Tips for Cooking and Essential Safety Practices In The Kitchen

The heart of the home it has been said is the Kitchen. This is the place for many, who have waited for Mom to make their favorite dish and the family can gather to talk and enjoy a good meal or Mom’s famous cookies. The Kitchen is also the place where practicing safety is essential. Here are some tips:

Handle with Care

If you have ever worked in a professional kitchen or a meat department, you know that a chef or butcher keep their knives very sharp and some even have a set of knives they alone only use. Why are sharp knives so important? A sharp knife will not slip as easily as a dull one especially if you are cutting a tomato or a food item that has a slippery surface. A sharp knife does not need as much pressure to cut and you have a better control over the blade.

When using a knife practice safe cutting techniques. If you are a beginner cook, start off slowly and carefully with your cutting. There are many different sizes and shapes for knives because each one does a number of things for the purpose of boning a fish, slicing vegetables to cutting bread. Learning what your knives are for will help you to use them more efficiently. Here are a few tips that are helpful.
Always cut away from you body
Use a cutting board that does not slip, you can put a towel under the board or purchase one that is made not to slip.
When cutting a round piece of food like a carrot, carefully cut a sliver down one side so it will lay flat on the cutting board.
Keep the knife clean knife and that includes the handle. A greasy or slippery handle can cause you to slip and possibly have an accident.
Never, never put a knife in a sink full of dish water. You could forget it is there or another person not knowing it is there could grab the sharp blade and be injured. When cleaning, always keep the sharp edge away from you and handle carefully.
A reflex to grab something that is falling is in all of us. Do Not Grab a falling knife. Let it go to the ground and get out of the way to avoid it landing on your feet.

See this great video for Basic Knife Skills

  

  

Grease Fires

For and foremost, every home should have a fire extinguisher. It should be kept in a cool dry place in the kitchen or near an exit/entrance in/out of the kitchen. A fire extinguisher should never be kept near the stove or other heat source. Make sure it is kept updated and you know how to use it.
Would you know what to do if you have a grease fire on your stove? The first thing you Do Not Want To Do is put water on a grease fire. Oil and water do not mix and you will make the fire spread. If the fire is contained to the pot or pan you are cooking with, put a lid on it and turn off the burner. Wait until the pot or pan is cooled down before handling. Get more information on how to handle a grease fire on your stove… .
Fires can also start in your microwave and oven. If you have a fire in either, do not open the door. Fire loves oxygen and this will feed the fire. Turn off the appliance, keep the door closed and watch for the fire to burn out. Any time you feel that you cannot contain a fire and it is getting out of control, get outside and call for help. See more about containing an oven fire here…

What You Wear Matters

Wearing clothes that will not interfere and catch fire. Example: long sleeve shirts and open shoes. Long loose sleeves could catch fire or get into the hot food your cooking. Drop a knife, hot food or something that is scalding and your could injure your legs and feet. Closed shoes can help prevent these type of accidents. Also its a good idea if you have long hair, to pull it up, no one likes to find a strand of hair in their meal.

Oven Mitts

Oven Mitts need to be away from the stove top and the sink. Near the stove top and they can catch fire. Near a sink and they could get wet. You use a wet Oven Mitt to get a hot pan out of the oven, or a pot off the stove and your going to get burned. Keep them in a drawer or hang them somewhere accessible but safe.

Spills and Falls

Make sure to clean up all spills on the floor immediately. Falls can happen easily and it would be terrible to fall with a scalding pot of sauce. Have rugs that stick to the floor and not slip and slide. Keep floors clutter free  to avoid tripping or falling.

Stove Top Safety

When cooking on the stove top keep the pots handles turned in so you do not accidentally knock one over. Be careful when lifting lids from a boiling or simmering pot, as the steam will be very hot and could scald your arms. Never cook with a child or baby in your arms over the stove top, they could get scalded as well. Keep your stove top free of any aprons, dish towels, packages from food products or anything that could catch fire. Keep your cooking area as clean as you can, especially when cooking with grease.

