Why Making Your Own Bread Is Better

 

Today, organic and homemade foods are getting more and more popular. In the past, only the elites had the capacity and knowledge to enjoy these kinds of foods.  However, its influence today have reached the middle class and general public. More and more people have started to see the benefits that organic and homemade food offer to not just your family’s health and taste but also to your budget. Yes, buying your own ingredients and personally making them at home actually saves you a lot of money aside from their health benefits.

 

With that being said, if you still haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, then I suggest you quickly try doing so, by making your own organic and homemade food. Bread is the perfect food for you to make as it is easy and cheap. Plus, it is a very common food, so surely you won’t have to worry about spoilage as you can always eat at any time or even give some loaves to your friends or neighbors. Bread is generally very easy to create unless you want to impress the king with an out of this world pastry and land yourself as the kingdom’s official baker, then all you will be needing are the basic ingredients and a suitable bread maker and probably a few other kitchen appliances and tools to make the process faster.

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Why stand up paddle boarding has become so popular

Why stand up paddle boarding has become so popular

 

Stand up paddle boarding may have been in practice for centuries, but even ten years ago, it was still not a common sight. Originating from Africa, this method of standing up on canoes and using paddles to propel riders forward was actually used for stealth attacks by warriors. They were also used by people of Hawaii when they went fishing.

Photo Credit

Now, it has grown so much in popularity that it has become common to see people flocking to beaches to try it. It has evolved from just being a hobby to now organized sports events for stand up paddle boarding. What makes this pastime so popular nowadays? Here are some of the reasons.

 

  1. You can do this activity almost anywhere – Unlike surfing, where you need a swell to do the activity, stand up paddle boarding can be done not just at sea. It can be practiced on lakes, waterways, bayous, streams, ponds and lagoons. It’s the perfect way to enjoy nature.

 

  1. Low Impact Sport – if you are looking for another form of exercise aside from the usual, then you can try this. Without putting too much strain on your body, stand up paddle boarding can strengthen your arms, legs and core muscles.

 

  1. Does not require too much skill – think of it as surfing but much less difficult. Surfing requires years of practice to master, but the same cannot be said for stand up paddle boarding. All you need to know are the basics, which is standing up on your board and learning to steer your board using the paddle. If you’re a beginner, you can learn this sport first on a still body of water. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you can more to more difficulty.

 

  1.  A great group or individual activity with no age deterrent – since it is surprisingly not difficult to do, stand up paddle boarding is the perfect activity to do with friends and family. You don’t need to be a certain age to try it out, young and old can enjoy it alike.

 

To be able to maximize enjoying this activity, one must have the proper equipment. Choosing the right board is crucial. If it’s your first time and you are looking for tips and reviews, you can check out Just Paddleboard’s reviews for help.

 

Alex, who owns the site, is such a big fan of the activity that he made the website to assist anyone who wants to get serious with stand up paddle boarding. He has compiled a list of  buying guides to help riders in choosing the SUPs that would be perfect for them.

 

And his lists are not just for boards! He has even compiled lists of the best paddles, leashes, and wet suits for those who are not sure what kind they should purchase. Aside from that, he also gives practical tips on how to store your paddle boards and even how to enjoy the sport with your pet dog.

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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