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Sunday, July 28, 2013

How To Grill An Awesome Burger

1. Choose Fatty Meat  Start with chuck that is 20% fat.

2. Mix A Secret Powder Into The Meat - This incredible powder make you want one bite after another. To make it, combine 6 tablespoons of porcini powder, two tablespoons portabella powder, two table spoons of Worcestershire powder, two tablespoons onion powder, and two tablespoons of garlic powder. Use one tablespoon of the mixture per pound of meat. The powders can be purchased at specialty stores or online at Amazon.com.

3. Form Flat Patties - Make loose balls of meat 6 to 8 ounces in size, then flatten these balls into patties about 1/2 inch thick. Don't pack these patties  very tight , and don't leave the center thicker than the edges since thick in the middle patties don't cook evenly. Next, use two fingers to press a dimple roughly one quarter inch deep into the middle of one side of the patty. This divot prevents the burger from puffing up in the middle as it cooks.

4. Season The Patties On Both Sides with kosher salt and cracked pepper right before you grill them.
Season too soon and the salt will dry out the meat.

5. Let The Patties Cook Undisturbed on high  heat( 600F-800F)   for two to three minutes. Peak gently underneath after two minutes. If the patties lift easily off the grill and are golden brown underneath, it's time to flip them. If not, let them continue to cook for up to an additional minute. DO NOT poke, prod or push down on the patties as they cook. That just pushes juice and flavor out of the meat. Then move the patties away from the highest heat to cook further without burning.

6. Use A Meat Thermometer To Monitor Temperature After Flipping - Cook to 160 degrees for safety. You might want to consider buying a Thermapen digital thermometer favored by pros for its fast accurate readings. About $96 at Thermoworks.Com.

7. Let The Burgers Rest for 5 minutes before eating. This allows the juices to distribute throughout the meat and keeps the juice from spilling out onto your plate after the first bite.       

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Do It Yourself Face Lift Makes You Look Years Younger In Just 20 Days

If you've got wrinkles that you would like to reduce but you don't want injections or a surgical face lift, then Chinese facial acupressure may be the answer for you. Just use the following routines each day until you are satisfied with the results.

Forehead Wrinkles -  Begin at the top of your right foot,  in the junction between your big and second toes. Using medium to firm pressure, massage the point in a clockwise circle 10 times. Repeat on the left foot. Next, move to the backside of your right hand between your right thumb and index finger. In a clockwise circular motion, massage this point for 10 rotations. Repeat on the left hand.

 Then move to the  back  of your neck. Place both thumbs where your spine meets the base of your skull and move them two inches to either side until they each land in an indentation. Massage clockwise with firm pressure for 10 rotations.

Lastly, move your face. Place the pad of index finger a half inch above the center of each eyebrow. Massage with medium pressure in 10 clockwise right to left circles. Repeat the entire sequence three times in a single session each day. For deeper wrinkles, do the sequence several times throughout the day. You should notice a reduction in forehead wrinkles within 20 days.

Under Eye Puffiness - Place your index finger two inches above the inside of your right ankle between the bone and muscle. Do 10 clockwise rotations using medium to firm pressure. Repeat on the left leg.

Next, move to the backside of your right hand between your right thumb and index finger. In a clockwise circular motion, massage this point for 10 rotations. Repeat on the left hand.

Then with your arm at your side, bend your left elbow to make a 90 degree angle. Pinpoint the area located at the outside edge of the elbow crease between the bend and the bone. Use your index finger to massage 10 times in a clockwise rotation  using medium to firm pressure. Repeat on your right elbow.

Lastly, move to your face. Place your right index finger just to the side of your right nostril. Move the finger laterally to a spot directly underneath the center of your eye, in your sinus area.  Press in and slightly upward, performing 10 clockwise rotations. Repeat on the left side. Do the entire sequence three times daily. You should notice a reduction in puffiness under your eyes in a few days.

Friday, July 26, 2013

10 Ways To Choose A Great Nursing Home For Your Loved Ones

1. Visit During Meal Times- Mealtimes are when nursing home employees are under the greatest stress. When you visit, observe whether employees are interacting  with residents in a friendly manner. If so they'll probably treat residents well at all times.

2. Inquire About Agency Nurses - When a nursing home can't find enough permanent nurses, they hire agency nurses to fill the gap. Most homes use agency nurses from time, but it's a bad sign if 15%-20% of a home's nurses are provided by agencies. Ask the facility what percentage of nurses are from an agency.

3. Check Out The Physical Therapy Facilities - Insist on touring the physical therapy department. If the equipment doesn't look modern or expensive, then it's a bad sign. Also ask whether the physical therapist is on staff or on contract. Homes that have a therapist on staff make a greater commitment to rehab services.

4. Make Sure The Home Has A Five Star Rating The Medicare system website includes a star rating system on nursing homes. Avoid homes with an overall rating lower than five stars. You can view the ratings at www.Medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare  .