Clean Appliances Carefully

Blenders, Food Processors and any appliance with a sharp blade should be turned off before touching the blades and careful when cleaning. If you can take apart the blade section do so and put into your dishwasher.
Never leave what you are cooking unattended. If you have to answer the phone or the door, or your going to be away from the kitchen for any amount of time, turn off the burner. It is easy to get distracted and stay away longer then you thought would and this could potentially lead to burning you food and your cookware or over cooking your meal.

Cooking With Kids

When cooking with kids, safety comes first. Depending on their age, give them easy things to do away from the stove. Have them sit at a counter or table in your kitchen and stir a cake mix or make a salad. Wait until they are of an age that they can understand how to handle utensils in the kitchen and you know they will listen and be careful and thoughtful of their task. Never, never leave a child unattended in the kitchen.

Pets in the Kitchen

Pets safety in the kitchen also on the top of the list. Depending on the size of your dog, little ones can get under foot and cause an accident to you and them. Larger dogs could possibly pull food off the counter, and if its hot that would be tragic for the dog. You may want to consider keeping your pet out of the kitchen while you are cooking to avoid an accident for both of you.

Cooking should be enjoyable and safe…

 

 

Photo courtesy of congerdesign at Pixabay.com

Honoring All Who Served – Memorial Day

We honor those who have fought for our country and many people will visit cemeteries with some volunteers placing flags on the graves of the brave soldiers.
Find out more about Memorial Day Here

Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts Recipe Ina Garten

Ina Garten makes these delicious baked not fried doughnuts that she says taste just like that yummy cinnamon toast you had as a kid… Easy recipe to follow and make!

 

 

Get the recipe Here! 

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of anaterate at Pixabay.com

Covid-19 – Anxiety and How to Cope

This Corona-virus – Covid-19 pandemic has been changing the way we live around the world. What can you do to keep yourself, your loved ones and the people you come in contact with, healthy. It is the first and foremost objective and with that comes anxiety.

Taking care of you physically:

Wash your hands

It seems many of us may have been doing this wrong! Not a quick soap up and rinse off of your hands before heading out the door or your next project, but to actually spend 20 seconds at the sinks washing thoroughly. Not a problem.

Mask or no mask

If your not in a field of work that requires a mask, your not accustomed to wearing one all day or from patient to patient visits when necessary in the medical field. Today we are all getting lessons on how to wear them, and what not to do, (keep hands away from face, do not fuss with the mask). The most alarming thing about the masks is the medical hero’s who need them are in such short supply. See what you can do to help out with that here!

Survival Mode

Staying home the first few days may have felt like a mini vacation from your busy life, but your new day to day routine at home has you realizing that life is going to be this way for more then a leisurely vacation .

The trip to the grocery store can be filled with apprehension while trying to implement social distancing. Going out to eat, meeting with friends at a local pub are options put on hold for a little while until they slowly open again. Even with that, our lives will be different with social distancing and the options of wearing a mask. Many small businesses are suffering and will new rules will need to be implemented to accommodate their customers.

So we have to make the best we can of a situation that has disrupted our lives with an invisible monster and feel like we are waking up everyday in a survival state of mind. The wonder of what is going to happen in the future, worries about your loved ones, paying your bills, its all there and can build up anxiety. Counteracting that anxiety is key and using coping techniques to help us all through this hard time.

Taking care of you mentally

Lori Helms, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Sebring, Florida has a very helpful article about experiencing anxiety and how to cope. Take a few minutes to see how this can help you or someone you know.

COVID-19: Coping With Anxiety During This Difficult Time

Prayers for all to keep healthy!

 

 

Photo courtesy of Wokandapix at pixabay.com

COVID-19 – DIY Face Mask – How To Care For – Patterns and Instructions

DIY homemade masks are not going to give you the protection a meidal (n95) masks will. They will however provide you with helping slow the spread of COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC recommends the Cloth Face Coverings (masks) “fit comfortably but snugly, have multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing without restriction and be made for washing and drying without damage or changing shape”. See all their recommendations Here for keeping them clean, safely removing them and more. They also provide information of what materials will be needed and a tutorial to make a homemade mask.

Here are some other places that offer DIY homemade mask tutorials and patterns.

DIY Face Mask with Elastic in 10 minutes – Sewing Tutorial
Melanie Ham shows you an easy way to make a mask using elastic.

