Four Kitchen Terms Every Budding Chef Should Know

Becoming a more adventurous cook has it benefits, namely the delicious new food you can create and the sense of accomplishment in doing so. In order to try new things in the kitchen, however, it's necessary to understand some previously unfamiliar cooking terms. Here are four you should keep in mind when you're trying out a new recipe:

  1. Reduce. Savory sauces often call for part or all of them to be reduced. This means to thicken them by boiling them down so as to intensify flavor without adding any fat.
  2. Deglaze. If you’re preparing a meat or vegetable, you can deglaze it once it's browned by adding wine or stock to the pan over high heat. The deep coloring that is remaining in the pan is scraped and mixed with the wine or stock
  3. Marinate. To marinate means to let meat or veggies set for a few hours in either seasoned liquid or dry herbs and spices. During this time, the food absorbs flavors, and it will retain them during cooking.
  4. Dredge. Often before you cook or fry dishes like chicken fingers or eggplant, the recipe asks you to dredge them. This means coating them with either bread crumbs or flour.

The Basic Kitchen: Glossary of Cooking Terms [Le Petites Gourmettes]
Glossary of Cooking Terms [Better Homes and Gardens]
Cooking Terms [Recipe Goldmine]
Glossary of Cooking Terms [Cookery]
Culinary Terms: Food Dictionary and Glossary of Cooking Terms [Culinary Arts About.com]

5 No-Bake Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Sometimes you crave a sweet dessert after your evening meal, but digging out pans and preheating the oven just seems like so much work. If you want to create a tasty, creative dessert dish without messy baking, no-bake recipes are a convenient alternative.

You can make just about any type of treat with a no-bake recipe, from cookies to bars to candies. These five recipes are also perfect for last minute dinner parties or those times when the kids need a snack for school with little advance notice.

Double-Chocolate Mascarpone Raspberry Pie [Better Homes and Gardens]

Creamy Frozen Lime Pie [Recipe Lion]

No-Bake Snickers Caramel Apple Pie [Fox News]

Cookies & Crème Pudding Pops [Kraft]

Strawberry Freeze [Kraft]

Love to Cook? Master These Must-Know Knife Techniques

If you love to cook, you know how important it is to use the proper cutting techniques in every recipe. Many people don't know the proper names of these techniques, however, which often leads to using the wrong one. Here are three important types of cutting that are essential for everything from entrees to desserts.

  1. Julienne. To julienne, you want to cut vegetables or other food items into stick-shaped pieces that are long and thin. Start by cutting the item into a square, then slice it into rectangular-shaped pieces lengthwise. Repeat the same step on each of the rectangles until you're left with pieces that resemble matchsticks.
  2. Chiffonade. This type of cut sounds fancy, but it actually just refers to cutting herbs or thin leaf vegetables. Roll the herbs up into a tight tube, then roughly chop across with a sharp knife. It doesn't matter how the cuts look, just that the pieces are small enough to sprinkle throughout a dish.
  3. Dice. Dicing is similar to chopping, but it creates entirely uniform pieces for dishes like stews or fruit salads. Begin with a rectangular shape and continue to cut it both directions until you're left with uniform pieces in the size that you desire.

Knife Skills: Different Types of Cuts [The Culinary Cook]
Top 10 Knife Skills [How Stuff Works]
Perfect Your Knife Skills With This Chef's Guide to Knives [Lifehacker]

Test Your Vocabulary With These Fun Online Quizzes

Learning new words is something that can greatly advance your career goals and improve your conversational skills in general. Here are few fun online quizzes that will help you improve your vocabulary—without making you feel like you’re studying!

Merriam-Webster’s Name That Thing
This visual vocabulary quiz from the makers of the popular dictionary asks users to identify a photo of a strange object from three choices of words. While most vocabulary quizzes simply ask you for the definition of a word, this one will actually make it possible to use these words in real life situations.

AARP’s The Right Word
This fun vocabulary game is designed especially to help you to improve your memory as you age. The game asks you to match words with their corresponding definitions, and it becomes increasingly difficult the longer you play.

