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Staying Sharp (in the Kitchen): 7 Essential Kitchen Knives

According to one survey, about 53% of Americans actually enjoy cooking. 

Whether or not you are part of the population that enjoys cooking as a hobby, you’ll need some tools to be able to make everything you want. 

Do you want to make sure that your kitchen is well-equipped? We’ve got you covered. Read on to learn about the essential kitchen knives to have on hand!

1. Chef’s Knife

A chef’s knife may be one of the more important knives you should own. This is the one that you will most likely use the most, so you should make sure you get one that is high-quality.

It may be a little bit more expensive, but if you treat it well and take care of it, then you’ll be able to use it for years to come.

A chef’s knife is used to slice, chop, and julienne almost anything. You can even cut watermelon or carve a roast with this kind of knife. 

This knife is strong but also lightweight. It has a long blade and a handle that fits perfectly in your hand. 

You should shop around when buying this kind of knife. You want to make sure you’re buying a good brand, and you want to buy one that fits your hand and that you feel comfortable with.

Chef’s knives normally come with either an 8 or 10-inch blade, so you should buy whatever is comfortable for you to handle. 

If you want a good, high-quality chef’s knife, check out this Foxel Knife.

2. Santoku

The santoku is also an important knife to have in your kitchen, and it is a Japanese workhorse knife.

This is similar to a chef’s knife, but there are a few differences.

These knives are normally shorter and have more compact blades. Their blades are only about 6 to 7 inches long. 

If you want a shorter downward stroke, this will help you achieve that. With the chef’s knife, you’ll have more of a rocking and chopping style. 

This knife was designed to be between a Western double-bevel and a Japanese chisel. 

When choosing a good santoku knife, you should look for one that is incredibly sharp but still lightweight. You should also find one that is comfortable for you because everyone has their own preference for the type of knife they want. 

3. Paring Knife

A paring knife is also important. 

This might be the second-most important knife you can have in the kitchen, but you may not use it as often as the chef’s knife. 

If you need to cut something small or fragile, you should use this knife. If you’re peeling a lemon, for example, you would use this paring knife.

A paring knife has a narrow blade that lets you accomplish all the odd cooking things you need to do. 

Don’t pay too much for this kind of knives because you won’t have to use it too often. You should find a really sharp one, but since you won’t use it a lot, it will last you a long time. 

4. Serrated Knife

You can use this knife for either hard or soft foods. If you want to saw through something gently while not squishing the interior of the food, you should use this.

You can cut crusty bread or tomatoes easily with this kind of knife. 

The knife has small grooves on the blade to help it keep its sharpness. You may use this knife more than the paring knife, and a good one will be able to last you a long time.  

5. Cleaver

Depending on what you’ll be cooking, you may also need a cleaver. 

This is a knife with a really heavy, rectangular-sized blade. If you need to cut through large chunks of meat (or possibly even bones), this knife may be perfect for you.

It kind of looks like a small hatchet, and will be able to get the job done that your other knives can’t. 

However, you shouldn’t confuse this with a Chinese cleaver, which is used for vegetables and more precise cutting work. 

6. Carving Knife

A carving knife isn’t always necessary, but it can be really helpful to have.

These are longer and a little bit thinner than a chef’s knife, but they can really carve up a Thanksgiving turkey for you and your family.

A carving knife has a sharp point at the end of the narrow blade, which helps it cut around the cartilage and bones.  

7. Bread Knife

You’ve probably seen a bread knife and noticed it because it has a saw-tooth edge to the blade.

This helps it slice through bread without squishing the bread too badly. 

The one problem with this knife is that once it gets dull, it’s hard to sharpen. You will either need to get a new knife or to get it sharpened by a professional. 

Because it won’t last as long, you shouldn’t spend too much money on a bread knife. Depending on how much your knife was, it may be cheaper just to replace it when the blade gets dull. 

Buy These Essential Kitchen Knives Today!

