only yesterday that my she was a baby, then a toddler, and then the mother hen to my son when he came along.  It’s so hard to believe that those days for her are long gone.

But every now and then, I replay in my head some of my favorite memories of when she was a little girl.  So I thought that I would share some of my favorites, and as my memory serves me.. I may add more posts to this.
Yes, this gorgeous yellowish looking baby is my oldest at 24 hours old.  She was jaundiced at birth, as you can tell by her photo.

1978747_4077522394222_545791524_n-1

Thankfully, as my Mom was a retired RN, they allowed me to bring her home.  Her first 72 hours consisted of spending her days in her infant car seat propped in our picture window at home.  She was soaking up the rays of the sun to bring her bilirubin levels back to normal.

I know, you’re scratching your heads, right?  Well, back in the “old days” babies with high bilirubin levels had to spend their days in the hospital under a bilirubin lamp.  That would have meant days extra in the hospital, and apart from her coloring.. there was nothing wrong with her.  I didn’t want to leave her in the hospital, and thankfully we didn’t have to.  We called her our “flower child”, our little petunia.  LOL  We’d put her in the window to sun her… take her out to bathe her and feed her to make her grow.

Fast forward a few months, my formerly 5 lb 12 oz princess grew into my little chunka monk.

1544450_4077522874234_165196116_n-1

I have lots of stories about what this little “monster” has said and done, but I think I’ll leave those for another time.

I will be compiling a list of the family’s favorite memories, so that I can share them here.  This will be my “gift” to my girl.  LOL

I’m sure she’ll be EVER so pleased.  We ALL know how teenagers get when they’re “EXPOSED”.

Till our next story, my Petunia, I love you always.

Savage Truth – Kathleen Kelly

 

¸.•*¨☆¸.•*´¨ NOW AVAILABLE

☆¸.•´. A NEW SERIES by Kathleen Kelly

SAVAGE TRUTH – The Grinders Book One

➩ iBooks: http://bit.ly/SavageTruthIB

➩ Amazon getBook.at/SavageTruth

➩ Kobo: http://bit.ly/SavageTruthKOBO

➩ B&N: http://bit.ly/SavageTruthBN

llep-release-banner

Savage Truth

The Grinders Book One

Kathleen Kelly

 

Cover Design by Booknerdfangirl
Release Date – Dec 14th, 2016

savage-truth-front-cover-full-size

BLURB

Truthful Hunter.

Truth to his millions of fans and those closest to him. Son of a tragic mother and talented but flawed father. Truth defies all odds, making the world his own as he emerges from the ashes of a disadvantaged childhood to become a world renowned Rock God.

Follow Truth as he overcomes adversity and falls in love with music, leading him to his true family, The Grinders. Pulled into a world of women, booze and drugs, The Grinders set their sights high and won’t stop until they dominate the charts.

Famous not only for his onstage performances, Truth is quite the ladies’ man. That is, until he meets his beloved Rosie. Only then is the real Truth revealed.

If you love the Savage Angels MC Series, you’ll know who Truth is. Find out where it all began in this fast paced and empowering story from childhood to stardom.

Amazon Kobo B&N iBooks

 

savage-truth-jacket-full-size

Add to Goodreads

q2a

Excerpt

“So, Katarina, what’s up?” I ask as I sit opposite her.

She looks at me then quickly away, focusing on something or someone in the crowd. “Dave says he’s going to make me into a star.”

“Is that a bad thing?”

“What if I suck?”

I laugh, and her gaze comes back to me, sharp, questioning, I immediately stop. “A star? Hmm, you a singer or…?”

“I sing, and I play the guitar, but my voice is better.”

“What do you sing?”

“Not bubblegum bullshit. I don’t want to be a one-hit wonder. I want them to be singing my songs in twenty years time.” This comes out in a rush with no small amount of conviction.

“What’s wrong with that?”

