Safe Snacking: Better Ways to Satisfy Your Cravings

Snacking is the single most dangerous activity for anyone trying to maintain or reach a healthy weight. It can even ruin your teeth and, depending upon what and how much you eat, drain your wallet of funds. Let’s take a look at some snacks that are lighter on your caloric intake, your teeth, and your wallet.

Milk has numerous benefits that make it a great snack solution. It contains protein, which keeps you feeling full for longer, and you can choose how much fat you ingest by choosing between whole or skim. Compared to other snacks, it’s also incredibly light on your wallet. Milk is one of those staples that you should make use of if you’re not lactose intolerant.
According to Guerra Dental, another added benefit of milk is it can dramatically strengthen your teeth. While you’ll still need to seek dental care in Colorado Springs to fix any tooth decay, this simple snack may be the perfect thing to keep your pearly whites happy and healthy while fighting plaque.

Cantaloupes and Yogurt
Nothing beats fresh fruit paired with something creamy and nutritious. Which is why taking some slices of fresh cantaloupe and mixing them with some low-fat yogurt makes for a great snack. The best part is it’s easy to make and light on your wallet. You’ll also be getting vitamin C from the cantaloupe, while getting a large amount of calcium and protein from the yogurt. You’ll feel good and have the energy to get through the rest of the day with this snack.

Raisins with Nuts
Raisins mixed with peanuts are a great snack for anyone who needs something to chew. You’ll find this snack is much healthier than candy or any of the snacks you might consume simply to have something to eat. The best part is nuts contain a high amount of protein and raisins provide plenty of fiber, the latter of which is good for your heart and digestion. If you can’t eat nuts or don’t enjoy them, then consider eating raisins alone or with a crunchy granola.

Tomatoes are a relatively inexpensive food that contain antioxidants, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin D. They’re a fresh food you can eat by slicing them up, or by simply taking a bite out of them.
If you don’t enjoy plain tomatoes, then consider buying some herbs like parsley and basil and a side item like low-fat mozzarella cheese. These low-cost additions can make tomatoes taste even better and you can even grow them at home for a year round herb you only buy once.

Banana and Kale Smoothies
While bananas and kale are both great snacks on their own, they’re not always something most people want to eat. You can mix things up by combining one medium banana and one cup of chopped kale with some almond milk in a blender.

This provides an excellent source of fiber and protein with a low amount of fat. You’ll benefit from the potassium in the bananas, the protein from the almond milk and the antioxidants in the kale. The only danger is that it may taste so good, you might want another.

Celery Sticks
While celery sticks are nothing new when it comes to healthy snacks, there are many healthy topping options that most aren’t conscious of when it comes to this vegetable. For example, hummus and olives make for an excellent way to spice up celery sticks. You’ll still get that satisfying crunch while having a taste that simply dances on your taste buds. If you want something more traditional or you can’t find hummus at your local store, then consider using peanut butter or a dark chocolate spread. Both are healthy alternatives that can minimize your caloric intake.

You don’t have to eat unhealthy or costly things when it comes to snacking. You can make your snacks work with you by satisfying you cravings with low-calorie foods high in protein and vitamins. Next time you think about reaching for something unhealthy to snack on, consider making one of the items listed here instead. You’ll be eating things that are healthy for your heart, your digestive system, your teeth, and even your wallet.


Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at

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How to make a statement in your kitchen

Whether you love to cook fine cuisine for friends or whip up a quick meal for the family, the kitchen of the modern day is the heart of the home. It’s the place where people gather at the beginning and end of each day. So how do you ensure your kitchen hits the right heartwarming notes?Here are five tips on how to make a statement in your kitchen.




If you enjoy cooking and spending time preparing food, then appliances are the place to start when planning your kitchen. Great appliances equal ease of entertaining, from ovens that take the legwork out of cooking and cleaning to dishwashers that ensure the room is clean when you leave.

A cook knows the appliances they need to get the job done and one of these has to be a great oven that can accommodate your style of entertaining, whether that be a family roast or intricate delicacies. Appliance experts such as ASKO have the top of the range appliances on offer to ensure you never slave over a hot stove.


When designing your awe-inspiring kitchen, consider your work zones. Just like a professional kitchen, there should be places for preparing food, enough room to rest hot pans and areas for dishing up. Good workspaces should also incorporate the flow of cooking, meaning you aren’t traipsing across the kitchen in search of pans or spices.