These essential kitchen knives will really help you when preparing your meals and will make your experience in the kitchen a lot more enjoyable.

Before buying a knife, make sure you do your research and then take care of it and sharpen it to make sure it stays sharp.

If you enjoyed this article, make sure you check out our website for others just like it! 

Health

10 Easy Healthy Diet Hacks

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you need to have the time (or energy) to prep and cook elaborate meals at home.

The key to eating healthy and staying healthy is making lifestyle changes that become good habits. Incorporating a few diet hacks into your routine now will lessen the time you spend planning nutritious meals later.

If you have limited time in the kitchen, or you don’t have time to waste on developing a weekly nutrition plan, use these tips to work towards a healthier you.

1. Prep Meals in Advance

Sure, making three meals a day — plus snacks — for seven days ALL at once sounds intimidating. It’s actually easier than you think. You’ll thank yourself when you’re late for work on Monday morning and can grab your lunch from the fridge and go.

Pick one day a week to plan your meals, go grocery shopping, and prep for success. Prepare several meals that you can easily heat back up throughout the week.

Take the time one night a week to portion out your snacks into individual baggies. Cut, raw vegetables are perfect as snacks. This way, they’re ready for you to grab so you won’t run out for fast food or opt for chips at the office instead.

2. Order Your Own Appetizer

When you go out to eat with friends, you probably split an appetizer and order your own entrée, right?

Surprise! You can eat healthier by having an appetizer all to yourself and splitting the entrée.

Most appetizers are more appropriate for one person than the gigantic entrees most restaurants serve. Unless you order the appetizer sampler — that doesn’t count.

When you’re with friends, you’re more likely to order an unhealthy app as a group. On your own, you can choose a salad or soup as a starter to fill you up before sharing the main course.

3. Sneak in Your Veggies

Blending veggies and sneaking them into recipes isn’t just for parents trying to trick their toddlers.

Whenever you can, sneak veggies into your meals by blending them with other ingredients. If you like smoothies in the morning, this is an easy decision. A handful of spinach will add a healthy dose of iron, magnesium, and calcium to your breakfast.

You can use this hack when dining out, too. Order a burger without meat, such as an Unbeetable Burger, to satisfy your cravings while cutting calories.

4. Roast Vegetables for the Week

If you like vegetables, try roasting a big batch of your favorites to munch on throughout the week.

Roasting veggies brings out their natural flavor and adds a slight sweetness that they don’t have when raw. Try lining a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and roast combinations of veggies light broccoli, kale, sweet potatoes, and red peppers.

As you prepare meals during the week, add these crisp veggies to lunch salads or into an omelet for breakfast. You can even serve them as a side dish.

5. Skip Frying and Bake or Grill

As much as you love adding oil or butter to the bottom of your pan to keep ingredients from sticking, know that it adds unnecessary calories to your meal.

If you grill foods, there is nothing for them to stick to. This is the same when baking foods with the indirect heat in your oven. In most cases, you’ll find that grilled or baked foods (meats especially) will be juicer, more tender, and more flavorful than when they’re fried.

6. Eat Protein First

If you usually eat larger portions than recommended, try eating your protein first to fill up before eating extra carbs and sugar.

Protein is super satisfying and will give you more energy than bread or pasta. Eat your main first, then move on to the sides if you’re still hungry.

7. Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand

You’re more likely to stop by the vending machine at work if you don’t prepare by bringing a snack from home or stock your office with healthy options.

Keep healthy single-serve snacks with you at all times. Preparing them doesn’t have to be a hassle. Choose convenient snacks such as trail mix, apples, clementines, nut butters, or popcorn.

Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and eggs are also nutritional snacks if you can keep them refrigerated throughout the day.

8. Stockpile Frozen Foods

Life is busy. It’s easy to buy produce and let it rot on your countertop or in your fridge and pick up takeout on the way home.

There’s nothing wrong with stocking up on frozen foods!