Games With Words Vocab Quiz
Researchers at MIT developed this challenging vocabulary test in order to study how people’s vocabularies are influenced by age and other factors, but it also offers you the benefit of improving your vocabulary in a fun way. It also only takes about 5 minutes to complete, so you can test your skills while waiting in line or even on your lunch break.

How to Adapt Your Skincare Routine to the Spring Season

While your face may require heavy creams and serums to shield it from the cold winter air, you likely don’t need so many rich products once the weather warms up. Here are a few expert ways that you can change your skincare routine to adapt to the changing seasons.

  1. Switch to a lighter moisturizer. Instead of slathering on a rich, moisturizing facial cream every evening, invest in an equally high quality but more lightweight moisturizer. Be sure to choose one that also contains SPF, as more time spent outdoors requires more sun protection.
  2. Use a toner. If your face tends to sweat a lot or become oilier during warmer weather, you may need a refreshing toner to help keep oil in check. You can sweep this product across the skin after removing your makeup or any time you want to create a more matte appearance.
  3. Use a stronger, gel-based cleanser. If the spring weather causes your skin to break out or become oily, you may also require a more thorough cleanser. Choose a gel or foam option to really clean deep within the pores.
  4. Carry oil-blotting sheets. For quick touch-ups when your skin gets a bit shiny throughout the day, carry oil-blotting papers in your purse or gym bag.

What to Do When Climate Change Affects Your Skin [Paula’s Choice Skincare]
Seasonal Skincare [True Holistic Beauty]
Spring Clean Your Beauty Routine: How To Declutter & Organize Your Makeup [Beauty World News]

Three Websites to Buy Modern Furniture Online

With its clean lines, bright pops of color, and timeless look, there’s a lot to love about modern furniture. This style has seen a major resurgence among design enthusiasts, and lucky for you, there are a number of affordable websites that offer stylish modern furniture. Here are some of the best:

West Elm
Fans of modern furniture look to the expertly arranged displays in West Elm stores for design inspiration, but if you don’t have a location in your area, the retailer's online store is just as inspiring. From tufted headboards to mid-century inspired buffets with slim wooden legs, West Elm is a fairly affordable option for modern furniture pieces and home decor items.

Design Within Reach
Design Within Reach aims to reintroduce the iconic styles of designers like Herman Miller into today’s furniture market. The online shop carries beloved pieces like Eames chairs, and it even offers items from up-and-coming modern furniture designers.

CB2
CB2 operates as the modern sister company of Crate & Barrel, and its price points are a bit lower, as well. Large-scale furniture pieces like bed frames, sectional sofas, and dressers are mixed in with industrial light fixtures, geographic-print linens, and other modern decor items on this easy-to-navigate site.

Taste these Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Antioxidants are beneficial for a number of reasons. They protect against illness, slow the aging process within your cells, and even prevent against life-threatening diseases like heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants are found in vitamins A, C, and E, beta-carotene, flavonoids, and polyphenols. Here are a few foods that are packed full of these items that offer naturally occurring antioxidants.

  1. Berries. Fresh berries contain many of the vitamins that antioxidants are found in, and they taste great as well. Have a handful of blueberries for breakfast to help boost your cognitive function and strengthen your immune system first thing in the morning.
  2. Beans. Not only are beans filled with fiber, they’re also packed with antioxidants. Red beans have the highest amount of any type of bean, but it doesn’t hurt to incorporate black beans, lima beans, or navy beans into your diet as well.
  3. Dark chocolate. This one may seem too good to be true, but delicious dark chocolate is full of antioxidants. Having a few squares for dessert can help to lower your blood pressure, but only if you opt for something with higher than 70 percent cocoa. Chocolate is still fairly high in calories and sugar, however, so be careful not to overindulge.

10 Antioxidant-Rich Foods [Food Network]
8 Foods Rich in Antioxidants [FitDay]
Best Antioxidant-Rich Foods [Reader’s Digest]
20 Common Foods With the Most Antioxidants [WebMD]

Follow These Tips for Bakery Quality Cookies Every Time

If you’ve ever wondered how to get that deliciously moist, chewy cookie consistency that you normally only find at your favorite bakery, all it takes is a bit of inside knowledge. Here are some expert tips that will help you to bake better cookies at home.