A stunning kitchen should make food preparation look effortless. That means a place for everything and everything in its place. In recent times, this has led to the popularity of the butler’s pantry where the messiness of cooking can be shut off to the prying eye. But should a butler’s pantry be a little beyond your space or budget means, then cupboards that can secrete appliances and the paraphernalia of cooking are a must-have.

That means including bench height cupboards with power points where large appliances such as blenders and toasters can be discreetly stashed away.

The little things

It can be the little things that make a kitchen truly beautiful, such as clean lines and soft close drawers. From double sinks or large sinks that can accommodate pots and pans when washing up to designated pot cupboards complete with racks for your potlids, the small things add up for ease of use and aesthetic appeal.

The heart of the home

Ultimately, the kitchen represents the heart of the home and the cockpit for modern entertaining and it should reflect this with its position and design. Consider island benches that guests or family can sit around to take part in food preparation and ensure your kitchen is not tucked away in a corner of the house.

Great kitchens don’t come about by accident. They are the result of planning, investment and the acknowledgement that cooking and entertaining play a pivotal role in family life. Creating a statement is all about ensuring it does this with ease and minimal fuss.

Are you thinking of making over your kitchen? Do you have any other tips to share? Do so by commenting below.

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A Night To Remember: How To Throw An Awesome Dinner Party

It is an awful shame, but it seems as though dinner parties are going out of fashion. When was the last time that you invited friends to enjoy a meal in your home? Sure, meeting at a bar is an enjoyable way to spend an evening, but why not try something formal instead? If you want to host a dinner party for your friends or family, it doesn’t take all that much work. Here is how you can create a night that everyone will remember.


Step 1: Choose the perfect attendees

Of course, you need to decide who you want to invite before you do anything else. When you are picking your guests, you should consider who of them loves fine cuisine. There is no point wasting your culinary skills on people who are fussy when it comes to what they eat. Choose people who you know will appreciate your hard work in the kitchen.


Dinner party with Synne and Mike

Image credit: Elin B –


Step 2: Create your menu

Creating the right menu for your party is difficult. Before you do anything, you need to think about whether anyone has any dietary requirements. Loads of people are allergic to simple things such as cheese or bread. You should ask your guests about their needs before you plan what you want to cook. You should choose exotic recipes that your friends may not have tried before now. That way, they will experience something new at your party.


Step 3: Sourcing your ingredients

Once you know what you will cook, it is time to find the right ingredients for you. You can, of course, buy almost anything in supermarkets these days. Rather than getting everything from one store, though, you should get your produce from a range of places. There is no doubt that the butchers will have the best meat out there. You can get fresh vegetables from a greengrocers and even some fruit as well.


Step 4: Decorate your room

Many people forget to decorate their rooms when they have people as guests. You need to create the right atmosphere in the room so that your attendees feel comfortable in your home. You should create place settings with each of your guests’ names on them. You could also use a tablecloth as the base of your decor. Click here if you need to buy some new linen for your dinner party. Finally, you should consider creating a centerpiece from flowers or other decorations.


Step 5:  Get some fancy tableware

When it comes to setting the table, only the best-quality things will do the job. You should ensure that you have beautiful tableware for your party so that everything looks brand new. It is crucial that the cutlery matches. Make sure that you clean the pieces and polish them before you use them. That way, everything on your table will shine and sparkle.


Step 6: Choosing alcohol

When it comes to choosing the right alcohol for your dinner party, you need to consider what your guests want. There will likely be people attending who don’t drink, and so you should choose some soft drinks to serve. You should also ensure that you buy some excellent table wine to serve with your courses. Remember, the alcohol you want needs to compliment your meal, rather than overpowering it.


Step 7: Create an original dessert

If you have the time, you should make your dessert from scratch. Sometimes, people get lazy when it comes to making a dessert. Many people just buy a cake or a trifle and leave it at that. Unique and original puddings always go down well at dinner parties. Try baking something special for your party so that you have something for people to try.


Hosting a dinner party is a fantastic way to bond with the people around you. After all, who doesn’t love attending a fancy meal?


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Tikoy a symbol of a “higher year” to come

Tikoy or Nián gao is abundant in this time of the year. It is typically given out as gifts in the days leading up to Chinese New Year. This sticky sweet snack is commonly considered as the centerpiece eaten during the Chinese New Year. It is also traditionally known as a symbol of a higher year to come.




This Chinese pudding is made from glutinous rice – pounded or ground into a paste, steamed and is then molded into a round shape. You can buy different molded designs which are store-prepared in various Chinese delicacy outlets in Ongpin, Binondo area, famously known as the China town in the Metropolis.