Most frozen foods are flash-frozen, meaning they are picked at the optimal ripeness and nutritional value is retained. Keep staples in your fridge such as edamame, cauliflower, corn, peas, and spinach.

You can also buy protein such as chicken, shrimp, and fish in bulk and freeze it. This will make cooking at home much easier.

9. Don’t Cut Out Sugar Entirely

When dieting, most people opt for an all-or-nothing approach to consuming sugar. This isn’t always the easiest plan to stick to, and you’re more likely to fail if you don’t give yourself a break.

The more sugar you eat, the more you will crave. As you lessen your intake, the cravings should subside. So, treat yourself every once in a while. Just don’t make it a habit.

10. Go for the Ice Cream

Speaking of sugar, most people believe that opting for a popsicle or sorbet is the smarter option over ice cream. Wrong.

Cream-based desserts have less sugar than sorbet per cup. So, indulge in an ice cream cone for that rewarding treat you’ve been waiting for.

Turn These Diet Hacks Into Healthy Habits

Which of these diet hacks will you work into your weekly routine to make eating healthy easier?

Making small changes to your cooking habits and food decisions will have a big impact on your daily nutrition. You’ll consume less sugar and empty carbs while increasing your intake of vital minerals and vitamins.

Are you a foodie, too? Sign up for our newsletter for the weekly lowdown on all things tasty.

Health

The Importance of Omega-3 Fats to Overall Health

Most people have heard about the necessity of including omega-3 fats in their diets, but they are unsure of the food sources that supply them. Busy work schedules and long days tempt people to eat quick and easy meals from a fast food restaurant or pre-made dinners from the freezer. A steady diet of “manufactured” foods can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, as well as a lack of essential omega-3 fats.

Why Do You Need Omega-3 Fats?

Omega-3 fats are essential to good heart health. The inclusion of omega-3 rich foods in the diet are believed to considerably lower the risk of fatal heart attacks. Over the centuries, the human diet has changed drastically. The hunter-gatherers who subsisted on their hunting and fishing skills along with the natural plant life they gathered, had a diet that contained a balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fats

Most of the food they consumed was low in total fat and saturated fat. As humans have become more dependent on manufactured foods, including vegetable oils and margarine, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is out of balance from the original 2:1 to 10-20:1.

Benefits of Omega-3 Fats

The primary benefit of omega-3 fats is improved heart health. Your cardiovascular health benefits from lower blood pressure, fewer triglyceride concentrations, and an improved endothelial function, which promotes the growth of new blood vessels. 

Omega-3 fats also contribute to healthier and stronger bones, protection against both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, reduced risk of Crohn’s disease, and lessens the chance of developing autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and nephropathy. 

Medical research has determined omega-3 fats assist in promoting the growth of new blood vessels and are antiarrhythmic, antithrombotic, antiatherosclerotic, and anti-inflammatory. Some research suggests omega-3 fats also reduce the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

Foods Containing Omega-3 Fats

The foods listed here contain natural omega-3 fats. Avoid processed foods that have “added” omega-3 fats.

  •  Flaxseed oil
  •  Flaxseed (whole or ground)
  •  Salmon
  •  Chia seeds
  •  Caviar
  •  Sardines
  •  Mackerel
  •  Radish seeds (sprouted or raw)
  •  Walnuts
  •  Butternuts
  •  Tuna fish

These are just a few of foods containing omega-3 fats, and the list starts with items containing the highest quantity. An online search will provide you with many more foods, and you are sure to find some you will enjoy adding to your diet.

Omega-3 fats are necessary for good heart function and health. If you haven’t been getting an adequate supply in your diet, start adding omega-3 fat-rich foods to your daily meals. Your whole body will benefit from this essential food element.

Food Drink Report

7 Underrated Food Cities in North America

Waffle Heart, Waffles, Icing Sugar, Pastries, Eat, Bake

When people think of North American food cities, people usually think about places like Chicago, New York, or even Memphis. Others might think of places like Montreal, St-Louis or New Orleans. But the continent is so vast, and there are so many hidden gems in between, that many food cities are often left out of the discussion.