Melanie shows you how to make a DIY Face Mask with Ties, Fitted Nose and Filter Pocket

Want to volunteer?
Joann Fabrics is asking volunteers to help support our Country’s Medial Personal and their goal is to have 100,000,000 million masks donated. Today the number of masks donated is 33,213,645, wouldn’t be great to see them reach their goal! Get the information here is you would like to contribute.

Free Mask Sewing Pattern from Craft Passion
Very helpful instructions with step by step photos, a video tutorial and printable patterns. Scroll down to the photo of the family wearing the face masks to see the list in red for Men, Women/Teenagers, Kids, with 3 options for for download. Hint: You could just print and cut out the patterns and use your copy paper and pins instead of the freezer paper.
Get the pattern and DIY instructions Here

Stay home, wash your hands and please implement social distancing to help avoid the spread of the COVID-19

Photo courtesy of fernandozhiminaicela at Pixabay.com

Our Response to Covid-19 From Budget Bi Rite Insurance

As the world is facing the Corona virus Covid19, Budget Bi Rite Insurance is closely monitoring the latest updates from our local county, the World Heath Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

We want to assure you that we continue to deliver our best customer service you have come to rely on. Our business is open at this time and we encourage you to reach out to us with any questions regarding your insurance policy and payments via email or phone if you are not able to come in.

If you live in Highlands County please click on the links below to stay updated on what is going on in our county.
Don Elwell – County Commissioner District 2, Highland County BOCC. Commissioner Elwell is keeping up on the latest updates of the corona-virus with helpful links and information.
Please visit Commissioner Elwell’s Facebook page

Sebring Chamber of Commerce – lists restaurants in the area that are offering takeout and delivery, church services information, community updates and more.

If you live in the state of Florida please visit
Florida Health – What you need to know Covid-19

Also please keep updated with the following:
CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
WHO – World Health Organization and Advice For Public from WHO

We encourage you to please stay updated to protect you and those around you to stay healthy.

 

 

Photo courtesy of geralt at Pixabay.com

St. Patrick’s Day Fun Facts and Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner Recipe

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St. Patrick’s Day, will be celebrated this year on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 by many people with delicious Corned Beef and Cabbage, green beer and wearing of the green. It is a tradition in Ireland for the people in the parades and celebrating on the side lines, to wear a lot or a small collection of green clothing. Even some with shamrock pins. These plans could change in Ireland and around the world because of the Coronavirus.

In the United States the oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade is put on every year in New York City. This parade has been around since 1762 and 2020 would have been its 258th year.  Unfortunately this year because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) they have cancelled the parade

You can still celebrate at home…

Check out this Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner Recipe with 3 ways to cook the corned beef and step by step instructions.  

Just who is St. Patrick? Many sources agree his real name was Maewyn Succat. He was born in Roman Britain. When he was about sixteen he was captured by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Ireland for 6 years. In those 6 years he worked as a herdsman, prayed daily and found strength in his faith.

As legend states, St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. The basis of this legend is that the origin of the snake as a pagan symbol. Therefore the tale of St. Patrick driving out the snakes can really be taken as a sign of driving out paganism from Ireland. Patrick (Maewyn Succat.) died in 493 AD.

Corned Beef and Cabbage is it Irish?

Actually the traditional dinner of Corned Beef and Cabbage is not an Irish tradition but an American tradition started by Irish immigrants. The local meat in Ireland in the 1700’s was pork served with potatoes. Find out here how pork and potatoes become corned beef and cabbage and why it is the go to dinner for St. Patrick’s Day.

In 1925, “corned beef and cabbage” was voted to be the favorite dish of New York City.

If you are celebrating, please drink responsibly. Make sure you have selected a designated driver before you party. Please Don’t Drink and Drive.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

 

hoto Courtesy of Rattikankeawpun at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Girl Scout Cookies For 2020 Are At a Location Near You

Who can’t resist a box of Girl Scout cookies! Its that time of year again, and the Girl Scouts will are delicious cookies in a variety of flavors. This year there is a new cookie on the menu Lemon-Ups. They are a crispy cookie and have messages stamped on them for inspiration, like “I am a Leader”. If you are looking for a gluten free cookie check out the Trios gluten free peanut butter oatmeal cookie with chocolate chips and Toffee Tastic butter cookie with bits of toffee through out.