5. Check The Activities Schedule - Next time you visit, look at the activities schedule. Then look in at one or two activities. Is the activity really taking place? How many resident are there? Does it look like ther're having fun ? Make sure they're not clustered around a nursing station staring into space or at at TV. They should be chatting together, playing cards or interacting.

6. Take A Deep Whiff   Making a sub par nursing home smell is a tough challenge. So walk down corridors where doors to patients rooms are open and take a whiff. If the place reeks of urine, feces or large amounts of Lysol, then be suspicious.

7. Is It Really Private? Most homes offer shared rooms since they were built before the importance of singe rooms was recognized. If single rooms are not available, then consider how much privacy the home's shared rooms offer. Some have sturdy partitions and others have thin curtains or nothing at all.

8. Make Frequent Visits -Residents whose families visit often usually receive more attentive care. If you live far away, try to arrange for a friend , relative or concierge service to visit on a regular basis and give you update.

9. Avoid Getting Your Loved One Kicked Out -  Nursing homes cannot legally expel residents if they run out of money. So they must resort to Medicaid for payment. But nursing homes are allowed to send away residents that require more care than they can provide. Some greedy nursing homes expel residents who run out of money and claim that their care needs have increased. If this happens to your loved one, then file a complaint with your state's ombudsman through www.LTCOmbudsman.org

10.Don't Let A Hospital Rush You  If your loved one requires a nursing home care after a hospital stay, there's a good chance the hospital discharge planner will try to give just a few days to choose a nursing home. That's because the longer your loved one stays, the less profit they make. If the discharge planner  won't give you more time to choose a home, then threaten to file an appeal with Medicare if he or she won't relax the deadline. Most planners will back down because they don't want the paperwork hassles. But if you have to file an appeal, the hospital's patient advocate should be able to provide info on how to file. Or you can hire a long term care case manager for a few hundred dollars. Also, your local area agency on aging can help you find a local case manager. Or find one at:    www.cmsa.org

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A No-Brainer Easy Peezy Summer Dessert That Will Wow Your Guests


 Buy any good quality store brand of pistachio gelato or ice cream. Drizzle on a little extra virgin olive oil,and then top it off with a dash of flaky sea salt. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

How To Find Hidden Treasures At Yard Sales

You make some nice scores at yard sales when you buy cheap stuff that is worth much more than what you  paid. Look for the following items.

Printed cloth handkerchiefs from the 1970's and earlier.  Look for  those with nice patterns and colors. Some distinctive patterns can be framed as art. Some sell fro about $18 or more.The best examples are hand-hemmed made of fine line or cotton. Also, be on the lookout for scarves from designers like Hermes and Marimekko.

Williamsburg style wood furniture from the 1950's and 1960's. This furniture is not trendy since it has an old fashioned colonial look but is solid wood. Look for pieces made by Baker, Beacon Hill, and Kittinger.
A Kittinger set of library steps brings about $550.

Psychedelic posters from the late 1960's and early 1970's. A lack of pinholes or other signs of age and use might mean its a reproduction. A Peter max poster from 1968 called "Love" sells for $316.

Fisher-Price toys.  Look for toys that are in pristine condition. A racer with no plastic parts brings about $350. Also look for Fisher-Price "Little People" from the 1980's or earlier. They can bring $2 to $5 or more.

Modern Swedish glass. Glass from Kosta and Orrefors have been increasing in value lately.

Decorative garden items. Look for bird feeders, birdhouses, fountains, and iron garden sets. A vintage set of two chairs with a cat design on the back fetched $4,000. People who have garage sales sometimes  forget  to include yard sale items. So take a peek in the backyard and ask if a nice item is for sale.

Give Your Foods A Great Rub Down For Fabulous Grilling

Spice rubs and mixes are an easy way to add delicious flavor to your foods. They can be made in advance and kept in  an airtight container for up to 3 months. And if you package them as gifts, they make a great hostess present.

Sprinkle dry rubs or pat the food with your spices. Never rub hard into the food since you can damage the meat's fiber and texture. Also, if you're going to season the food overnight, leave out the salt since it will dehydrate the food. Just make sure you sprinkle it on about 15 minutes before you start to cook. Normally, about 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of these rubs will cover 3 pounds of meat.

                                                         Sweet N' Spicy Dry Rub

Use as a universal rub for all types of food. 1 tablespoon  of dry mustard, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1/2 tablespoon sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
Makes about 4 tablespoons.

                                                            Indian Curry Dry Rub

Use on chicken breast and tofu. 1/2 cup mild curry powder, 2 tablespoons kosher salt, 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper, 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1 teaspoon turmeric,  1 teaspoon ground ginger. Makes 12 tablespoons.

                                                           Asian Five Spice Rub

Use on duck, chicken, pork carrots and autumn squash. 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons five spice powder, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon sugar. Make 4 tablespoons.

                                                                    Mocha Rub 

Great on steak. 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons instant espresso coffee, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Makes about 5 tablespoons.

                                                                  Spice Mixtures   
Mix these spice blends into ground meat before cooking. Each recipe makes about 2 tablespoons to flavor 1pound of ground meat.