Great food cities usually have a good mix of cultures, a few award-winning restaurants, and some off-the-wall concepts. Tons of cities have a combination of these, and are begging to be discovered if you fancy yourself a foodie. Here are some of the most underrated food cities in North America.

Ottawa, Canada

Canada’s capital is about more than historical landmarks, museums, and the parliament. Ottawa is also one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country, and one of the best places if you want to eat authentic dishes from all over the world.

The city is serious about its Korean BBQ/fried chicken scene, and you’ll find plenty of all you can eat Korean BBQs and hole in the wall Korean eateries all around the city. The city also has some of the best shawarma west of Tehran. If you want to experience something special, try the Lebanese breakfast at Les Grillades, or check out some of the stalls at the New Middle East Supermarket.

One of the things that make Ottawa so great is how affordable and accessible it is. For instance, tons of regional airlines like Porter offer flights to Ottawa. What makes them so great is that they allow you to enjoy premium comfort for the same price you’d pay for a lesser quality flight elsewhere. The planes are less crowded, have more leg space, and no middle seats either. If you want to learn more about Porter airlines, or want to book a flight, you can visit https://www.flyporter.com/en-ca/book-flights/where-we-fly/canada/ottawa.

Houston, Texas

While we know Texas doesn’t play when it comes to BBQ and Mexican food, few people are aware of how diverse Houston is. As a matter of fact, Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the country, with over 145 different languages spoken in the city.

The city has an interesting mix of cuisines as well. Chef Nikki Tran found a way to mix the best of Cajun and Vietnamese cuisine and shares her creations at Kau Ba, which is located on Dunlavy St and Missouri Pl. Hass and Imran Khan serve a mix of Texan and South Asian cuisine from an old gas station at Cowboys and Indians. This is a common theme across the city, and makes for unique experiences you’ll find in no other city in America.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis is one of the cities that is not celebrated enough for how culturally rich it is, and for its great food scene. Minnesotans in general care about their ingredients and how they’re sourced, and is one of the epicenters of the farm to table movement.

The city is also doing its best to push the boundaries of what is considered midwestern cuisine. From dishes cooked over an open fire to arepas, the city’s food scene is paradise for any foodie.

Greenville, South Carolina

The Carolinas are known for their barbecue, and what makes them so interesting is the thousands of little towns and cities, all with their own twist on Carolinian cuisine. The food history here is also very rich, and dates back to the times of the first settlers.

Greenville’s food scene has been gaining more recognition lately, thanks to its world class establishments that are trying to fuse modern ingredients and techniques with classic dishes. Restaurants like Soby’s, for instance, have put a modern spin on things like shrimp and grits and fried green tomatoes.

Greenville is the place to be if you’re a fan of European food as well. For a taste of Belgium, you can check out the Belgian beer and fries at the Trappe Door. Or, head to the Lazy Goat for the mussels and small Mediterranean inspired plates.

Boise, Idaho

It’s funny to think that Idaho is often overlooked for its food culture, when it is responsible for so much of America’s food supply. For instance, did you know that Boise is home to the single largest Basque community in America?

The community has had a great influence on the food culture in the city, and you’ll find all sorts of Basque restaurants and markets there. If you want something more rustic, you can check out The Basque Market downtown. Epi’s Basque Restaurant serves nothing but the freshest ingredients and is the perfect place if you want to taste authentic and unique dishes like tximinoiak, which composes of squid and ink sauce, and tons of different Basque delicacies.

New Haven, Connecticut

New Haven Connecticut is a must for any foodie, and has one of the richest food cultures in the country. New Haven pizza, or apizza as they call it, is a life changing experience, and some say that it’s the only pizza in the country that can give New York a run for its money.

