Friday, 27 May 2016

5 Items You Should Always Have In Your Kitchen


Items come and go in our kitchens. We might try something on special offer from our local supermarket, and not like it. Our kitchens will probably never see these things again! We might have things that we have occasionally. This might be at a certain time of year, or as a special treat. We also have our staples. These are the things that we always should have in stock and close at hand. They improve our food and drinks in numerous ways, and for that, we are truly grateful! Wondering what these items are? Read on to find out five items that you should always have in your kitchen...

  1. Spice rack
Spices are responsible for making some of the tasting dishes in the world. Whether you add them to a sauce or marinate meat in them, their flavors are wonderful. They’re even more wonderful when mixed with other spices! Keep a spice rack in your kitchen so they’re always close at hand. Be sure to keep an eye on how much you have of each. You don’t want to be half way through a curry and then realise you’re out of Chilli!

  1. Miracle fruit tablets
What is miracle fruit, you ask? Well, it’s the most expensive fruit in the world. It’s also one of the tastiest. It also has the ability to turn any sour or nasty tastes into sweet and nice ones. You can get miracle fruit in the form of tablets. Pop one and chew on it after bad tastes to counteract them.

  1. Fresh Lemon
Lemon is one of the most versatile fruits in the world. It goes fantastically with all sorts of different dishes and meals. Making a tuna salad? Squeeze some fresh lemon over the top for a zesty zing! It also goes great with chicken, and prawns. You can make Chinese-inspired battered lemon chicken with it, or lemony prawns with angel hair spaghetti. We’ve not even mentioned desserts. There are so many incredible lemon-based desserts you can make if you always have some fresh lemons to hand!

  1. Honey
Just like lemon, honey is incredibly versatile. It adds a sweetness to a number of dishes and desserts. But the other reason you should always keep honey in your kitchen is in case a cold or flu symptoms strike. It has antibacterial properties and is fantastic at soothing sore throats. Honey combined with lemon and hot water also makes for a fantastic morning alternative to caffeine based drinks like tea and coffee. Many also say it can help cure hangovers; nice

  1. Olives
It’s a great idea to always keep some olives in your kitchen. They work in meals, like paella, and in salads. There also a very tasty snack to have if you’re feeling peckish. 100 calories gets you around 20 olives, which certainly isn’t bad! They’re also great to have to hand for dinner parties, or if friends or family come around unexpectedly. Pro tip- keep some mini skewers in your cutlery drawer to serve them with. 

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Advice For The Perfect Dinner Party Atmosphere

When you’re hosting a dinner party, it can quickly turn from a nice idea to a daunting, stressful panic! While this is a sign that you’re concerned about being a good host, there’s really no need for it! While I could write forever about cooking for people, the atmosphere you create is an important part of the dinner party experience. Here are some tips for the perfect dinner party setting.
First of all, turn down the lights. I’m no psychiatrist, but I know that something about dimmed lighting creates a welcoming air of class. Dim lighting makes a room feel homely, like a classical painting. Garish, unshaded light on the other hand flattens everything out, and makes me think of a colder, professional setting. Instead of turning on your regular lighting, keep the place nice and dim with a few scattered lamps. You want to get the room just light enough to see your food and guests, and not much more.

If you don’t have enough smaller lamps to create moody lighting, then the next best thing is candles. I know you might feel like you need to impress your entire party, but there’s really no need to splash out. You can find some cheap, decent candles at most supermarkets, and some lovely holders in charity shops. For a really economical option, just get a few tea lights and put them in a large jar. This is a cheap way of creating a chic, vintage look to the whole party. While you’re shopping, just remember how small the flame of a candle is. If you’re going to use them for the lighting, just make sure you get enough!
Next, the napkins and tablecloth. Your choices here really depend on your personal tastes. However, if you’re going for a luxurious atmosphere, then nothing really beats linen tablecloths. Fabric napkins may also be a good idea. For starters, these are greener and more economical than using paper napkins and throwing them away. Furthermore, they give off a more sophisticated air, and don’t stand out too much against a fabric tablecloth. Just like the candles, you don’t have to spend a fortune getting these. After, all they’re only for wiping your mouth on!

Finally, turn up the music. Picking a nice dining soundtrack is going to be the most enjoyable part of this whole process. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with playing things that reflect your individuality. However, keeping it as vanilla as possible is the safest option, so leave the Slipknot out this time around! Folk, jazz and Americana are all sure-fire winners. Some Miles Davis, Neil Diamond and Alice Coltrane turned down low are sure to create a warm, relaxing atmosphere. At the very least, the relaxing piano will help to fill any awkward silences you might run into!
Go through this list, and you’ll have the perfect atmosphere for a great dinner party. Whether you’re using it to accent the food or cover it up, paying attention to the dinner party setting will go a long way.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Getting Summer Ready: The Things A Woman Needs To Think About

Summer isn’t too far away now. We are promised warmer days and sunshine. Although in the UK we shouldn’t hold our breath, just in case. However, as we approach the warmer months, women start to think about the same things. It’s not just about dieting for a bikini body or things like that. We should be happy with how we look. But it’s more the little things. So I thought I’d share with you some of the things women need to think about, maybe you already have?


Shaving your legs

For some of us our legs don’t get much attention during winter. This might be down to the fact they are covered up every day. But as Summer approaches and the promise of weather getting better it’s natural for us to want to wear some summery clothes. These tend to be shorts or dresses don’t they? Which means we need to consider removing the hair from our legs. This might be down to shaving. Which is the quickest way of doing it. Or you may want to consider waxing or laser hair removal. However you do it, I do think it’s something we all think about.

Personal hygiene

Warmer weather means feeling hotter, which means we are bound to get sweaty and feel a little awful at times. So we need to think about our personal hygiene and perhaps upping our game a little. There are stronger deodorants you can buy at supermarkets. There are other things to consider like products from Aquarius Hygiene or just keeping ourselves cooler. No one needs to tell anyone to shower more; I think that goes without saying. But it’s just worth remembering to take extra care of ourselves in the Summer.

Sun cream

Over the next few weeks, we enter official sun cream season. Being in the UK, we tend to not apply sun cream as much as we should. It’s as if we think that because we are here, we won’t burn or cause damage to our skin from being in the sun. But we can still be subject to harmful UV rays. A great idea is to apply sun cream in a morning instead of a body moisturiser, that way you are good to go. Then you just need to keep it topped up throughout the day, but at least the initial protection is there.

Wearable Makeup

We may not want to apply a full face of makeup in the Summer, but we may want to still have something on. So it’s advisable to consider some wearable makeup. A good BB cream is a great place to start as a base. Then just apply a bronzer to add some definition to your cheeks. It may also be recommended to use a waterproof mascara.

Breathable clothes

Finally, it will be worth investing in some breathable clothes for Summer. Linen is a great material to use, and you can pick up some great trousers and tops. These will keep you cool and still have you looking fashionable.

I hope this has prompted you to think about getting yourself prepared for Summer.