“Nothing, except that Dave is trying to team me up with a group of wannabes who want the quick road to stardom. I don’t know how to do anything else, for me, this is the long haul.”

Laughter escapes me, and she scowls. I hold my hands up in surrender. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to laugh, but how old are you?”

“I’m fifteen,” Katarina replies flatly.

Damn it.

“Not one to sound like a grown up here, but you’ve got plenty of time.”

“Really? Is that what you think? I’m fifteen, and all I do is sing. I suck at school; my mother practically gave me to Dave ‘cause even she knows this is my golden ticket. It’s this or I’m screwed.” Her eyes drop to the table top, and she looks defeated.

The waitress comes over and places our plates down. This chick might be fifteen, but she’s like me, street savvy, and knows what she wants.

“So don’t do bubblegum bullshit. Samuel doesn’t do it anyway. He’s old school. You’ll like singing with him. He brings out the best in people, trust me, I know.”

“Trust you? Hell, I don’t even know you.”

“I am Truthful, it’s why they call me Truth,” I say jokingly as I play on my name.

“Right.”

I grin at her and take a huge bite of my slice, she shrugs and does the same.

“It’s good, isn’t it?”

With her mouth full of food, she nods enthusiastically. We trade smiles and eat in silence. When I’ve finished my pizza, I pick up my drink and take a long sip of it.

“Tell me about the band you’re putting together.”

She sits up straighter and smiles. “Rock band, not pop. Real musicians who love the music, who breathe the music, who exist for the music.”

“Sounds good.”

“Do you sing or play?”

“I play guitar, I’m good.”

“Cocky?”

“No, I told you—Truthful.”

Katarina giggles and throws her napkin at me. “Cocky! Okay, Truth, how about we go back to the studio, and you play me something? Has to be original, and it better be good.”

“I’m not the one auditioning, Samuel is.”

“So, put your music where your mouth is and show me what you can do,” Katarina teases.

“If you weren’t fifteen I’d show you what my mouth could do.”

A blush creeps up her neck, and she looks away. I can’t believe what I’ve just said to her. It’s not like me to be so forward with a girl.

I stand, hold out my hand and say, “Come on my songstress, let’s go make some music.”

She smiles and takes my hand in hers. “Yeah, lets.”

q1a

 

Also by Kathleen Kelly

6-book-banner

iBOOKS KINDLE B&N KOBO

 

About the Author

14724348_1183796028361183_3033587534941408888_n

Kathleen Kelly was born in Penrith, NSW, Australia. When she was four her family moved to Brisbane, QLD, Australia. Although born in NSW she considers herself a QUEENSLANDER!!

She married her childhood sweetheart and they live in Toowoomba with their two furry kids. A British Short Hair named Grace and a Burmese named Jack.
Kathleen enjoys writing contemporary, romance novels with a little bit of erotica. She draws her inspiration from family, friends and the people around her. She can often be found in cafes writing and observing the locals.
If you have any questions about her novels or would like to ask Kathleen a question she can be contacted via e-mail: kathleenkellyauthor@gmail.com or she can be found on Facebook. She loves to be contacted by those that love her books.

kklnl-large-size

 

Facebook Web Twitter Amazon Newsletter

Street Team ‘Kelly’s Angels’

 

q4a

Promo Proudly Hosted by Love, Lust & Erotic Pleasures

llepbookbloglogo3

SING Saturday – November 26, 2016 #amctheatres #singsaturday

NEWS RELEASE

sing-saturday

 

ILLUMINATION ENTERTAINMENT, UNIVERSAL PICTURES AND AMC THEATRES® ANNOUNCE THANKSGIVING WEEKEND’S FREE “SING SATURDAY”

 

 

 

First 200 Moviegoers in Line at 200 AMC Theatres Nationwide Can Enjoy

Biggest Advance-Screening Program in Universal’s History [Read more…]

Networks

Dealspotr Bloggin_Mamas_Badge










USFamilyGuide.com
Everywhere