You know how you pour out the seasonings from the quart size bags and sometimes, a bit of it sticks to the sides? Co-founder Stephanie Allen is brilliant at providing the simplest little tip that gives you the biggest bang of flavor.
-Simply pour the liquid out as directed.
-Then put a tablespoon of water in the bag.
-Swish it around and then pour it all out in the pan.
-Voila! You got it all without jeopardizing the recipe or flavor of your dish.
Sometimes it is hard to get all of the sauce out of your sealed bag. Especially if the sauce is less fluid. Here is a great way to get all of the sauce out.
-Take the sealed bag and push it flat and get as much of the sauce out of one corner as you can.
-Take your scissors and snip the empty corner so that you have an opening that you can pour out from.
-Squeeze the sauce out of the bag and get it all without leaving a drop behind.
Ever wanted to serve your Dream Dinners pan meal in something prettier than the foil pan you made it in? It can be easy to do if you follow these steps.
- Spray your rectangular baking pan
- Peel the foil pan away from the frozen dinner.
- Insert the dinner right into your baking dish.
- Bake as directed.
- Serve beautifully!
Write the word “breathe” on a sticky note. Put the note where you will see it often; on your computer, dashboard, workstation, cash register, or cell phone. Or program it into a pop-up e-mail or PDA reminder.
When you see the note, do this:
- Stand quietly. Take your mind away from what is going on around you.
- Take several slow, deep breaths. Count to five each time you inhale and exhale.
- Be right here, right now.
Most of us worry about things that never happen or things that happened in the past. What is real is what is happening in the present — right now.
Say to yourself as often as needed each day: Where am I? Here. What time is it? Now.
Don’t know where to start?
One way to reduce the stress and anxiety produced by an overcrowded schedule is to complete things systematically before you start new projects.
Review your calendar for the week, the day or even the hour. Then pick one item you need to get done or one decision that you can make in five minutes or less. Make a phone call? Send an e-mail? Decide what to have for lunch? Go for a walk?
Once you’ve finished it, cross that item off and say out loud: Done! No matter how small the task, give yourself credit for completing it. As your list shrinks, your sense of control and competence grows. One success sets you up for another.
Source: Recharge in Minutes, by Suzanne Zoglio, PhD, TowerHill Press
No matter the season, more and more of us are cooking outdoors. During the warm summer months outdoor cooking and dining are even more popular. Here are some steps you can take to stay healthy and reduce your risk of illness during the summer months.
When meat and other protein foods are cooked at high temperatures, chemical compounds can form that are believed to increase risk of some types of cancer. To decrease formation of these compounds use a lower flame on your grill, trim away fat on meats to avoid flare-ups and marinate meat prior to cooking.
The heat of summer makes for perfect outdoor BBQs, but it also sets the stage for foodborne illness. Leaving food out for even a short period of time in the heat can result in rapid growth of harmful bacteria. Here are some tips to help you keep food safe:
- Immediately refrigerate all perishable items when you get home from the grocery store.
- Keep meats and other perishable foods refrigerated until ready to use, and pack coolers just before leaving.
- If using coolers, keep out of sunlight and avoid opening too often (a good rule is to keep beverages in a different cooler to avoid opening frequently).
- Return foods to the refrigerator or cooler immediately after serving.
For cooked foods:
- Completely defrost foods prior to cooking so they cook evenly.
- Cook completely; use Dream Dinners cooking instructions which include safe minimum internal temperatures, so there is no guess-work.
- Use clean utensils and platters for cooked foods to avoid contamination of prepared foods.
Source: Cindy Farricker, MS, RD, CDE, Registered Dietitian, Dream Dinners, Inc.
Taking the time to store produce properly will help you to make the most of this season’s wonderful fruits and vegetables. Eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables is a great way to improve your health. It is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
- Most vegetables should be stored unwashed in the refrigerator in a plastic bag until ready to use. Most will keep four to seven days.
- Berries of all types should not be washed until just before eating or using them in a recipe. Prepare by rinsing gently in water. You can freeze unwashed berries for later use by placing them in a single layer on a cookie sheet in the freezer. Once frozen, divide them into servings and store in small plastic bags or containers. Thaw and rinse gently with water when you are ready to enjoy them.
- Nectarines, pears, plums, peaches, and apricots can be ripened in a paper bag on the kitchen counter. Once ripe, these fruits can be stored in an open plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. It is important to keep fruits separate from vegetables as both produce natural gases that can affect the taste of one another.
A few tips to sharpen your listening skills
Rearrange the letters in the word LISTEN into a word that describes how you should be when someone is talking. The answer is SILENT. Almost everyone thinks they are good listeners, but more often than not, many of us want to chime in with a solution, judgment, an answer or story of our own before who we are talking with even get to finish. This can leave feelings of frustration and may cause the other person to be less likely to listen to you.
Here are a few good listening skills you can use to be a better listener:
- Focus on the most emotional word in a person’s sentence and try to repeat it in some way. Then ask the person to talk more. Avoid giving advice or making a judgment to quickly.
- Resist the urge to talk about yourself. If you say, “Gee, that’s too bad, but let me tell you what happened to me,” your not really listening.
- It’s OK to set limits. You can’t help someone if you’re overwhelmed. Say something like “I’m really enjoying our conversation, but I need to get off the phone in about five minutes.” Mention that again just before the conversation ends.
- For couples: Pick the right time. Wait at least 30 minutes after you both get home from work before bringing up an important conversation. Think about what you want to say, and say it in a few words possible. Avoid generalizing by saying things like “you always” or “you never”.
What are some ways or tips you have for being a better listener? Have you seen a noticeable improvement in friendship or communication using these skills?