Our family love it cooked by dipping slices in beaten eggs then fry in a little cooking oil. It results to a slightly crispy layer while retaining a chewy, soft and sticky center. Chilling uncooked Tikoy the night before cooking or until it stiffens will make it easier to slice before frying.


tikoy cooked


By the way tomorrow is Chinese New Year. Be merry and don’t forget to cook and eat your Tikoy :) Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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Finger licking Blueberry Cheesecake


I’ve been hooked into baking lately, trying different bread and cake recipes. Because, I have no formal studies yet in baking, but planning to enroll in a baking class this summer if schedule permits, all I do for the meantime is trial and error. If my baked goods fail, I just charged it o experience, ahaha.


Aside from the Everyday Baking cookbook that a dear friend gave me, I also search on different recipes in the web, compare and choose the ones which are easier to bake, ingredients wise and procedure as well.


So here it is my ever first Blueberry Cheesecake. My husband and sons gave a two thumbs up for it is finger lickin’ good :)


blueberry cheese cake

Home made Blueberry Cheesecake




For the crust:

1 cup of graham cracker crumbs

¼ cup of unsalted butter, melted, I use the butter compound from Wonderbake


For the filling:

340 grams of Blueberry preserves

2 large eggs

2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened

1 (300ml) can of condensed milk

2 tsp of vanilla extract

2 tsp lemon extract



Preheat the oven to moderate settings at 350 º F or 177 ºC

Using a fork mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a bowl.

Pour the mixture into the baking pan, press it into the bottom of the pan and bake it for 12 minutes or until it is set.

When set remove it from the oven and let it cool.

Next is to prepare the filling. Beat cream cheese and condensed milk using an electric mixer until smooth.

Add the eggs, vanilla extract and the lemon extract, continue beating until it becomes well combined and creamy.

Pour the filling over the cooled baked crust, use a spatula for even spreading.

Now, bake it for 25-30 minutes, until the filling is set but still jiggly in the middle.

Let it cool for an hour then refrigerate for another hour or until it is completely chilled.

After chilling pour in the blueberry preserve on top, spread it evenly then refrigerate it again before serving.



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Tips on Proper Care for your Fancy Tableware

If you’re like most people, your “fancy” tableware is probably stored safely in some corner of your home, gathering dust and taking up space simply because you’re not sure how to properly care for it and you don’t want to risk ruining your fine china. Instead of saving your luxury tableware for the special occasion that never seems to come, learn how to care for your tableware with this infographic.

tableware-care-guide-by-kneenandco delectableideas


Sterling silver: Dishwasher safe as long as you only use a small amount of detergent. Polish with silver polish and a silver nitrate treated cloth to slow tarnishing. Keep in mind when storing that silver reacts to sulfur, which is found in rubber and wool.

Gold vermeil: Hand wash gold vermeil tableware with mild soap, and dust regularly with a dry cloth instead of polishing. Store gold vermeil pieces in a flatware case so that they won’t bump against each other and scratch.

Gold plated: Hand wash gold plated tableware with mild soap, polishing with general metal polish and a gold polishing cloth. Store gold plated tableware in a soft-lined flatware case to avoid scratching and exposing the metal underneath.

Silver plate: Silver plate tableware is dishwasher safe with a small amount of citric-acid free detergent, and it can be polished using silver polish and a silver nitrate treated cloth. Take care not to wash silver plate tableware next to stainless steel in the dishwasher, since the metals will react and discolor the silver.

Stainless steel: Stainless steel is dishwasher safe, and you can rinse stainless steel with club soda after washing to remove any water spots. Polish using stainless steel polish, and avoid hand washing stainless steel with hard-bristled brushes or scouring pads, which can wear away the chromium oxide film.

White porcelain and decal or underglaze porcelain: Most white and decal/underglaze porcelain is dishwasher safe, but follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. These types of porcelain do not need to be polished and are microwave safe (as long as they do not include metals).

Hand painted porcelain and metallic porcelain: Hand wash these types of porcelain with mild soap. Hand painted porcelain does not need to be polished, but silver coated porcelain can be polished using silver polish and a silver nitrate treated cloth (gold coated porcelain should not be polished). Hand painted and metallic porcelain are generally not microwave safe; follow manufacturer recommendations.

Glassware: Most glassware is dishwasher safe, however, blown glass items are typically too fragile to be used in the dishwasher. Glassware washed in the dishwasher should be dried on the lowest setting to avoid spots forming; remove the film that forms with regular washing by using glass polish.

Crystal: Hand wash your crystal with mild soap, unless your dishwasher has a crystal setting. Use glass polish to remove the film that forms with regular washing.



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