Pound Your Chicken!

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Pound your chicken breasts!  With a meat tenderizer.

Why?

  1. It will cook evenly.  One end of the breast is always thicker than the other, so if you cook it without pounding it out to make it an even thickness, the thinner end will be dried up by the time the thick one is done cooking!
  2. Faster cooking.  Thinner breasts will take less time to cook.  A thick piece of chicken could take 10-12 minutes, whereas a thinner piece can take as little as 2 minutes!
  3. Moister meat.  Even thickness of the chicken breast means that the entire piece will cook at the same rate, and quickly.  This means that there will only be a very thin layer of ‘overcooked’ meat on the outside of breast and the inside will retain its moisture because it spent so little time cooking.
  4. Tenderizing.  Pounding the chicken breaks apart, or weakens the muscle fibers in the meat.  This ensures that you won’t be chewing your chicken all night long!
  5. Get Your Frustrations Out!!!  No better way to get some frustrations out than by swinging a ‘hammer’ down onto some pieces of meat…you could even name them…

This is an extra step when you’re cooking.  And yet, I believe it makes or break your chicken dish.  Especially when you buy organic, free-range, no antibiotics, etc.  The chicken cooked without being tenderized is so tough, it’s almost inedible.

And if you aren’t sure if you believe me, you can certainly ask my saint of a husband who’s had to chew a mouthful of chicken for an hour, many a time!  Take it from me…

Sunscreen – Use It!

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I was at the dermatologists last week to have my sunspots looked at.  The Doctor asked me if I’d had a lot of exposure to sun growing up.  If I’d ever blistered from a sunburn.  If I’d ever visited a tanning bed.  If I grew up wearing sunscreen or hats.  Yes, yes, yes and no.

Thus the premature wrinkles and the sunspots on my face, chest, and hands.

But, beauty is not the only reason I so strongly advocate slathering yourself in sunscreen and wearing a hat at the first hint of sunshine.  Health is.

Wrinkles, sunspots, leathery skin – yech!  But much, much worse than this is skin cancer.  And Melanoma.

About 5.4 million basal and squamous cell skin cancers are diagnosed each year. (These are found in about 3.3 million Americans; some people have more than one.) Melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer, will account for about 76,380 cases of skin cancer in 2016.

There was a poster up at the Dermatologists about the importance of sunscreen and facts about its application.  Here are a few that really stood out for me:

  • Think shot glass (That’s the amount you should be applying to yourself.  Slather!)
  • No sunscreen is waterproof.  Reapply after swimming.
  • Reapply every 2 hours.
  • Apply 15 minutes before heading outside.
  • Wear EVERY time you go outside.  Year-round.  Even on cloudy days up to 80% of the sun’s harmful UV rays can penetrate your skin.
  • SPF 30 or higher.
  • Skin cancer can form on your lips.  Apply on your lips, also.
  • Seek shade.
  • Wear protective clothing. Rashguards. Hats. Sunglasses.

 

Remember…there is no safe way to tan.  Every time you tan you speed up the aging process and increase your chances of skin cancer.

For more info on ways to protect yourself from the sun, sunscreen facts, etc. click on this link

If You’re Lookin’

it ain’t cookin’!!!

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Don’t open the door and peek in the oven when you’re baking a cake, cookies, a custard pie.  Don’t pop the lid of the grill when you’re BBQing.

If you do, you’ll lose heat, the temperature will drop and whatever you’re looking at will not be cooking!

Add Some Magic to Dishwashing!

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Meet your new magic wand!

This kitchen cleaning “tool” is magnificent.  I cannot say enough about it. I cannot understand how you could possibly wash dishes without it.

Unless you have your own personal dishwasher?  And then, well, I think you are the luckiest person in the world!

As for those of us out there that are constantly cleaning up the mess they make when cooking dinner and serving it, this dish wand makes it all magically disappear!

OK, I may be exaggerating a bit…your dishes don’t disappear.  The mess in your kitchen doesn’t disappear.  The wand does help make the food stuck on your pots and pans disappear, however!  And it saves you from getting “dishpan hands”, because your hand is not immersed in the water and soap.  The wand does the dirty work for you.

The brilliance behind it is the fact that there is a an abrasive sponge at one end (You can use a soft sponge, too.  Your preference.) and a screw top on the other end so that you can fill the tube with dishsoap which is dispensed through the sponge as you wash the dish.  Perfect!

And it’s always clean because you can replace the sponge and the barrel couldn’t be cleaner with all that soap on it! Win-Win!