Soup’s on in my kitchen no matter what season, and it is easy to make and cheap to make as well.
I love chicken noodle soup as it is my comfort food, served with/without crackers or baguette bread! The soup also stands perfect alone. I find using leftover pre-cooked chicken is the best for flavor and then adding the broth.
It is my mother’s recipe. No matter how hard of a day I have at work, or a hard run, having some chicken soup makes me feel better. I am told I make a mean soup!
One of the most important rooms in your house is more than likely your kitchen. You cook there, sometimes you eat there. It becomes a hub of conversation, where friends and family can be creative. One of the things that many people look at when buying a new home is often the kitchen — it it big enough, bright enough, and does it have state of the art appliances? Many foodies and aspiring chefs (and even amateur ones) love working in a good kitchen. Here are a few tips on how to create your own gourmet kitchen, or at least feel like you’re working with one.
No matter the size of your kitchen, it is essential it be clutter free. This creates the feeling of a grand working place. You should have select storage areas for specialty items and an organizer for everything from your cooking utensils to your excess plastic bags. Keep you kitchen streamlined and know where everything is kept for easy access. In terms of design, keep it minimal and tidy with easy to clean surfaces.
Thanks to many optical illusions, a room painted in white or even cool bright colours often tend to appear larger. The reflective surfaces of the lighter paint helps a room feel bigger with wider walls. Try to find reflective surfaces that will lighten the room. For instance, white moulding or trim adds depth to a wall and using quality paint provides a bit of shine or gloss helping the flow of light. Avoid darker or muddy colours at all cost. If you want to add a pop of colour to your white space, use colourful appliances.
Invest In The Proper Tools
If you want to work in a high performance kitchen, it might be time to invest in some high performance tools. Try using professionally made pots and pans and especially appliances with a brand you can trust. These products will be worth the investment because they are durable and should last for an extended period of time, making you feel at ease in having a product you can depend on. At the same time, monitor the performance quality of any new appliances you consider investing in and see which one works best for your space.
Put the salt and pepper down if that’s your basic seasoning. It’s time to invest in some gourmet spices (and I use the word gourmet as just an upgrade from salt and pepper). Open your mind and your spice rack to different flavours and aromas. Get new spice blends, oils, vinegars and open yourself to trying new flavours. From Peruvian pink salt to pineapple curry, discover new and interesting products.
Let us know how it goes! Post a description of your kitchen in the comments below!
As parents, we often hear ‘I’m bored mom’ or ‘why do we never do anything fun?’ when the kids are stuck at home. Instead, here is a survival guide to March Break that includes tips on how to entertain kids kids and celebrate the week off school on a budget.
March Break is here and there are many free or discounted events going on around Toronto to entertain kids on their days off from school. Are your kids bouncing off the walls at home? It’s important to get them out of the house and exercising — too much TV will just make them cranky or hyper. The City of Toronto is offering free swimming during March Break and free indoor leisure skating at their facilities. You can also simply go for a walk or a hike in a local ravine or park. My daughter and I like to walk in the ravine near our home and learn about different types of nature in the woods. This promotes a sense of attachment to nature from a young age and also helps us get fresh air.
If you have budgeted for March Break, head to the Ontario Science Centre, which is hosting a special exhibit on the biomechanics of the body, or pay a visit to the Legoland Discovery Centre Toronto. There are many indoor play zones with bouncy castles, tunnels and mini golf located around the city too in case the weather takes a turn and going outside isn’t possible.
Want to try something with a bit more of an end result? Try scheduling some spring clean or bring donations to a Salvation Army. My daughter made special art cards for the kids that would receive her old toys to prepare for our planned donation during March Break, which made her feel included and excited to give her things to kids that need them more!
Finally, put those aprons on and get messy in the kitchen. Baking and cooking healthy snacks always makes for a a fun afternoon or you can break out the arts and crafts after to complete the messy day. Children love art and collaborative projects always turn out to be pretty special bonding experiences.
No matter what, remember to enjoy the time with your kids and don’t feel guilty for not spending thousands of dollars on a luxury March break vacation. Most children just want to hang out with mom and dad and have a good time. Even if you can only take a couple days off work to enjoy quality time with the kids, it will be fun for the whole family to herald in the spring.
Even though it can be a bit of an annoyance, making your food from scratch is always healthier than purchasing pre-made processed meals. But, what ingredients are you putting into your household goodies? Your first tip — the days of using lard and bleached white flour to bake homemade cakes are behind us. Let Women’s Post stock your kitchen with ingredients full of nutrients and vitamins that will make your dishes taste delicious and healthy!
The first thing you should do is rid the kitchen of white flour. It has very little nutritional value, is full of high fructose corn syrup, and is easy to replace with a healthier alternative. Whole wheat flour is a reliable option, but even go a step further and opt for a blended flour with flax seeds and other nutritional elements. Brown rice flour, coconut flour, and amaranth flour are all high-protein flours and also happen to be gluten-free. The best part is when you swap out your flour for a healthier selection, it will make your baked goods taste even better and more full-bodied.
Another item to get out of the kitchen is canola oil. It is a genetically-modified product and is hydrogenated, filling it with false chemicals that are refined, bleached and degummed. Instead, go for a more natural option for your cooking and baking needs. Swap it for coconut oil. This superfood can be used in place of any oil, butter, or vegetable shortening. It is pure magic. Other healthy oils include avocado oil, grape seed oil, pistachio oil, and hemp oil.
The addition of seeds or nuts to a meal will automatically add extra nutritional value. My suggestion: always have ground flax seed on hand and add a spoonful into almost everything you make. It is virtually tasteless and adds a much-needed dose of fiber to meals and treats. It is especially delicious in smoothies. Chia seeds are beneficial to add into salads, baked goods, and smoothies as well. They are full of fiber, omega-3 fats, protein, calcium and vitamin A, B, E, and D, as well as other antioxidants.
One of the most addictive, delicious, yet unhealthy ingredients found in the cupboard is refined sugar. This ingredient causes a host of issues including diabetes, bad teeth, heart disease, and issues with the liver. I can’t stress this enough! Get rid of sugar! Once the kitchen is purged of the toxin, the other options will make you feel better and are healthier for your body by a long shot. Alternatives to sugar are honey, maple syrup, cane sugar, and brown rice syrup. Molasses is rich in nutrients including calcium, zinc and is strong source of iron. Brown rice syrup is one of the only sweeteners that doesn’t have fructose, but all of the alternatives are going to be a better option that regular sugar.
Replacing key ingredients in the kitchen is one of the simplest ways to bake healthy, homemade foods. It will make your meals taste better and will increase nutrients with very little effort needed. Being a responsible consumer and purchasing healthy ingredients instead of processed foods will lead to a healthier and happier life. So get to the kitchen, and begin your healthy eating kitchen swap. The change will definitely not be regretted.