  1. Use a high-quality cookie sheet. Although stainless steel cookie sheets are a bit pricier, they make all the difference when it comes to your cookies. Dark colored sheets may cause your cookies to burn on the bottom, which results in an overcooked, dry texture.
  2. Be sure to use soft butter. Many at-home bakers skip this step and use cold butter to save time, but letting the butter melt a bit can work wonders when it comes to the texture of your cookies.
  3. Know which ingredients to use for your desired consistency. If you like cookies that are thinner and crispier, add more sugar. For cake-like cookies you can add an extra egg, and for a coarse, crumbly texture, simply add baking soda.
  4. Only bake one sheet at a time. Baking multiple cookie sheets at once can cause them to bake inconsistently, so try to use only one sheet at a time. If you’re short on time you can bake a few sheets at once, but be sure to rotate them frequently.

Cookie Tips – Secrets to Making Perfect Cookies [What’s Cooking America]
Tips for Baking Perfect Cookies [Macrina Bakery]
Tip: The Secret to Baking Perfectly Browned Cookies Every Time [The Kitchn]
Tips for Getting That Perfect Cookie Texture [Baking Bites]

Indulge in Cupcakes and Cookies at These Dallas Bakeries

Everyone deserves a bit of an indulgence now and then, and there’s no better way to treat yourself than with a visit to one of Dallas’s most popular bakeries. Cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and chocolates are only a few of the sweets available, and they’re so tasty that you won’t even feel guilty about the extra calories.

Society Bakery
This cute cupcake shop offers fun flavors like cookies and cream, carrot cake, and chocolate salted caramel, and the cupcakes have a moist, homemade feel that truly sets the shop apart from other bakeries. The colorful interior is small, but the shop runs like a well-oiled (or well-sugared) machine. Whether you order a dozen to-go or sample one flavor as a treat, Society Bakery does not disappoint.
3610 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX 75206; (214) 827-1411

The Village Baking Co.
The Village Baking Co. is one of the most popular bakeries in all of Dallas, and it is also one of the only true French patisseries in the area. Almond croissants and chocolate kouign-amann make the perfect breakfast indulgence with a hot cup of coffee, while delicate French cookies are an ideal after-dinner treat. There is also a small outdoor patio area with wooden picnic tables where visitors can enjoy their freshly baked desserts under the Texas sun.
5531 E. University Blvd, Dallas, TX 75206; (214) 951-9077

Feeling Under the Weather? Try These All-Natural Cold and Flu Remedies

If you get a cold or the flu every winter like clockwork, you’re likely always on the hunt for natural ways to treat your illness at home. Before you drag yourself out of bed to go to the doctor, try these all-natural home remedies to help banish your sore throat, soothe that runny nose, and make your aching muscles feel as good as new. (But consult your doctor for professional medical advice first!)

  1. Drink as many fluids as possible. When you’re feeling all stuffed up and congested, one of the best ways to rid your nasal cavity of mucus is by drinking plenty of fluids. Aim for eight to ten glasses of water per day, and supplement them with herbal teas, sports drinks, and even broth-based soups.
  2. Inhale steam. Another way to clear your stuffy nose is by leaning over a pot of boiling water, placing a towel over your head, and breathing deeply through your nose—just be careful not to breathe too deeply and burn yourself.
  3. Adjust your diet. By incorporating things like lemons, garlic, and honey into your diet, you can absorb their vitamins and antimicrobial properties. Green tea or peppermint tea also help to rid your body of cold or flu symptoms.
  4. Gargle with salt water. If a sore throat is keeping you up at night, this old wives’ tale can help to decrease the swelling in the throat’s mucous membranes and ease your pain.

Home Remedies for Colds [WebMD]
Cold and Flu Home Remedies [Doctor Oz]
22 Natural Sore Throat Remedies to Help Soothe the Pain [Everyday Roots]

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