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Archive for December, 2018

18
Dec

Top Six Life-Saving Tips for Beginning Bakers

Even though it seems difficult (and even more so when the pros make it look so easy), baking can actually quite fun and fulfilling once you get your first batch out of the oven. There are a few steps you can take towards making better baked goods:

  1. Follow the recipe to the letter. While cooking is an art, baking is a science, especially when you’re following a recipe. Aside from your ingredients, methods, and how you bring them all together, there are other variables and factors that you need to consider such as altitude and hot spot variations in the oven.

A general rule to follow when baking is that when in doubt, sticking to the instructions will get you good results each time.

  • Keep all your ingredientsclose by. Beforebaking, write down a list of all your ingredients, equipment, and tools thatyou will need for the recipe and arrange them in your workplace in a way that they’reeasy to reach. This will save you a lot of time when bringing them together toform your batch later on.
  • Don’t make rough estimates. You’ll save yourself and your taste buds from a lot of disappointment later on by measuring the exact amount of ingredients that you need for making the dough/batter/etc. as well as the amount of time needed for your batch to sit in the oven. A timer and measuring equipment in the kitchen will do you wonders.
  • Don’t over-mix your batter. Depending on the recipe that you’re planning on cooking, over-mixed batter will only result in really tough finished products. The point of mixing is simply to incorporate the ingredients into the mixture, so be sure to do exactly just that (unless otherwise specified).
  • Baking mats and parchment paper are your best friends. There is nothing more annoying for a baker than seeing your work stick to baking tray (or worse, fall through the oven rack).

While dusting your workspace with flour is one way tokeep your dough or batter from sticking to the countertop, having baking matsand parchment paper for your goods will save you a lot of time and effort inscraping the dough later on, and can keep your baked goods intact.

  • A pinch is one-eighth of a teaspoon. When a recipe calls for “a pinch” of anything (though this is mostly limited to dry ingredients), bring your thumb, index, and middle finger together for this purpose.
  • Don’t worry too much about messing up your first few batches. Mistakes are bound to happen, and learning from them will help you grow as a baker. And even more importantly, have fun!
18
Dec

6 Tips for Buying a New Bed (That Will Have You Sleeping Like a Baby)

The bed is perhaps one of the most underrated pieces of furniture around, and chances are that you’re going to take it for granted until you notice that you no longer enjoy sleeping on it.  

But now that you’ve proceeded to ditch your old mattress and get yourself a new one, be sure to follow these tips to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep every time:

1. Firmer is not always better. People’s preferences and needs are different, and with a firm bed, you might as well be sleeping on a carpeted floor – if you don’t enjoy it, you’re better off with something that has a little give.  

Softness isn’t exactly better for your back, either, as a mattress that’s too soft can sag leave you with poor posture when you wake up.

2. Feelfree to give yourself a comfort test. While thisdoesn’t mean you should lie down or sit on it (many establishments that sellmattresses actually don’t let you do this), pressing your hand down on themattress should be enough to give you a feel of how comfy it is.

3. Check the warranty. A brand-new mattress that’s being sold will have at a minimum warranty of ten years. You should also consider investing in a waterproof mattress protector to keep it from getting stained, as any staining can void the warranty.

4. Bed size is key. The general rule of thumb when choosing a new mattress is to get one that you can fit in your bedroom in the first place – there’s no point in getting a king- or queen-sized bed if you can’t get it through the door.

You should also pick a bed size that fits what youneed at home. You may opt for a smaller one if you live alone or are the onlyperson sleeping on the bed, but if you live with your partner or spouse, oryour whole family sleeps on the same bed, a king- or queen-sized bed might bethe bed that you need.

5. Set aside some of the budget for a bed frame. The bed frame is also just important as the mattress itself, and a solid metal frame will be able to go through several beds without a problem.

As long as the casters on the corners and the mid-section of the frame are heavyweight, you can count on the frame to support you without buckling anytime soon.  

6. Always keep an eye out for the “gimmicks”. While mattress sellers that will advertise the bed as “medically-approved” or “orthopedic”, keep in mind that there is no single organization that can verify this.