                                                               Big Flavor Burger

1 teaspoon ground coriander, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 2 teaspoons ground mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt.
                                                          Spicy Turkey Burger Mix 

2 teaspoons ground coriander, 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, 1/8 teaspoon red pepper  flakes, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon  garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt.    

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How To Get Anybody To Like You In Two Minutes Or less

If you want to make new friends or land new clients or a new job, the you need to make a great first impression fast. That's because people form permanent opinions about you within just  a few minutes of meeting you.  So here are 11 easy ways to make people like you:

1. Use a slow flooding smile  It's always a good idea to smile but switching on a 100 watt smile can make you seem phony. Instead, let your smile build slowly when you make eye contact. This sends a message that there is something about this person you like.

2. Have "sticky" eyes  People are inclined to like and trust those who make eye contact. If you're not a natural at making eye contact, then  make it a habit to note the specific characteristics about a acquaintances' eyes. Note the color, the shape, how far apart they are, the length of the lashes, and how often they blink.  
Noting these nuances will help you make good eye contact. Do break eye contact occasionally if you notice the other person seems uncomfortable. Just don't do it abruptly. Make sure you break eye contact slowly as if your gaze was stuck on this person and you find it hard to pull away.

3. Select an open welcoming body position Arrange yourself so that your torso is mostly but not completely facing the person you just met. Then during the first few minutes of conversation, very slowly and slightly move your body to face the other person. The only exception to this is when a man is meeting a woman for the first time. In this instance, the man should stop a few degrees short of  angling his  upper body towards her.

4. Stand with one foot a few inches forward of the other By putting most of your weight on the forward foot suggests that you  are an energetic person and that you are interested in the person to whom you are speaking.

5. Find your conversation partner's comfort zone Stand too close to a person and you will make them feel uncomfortable. If you stand too far away, and they may not feel a connection with  you. So the best strategy is to stand 26 to 28 inches away and slowly move in closer until you see discomfort in the other person's eyes. Then ease back until the discomfort disappears.

6. When you shake hands, very gently touch your forefinger to the other person's wrist Aim for the spot on the underside of the wrist where you would normally  take a pulse. This is a very sensitive spot and touching it tends to foster a feeling of warmth even though your contact may not be consciously  noticed.

7. Begin with a conversation starter Questions that make great ice breakers include, "What do you do?" followed by "How did you decide you wanted to do that?" Or to couples ask, "How did you two meet?"

9. Slowly nod when people speak This sends a message of acceptance and encouragement which makes people feel in sync with us. If you're a woman, do not nod if a man is saying something with which you completely disagree. If you're a man, keep in mind that women tend to interpret nodding as "I understand" not "I agree."

10. Listen for words that suggest people's interest The words people use in passing will give you hints to their true interests. For instance, if small talk is about the weather and someone says " At least my plants will get some rain." You should say, "Do you have a garden?"  Or if someone says, "Its too hot to walk my dogs." You should respond with " What kind of dogs do you have?"

11. Treat business cards with respect A business card symbolizes some one's professional accomplishments. Showing respect for the card shows respect for the person. So hold the card gently in your hands. Then pause to read it then carefully place it in your briefcase, wallet or purse. Never just jam a   a card in your pocket.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Spice Up You Life With Homemade Sea Salt

To make homemade sea salt, just take seawater from a clean source. Try beaches before swimmers arrive or try before you chum it for bait.  Then run it through a fine sieve or clean cheese cloth or use both to catch sand and grit. If you're really particular, you can run sea water through a Brita filter since it won't remove the sea salt. After you filter your seawater, then pour it into a shallow tempered glass baking dish or bowl.

Then choose your evaporation method. You can place your baking dish in an oven at its lowest setting for two or three days or put it on a super sunny window sill for a few weeks. Or you can put it outside on a roof  or yards. Just watch out for birds and soot.

Once the edges are dry and chunky, lightly scrape them from your baking dish to remove and break up the bigger pieces. Then just store your salt in an airtight container. To make your salt more zesty, then try these two recipes:

Lemon Salt 

You'll need 1/2 cup of sea salt, 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice and the zest of one lemon. To start, zest one lemon into the salt. Then add the freshly squeezed lemon juice to the salt. Then spread out your mixture onto a flat, nonreactive heat proof tray. Then place your tray in a window on a sunny day, or on top of the oven or in a dehydrator. It's ready to use when it's completely dry.

Smoked Sea Salt      

For this recipe you'll need 2 cups of apple wood chips and 2 cups of sea salt. First, soak the apple wood chips  in cold water for 1 hour then drain.

Next, prepare  a grill for indirect grilling by putting all the hot coals to one side and leaving a cool side where you can work. Place the applewood chips on the hot coals and adjust the vent to medium heat. ( about 350 F).  Spread the salt in an aluminum foil pie or baking pan. Then place the foil pan on cool area of the grate away from the fire.   

Smoke the salt for at least an hour then remove from the heat.  Next, cool the salt to room temperature and then put it into an airtight container. It will then keep indefinitely.