The white clam pizza is a fan favourite, and consists of white clam sauce, fresh clams, garlic, oregano, mozzarella, and a bit of olive oil. Apizza is closer to Neapolitan pizza, and was brought by Italians from the southern region wanting to replicate original recipes. New Haven apizza is baked in coal fired ovens, giving the crust a nice char, and is characterised by its thin, chewy crust and fresh ingredients.

Connecticut is also known as the birthplace of the hamburger, and Louis Lunch claims to be the first restaurant to serve the American classic in 1900. They still serve the burger in the original way, using the same equipment that was used when they opened in 1885. The burgers are served on plain Wonder bread and processed cheese sauce. Definitely a place to visit if you want to get a literal taste of American history.

Detroit, Michigan

Detroit is having a Cinderella moment and is slowly, but surely crawling out of the sad depression of the last few years. The city is definitely having a cultural renaissance, and we can thank the waves of new arrivals for that. 

Detroit even has a big authentic Mexican food scene, and is full of Jalisco style eateries that serve everything from pozole rojo to lengua tacos. Detroit pizza, which is a hybrid between Sicilian and American pizza, is a must try with its thick rectangular shape and strips of fresh tomato sauce.

The city is also known for its culinary innovations, and is a perfect place if you’re into the whole Gastropub scene. Green Dot Stables if a great place if you want to taste some creative sliders, like their Kimchi slider with peanut butter sauce. Wright and Co, as well as Selden Standard both offer a great selection of tapas, and only use fresh, locally sourced produce. 

North America is a treasure trove for any food lover, and these are just some of the best, but most overlooked cities in America for their food culture. Make sure that you give all of these a closer look, and choose which ones fit your idea of a perfect food experience.

The Scoop

Should You Try CBD for Your Pet?

Your furry friends deserve love and care! There are many health benefits to CBD, and humans and pet owners alike have found themselves drawn to CBD supplements in order to help alleviate the anxiety and pain their pets may experience.

We are always looking for CBD marketing and CBD advertising parternships to help bring the best quality products to the marketplace. We’re inundated with CBD oil advertising, but what bands really work? CBD ads can make a point, and we’re often sold on the concept while looking for the best possible brand to use and buy.

We help our pets by incorporating CBD into their diets in new ways, that can ensure they’ve found themselves living their best, healthy lives. Here are a few ways that our team have given their pets CBD, using a variety of the products available on the market today.

  • On or mixed in to their food

Our pets often enjoy their treatment best when they are given supplements and medicines without noticing a change! We’ve found the easiest way to help medicate our pets involve adding a few drops of an unflavored, pet-safe oil onto their food, mixing it with dry kibble, or even wet food, to mask any discernible flavor. 

This is typically best done away from our pet’s prying nose or curious eyes, as we don’t want them to be concerned about an unusual addition. Some pets catch on, however, and eagerly await the addition of their CBD oil “happy drops,” like another treat.

  • Given as a treat

One of the other ways to add CBD into a pet’s regular diet is by incorporating CBD oil into snacks or treats that dogs might get throughout the day. We’ve found that incorporating the recommended dosage of CBD in drops on a treat (or even making our own!) Is a great way to help pets get excited about what’s to come.

We’ve also found great success when incorporating a little oil into some peanut butter, offering this delicious snack to dogs in particular, who will have a fantastic time licking away the mess from their faces. They get a treat, and we do too, in a way.

  • Offered directly

Many pets have found themselves accepting and happy to take some medications, aware of the body impact they will experience when the CBD hits their bloodstream. We’ve fond that some pets prefer regularly scheduled times to receive their medications, and adding a drop or two of CBD to their tongue, or offering them a supplement can help with the battle between pet and owner.

Are you in CBD marketing and CBD advertising and looking for new ways to share your product with pets? Pet owners want new, safe, and reliable ways to help manage the health of their pet, while avoiding expensive medications that often have really significant side effects. We love our furry friends, and are always on the lookout for new ways to help them live abundantly joyful lives while in our care.