Fun Facts:
Did you know that the girls scouts organization is one hundred and two years old? Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low invited 18 girls in Savannah, Georgia, on March 12, 1912, to attended the first Girl Scout meeting. See the History here.

In 1917 girls and their mothers started baking cookies to help raise money for the troops activities. In 1922 Florence E. Neil came up with a cookie recipe for the now 2000 Girl Scouts. The suggested price to sell the cookies were twenty five to thirty cents a dozen.
On March 16, 1950 Congress chartered Girl Scouts of America and as of today over 59 million women in America have been a girl scout when they were a child. Read more about that here
Support the Girl Scouts! Not only do you get yummy cookies but the benefits of purchasing them for the Girl Scouts is wonderful. See Why Here

GirlScoutCookies.org can help you find where the cookies are going to be sold. Go to the site, you can put in your zip code and find out when and where the sales will start in your area. You can also download the Girl Scout Cookie Finder App at iTunes or Apple.com. This App uses your IPhone GPS to find the where the cookies are sold and what cookies are available for your location.

Find out the top 4  reasons to join thousand of Girl Scouts from around the world at the G.I.R.L 2020 Event at Orlando, Fl in October 2020.

 

Photo Courtesy of Fotolounge at pixabay.com

 

 

 

Help Out Others Valentines Day By Volunteering Plus 50 Valentine’s Day Treat Recipes

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Share Valentine’s Day by volunteering in your community with co workers, family and friends. Take a little time for this day, to bake up some Valentine cookies and cakes or you could purchase store bought treats and give them out with a special tag.

Take the family or a few friends and visit a nursing home in your area. Hand out flowers (a Carnation for each person) and Valentine cards. This does not have to be expensive and it will bring so much joy. (Call ahead to find out how many flowers and cards you will need and make an appointment.)

Visit someone who is under the weather with Valentines Day treats and offer to run errands for them.

Get your family and/or friends together and celebrate with a mini tea party. Serve hot tea and cookies. Have pretty paper, glue, scissors, paper dollies available to make old fashioned valentines day cards.

Volunteer at a soup kitchen for a few hours, washing dishes or serving up a meal will be appreciated.

Don’t forget our furry friends. Lend a hand at a community animal shelter or donate pet food or both.

Have a little brother or sister? Take them for the afternoon to a Children’s Museum or a favorite spot they like.

Check out our 50 Valentine’s Day Treat Recipes on Pinterest.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy of hinnamsaisuy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Super Bowl – Top Picks For Appetizers Dips Wings Sandwiches and more Recipes

On Sunday, February 2nd, 2020 is the biggest game of the year for football fans, the Super Bowl. The San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs will play at Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL. If you cannot be there in person you can enjoy the game on the Fox channel (see other options here for streaming) and kick off is at 6:30 pm ET.

Where there is a football game there must be great food! For Super Bowl LlV (54) we have searched for the best appetizers, desserts and yummy dishes you can conger up. The first on our list is a long time favorite Buffalo Chicken Wings…

Buffalo Chicken Wings – Make them as mild or hot as you like.

and as long as we are in the neighborhood of hot and spicy food here are a few more dishes…

Lara Spencer’s Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip (easy to make and a favorite!)

Buffalo Chicken BitesSweetPeasKitchen.com

Jalapeno Poppers with Blue Cheese and Bacon – easy appetizer!

Sweet Hot Baby Back Ribs

Layered Spicy Black Bean Dip

For those that do not want the hot or spicy foods;

Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Asian Slaw Dogs

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Slow Cooker Chipotle Pulled Pork with Apple Slaw

Game Day Chili – Sunny Anderson Food Network

Dessert is always welcome!

Butterfinger Rice Krispie TreatsRecipeGirl.com

Football Cupcakes

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Footballs

Touchdown Brownies

Football Puppy Chow

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites

Monster Dip 

Southern Sweet Tea

Enjoy the Super Bowl :}

 

Photo Courtesy of mrpizzamandc at Pixabay.com