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Archive for June, 2012

Easy Tips To Better Cooking

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Cooking is an art and more often than not, we feel like there is something missing to the dish. You add all the ingredients, follow the exact recipe and in the end, it would still be missing something. Here I’ve compiled a list of tips that can help you add that X-factor to your dishes and also improve your cooking skills while you are at it. Before you start cooking, there is one thing you have to understand and that is, the quality of the ingredients you use can make or break a dish. Only use the best quality ingredients available. Even if it something as simple as salt and pepper and they cost a bit more, it would always be well worth it.

After you’ve got your best ingredients, focus more on using proven techniques when making your favourite food. Sauteeing, Roasting, Steaming, Braising are some techniques that’ll come in very handy with any recipe. One of the simplest mistakes that amateur cooks make is when they chop up ingredients. To get that perfect flavour remember that you have to go the extra length to cut up ingredients into really small pieces.

Next tip is for meat eaters, letting the meat rest. After you have applied all the seasoning to the meat, make sure you give it enough time to penetrate completely into the meat. Also a golden rule that professional cooks always go by is letting meat rest for half the time it was cooked. For example if you cook up a meat dish in 16 minutes, it is advisable to leave it for about 8 minutes before serving.

When you are cooking also make sure that you cook it just right. Too much or too little flame and make your dish a complete disaster and ruin your whole days work. Last and final tip, practise makes perfect. The more you cook, the more you will become used to handling the ingredients and different kinds of utensils. Keep it simple, have fun and enjoy your cooking, compliments will be automatic.

Give Your Skin A Summer Glow

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Summer can really take a toll on your skin but that doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors and miss out on all the fun. Everyone wants to have a clear skin and here I’ve compiled a few tips that’ll keep your skin glowing all summer long.

First, wash your face twice a day but with only mild soap. Washing your face with hot water opens up pores and cold water closes the pores back. So wash your face with hot water followed by cold water to have protection from the environment.

Next, reduce cosmetics as much as possible at least during summer. Cosmetics clog up pores and if you really must wear makeup, use only hypoallergenic products that are usable on sensitive skin. Wash your face with cold water before putting on makeup and also ensure that everything is washed away before you retire to bed.

Its not just important to splash water on your face but also to take in lots of water. Consume lots of water, preferably more than eight glasses a day to detoxify your body. Taking in adequate amounts of water will clear away toxins and make your skin glow. While you are at it, also make sure you are taking in a balanced diet that include lots of vegetables, fruits and nuts. Natural vitamin A and vitamin E found in fruits and vegetables are great for glowing skin.

Protecting your skin from the summer sun is also very important. Whenever you are going out in the sun, make sure you use plenty of sunscreen and also remember to wash off once you return indoors. Sunscreen left overnight can clog the pores and prevent the skin from breathing.

If you do have any pimples or sores, don’t pick any of them. Picking on pimples can leave scars that’ll be difficult to remove. For such skin abnormalities, consult your doctor and only use skin ointments or medicines that are gentle on all skin types. Finally, don’t stress out. Stress is really bad for skin and the more you stress, the quicker you age. Follow these tips, live stress free and you’ll have glowing skin not just this summer but even many others to follow.

Kiss Your Stress Goodbye

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

A recent study has revealed that stress level in today’s life has increased by more than 18% for women and 24% for men as compared to 1983. When you think about all the modern conveniences that have come around since then, stress levels should have gone down right? Research shows that younger generation is under more stress than their older counterparts, most probably because they’ve got much more problems and their whole lives ahead of them. Here is a list of things that can help relieve your stress regardless of age.

What I’ve noticed is that the biggest stress-buster is physical activity. When you feel like you are too stressed out and you can’t think straight, take a walk, preferably through a park. Research has proven that green colours soothe the mind and a walk will help get the blood flowing and thus reduce stress. You can even try mild exercises in your work place but it would always be better to go outside. Wander the streets for a while and take in all the colours, even a simple walk is exercise so you’ll feel much better and relaxed when you are back.

Next, music. For centuries, people have been using music as a way to relax and it’s a great way to reduce your stress. Get your iPod or mp3 player loaded with plenty of relaxing, soothing instruments and listen to them when you feel stressed out. You can even try sounds of nature such the sound of rain-something I find very relaxing any time of the day.

Laugh your stress away. Laughter is the best medicine you can have for stress and it really doesn’t matter how you get your laughs as long as it is not hurting anyone. Buy yourself a book of silly jokes and imagine telling stupid jokes to people you know and their faces reacting. I’m sure you’ll be laughing just a few pages in. You can also try renting your favourite funny movie or watch some really old sitcoms to relive that killer stress.

No matter how huge your problems are, remember that nothing is worth having to go through life stressed out. Stress causes physical and mental fatigue and the faster you deal with it, the better. Hope these suggestions do help you when you are stressed out :-)

Ways To Cut Down Summer Holiday Expenses

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Summer’s here and what’s a summer without holidaying with your loved ones right?

Unfortunately holidaying with your family or friends can be a costly affair. With so many people travelling around this summer, you are going to need all the help you can get to bring holiday costs down. I’m listing some tips that can help you bring down your holiday expenses.

First thing you need to be sure of is your holiday budget and this budget should not be flexible. If you have a flexible budget, it is likely that you would overspend and end up broke at the end of your holiday. After you decide on your budget, make a list of extra fees and miscellaneous charges that might come up. If you are travelling abroad, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to familiarise yourself with current exchange rates.

Next, always go for tour packages. Instead of just packing up and starting on your holiday, contact travel agents to check on various tour packages. Always prefer tour packages that have meals included because it will drastically cut down expenses. Some resorts or holiday inns even giveaway free stay for kids-something to keep in mind if you are travelling with your family. Most of these tour packages can be found online and if you are into social networking, you can check with fellow networkers in the area where you intend to visit and ask for recommendations on cheaper accommodation.

If you have family/ friends staying at your holiday destination, it would be a real saver if you can stay with them. The single biggest cost involved in a holiday comes from renting accommodation and if that is taken care of, you have the majority of your budget free for other fun activities. When travelling also remember to stock up on food items. Food costs vary from place to place and in the summer tourist rush, common tourist hot-spots tend to charge more for food.

Finally be flexible in your approach. In case your favourite tourist spot is booked full, instead of driving right into the mayhem, pick somewhere quieter and your holiday would be much more worthwhile. That’s it for now, happy holidaying everyone.