NoTakeOut – Great Meals Made Easy

nto_logoHas it been pretty hectic around your house? Do you feel like you have no time to get dinner on the table when you get home? Well NoTakeOut has made it easy on you, they have great meals made easy for anyone on the go.

THE SKINNY: No more mediocre meals cobbled together last minute.  No more trolling recipe websites to figure out what side dish might work with steamed halibut.  No more shopping fiascos — like when you arrived home without eggplant for the ratatouille.  NoTakeOut.com helps you plan, prep and cook an entire meal, not just one dish.  We provide a complete menu, a shopping list and a game plan – basically, we help you organize to go from kitchen to table with ease.

‘Making mealtime manageable’ is kind of a mantra for us.  When you say you’re busy, we get it: you’re taking care of kids, working, shopping, maybe grabbing a workout –  oh yeah, and the laundry… You don’t need another hassle!  Our goal is to make food, meals and dining-at-home an easy family ritual and a daily pleasure.

Each day they give you a menu, with a side dish and even suggestions on what wine goes best with the recipe of the day. Tools you may need, shopping list and pantry items. And they give you serving size, prep time and total time. Check out NoTakeOut for yourself and start cooking tonight!

Google Wave

Are you using Google Wave yet?

Google Wave is an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration. A wave can be both a conversation and a document where people can discuss and work together using richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.

For a more detailed video(1 hour 20 min) click here.

Google Wave has lots of innovative features:

- Real-time: In most instances, you can see what someone else is typing, character-by-character.

- Embeddability: Waves can be embedded on any blog or website.

- Applications and Extensions: Just like a Facebook application or an iGoogle gadget, developers can build their own apps within waves. They can be anything from bots to complex real-time games.

- Wiki functionality: Anything written within a Google Wave can be edited by anyone else, because all conversations within the platform are shared. Thus, you can correct information, append information, or add your own commentary within a developing conversation.

- Open source: The Google Wave code will be open source, to foster innovation and adoption amongst developers.

- Playback: You can playback any part of the wave to see what was said.

- Natural language: Google Wave can autocorrect your spelling, even going as far as knowing the difference between similar words, like “been” and “bean.” It can also auto-translate on-the-fly.

- Drag-and-drop file sharing: No attachments; just drag your file and drop it inside Google Wave and everyone will have access.

Google Wave can be a time saver and a life saver when trying to get projects done in an office setting. Try it out with your colleagues and see how effective it can be.

6 Tips to Help Fix Dry Skin

Its winter and our skin reacts different to the weather. Skin seems to flake and crack all winter long, even when we use moisturizer. Moisturizer is not the only thing that gonna keep our skin on track. The weather has a lot to do with how our skin reacts.

Here are some dry skin tips:

1. Keep your water lukewarm, not hot. Hot water robs moisture causing dry skin, so its best to shower in lukewarm water. Another skin moisture killer is hot tubs, the hot temperature combined with drying chemicals, is torture on your dry skin.

2. Moisturize after showers or hand washing. Apply product when skin is slightly damp. You may find that oils work better for you than a lotion. Antibacterial soap in public places can also be harsh on your hands, so keep lotion in your purse for applying when away from home.

3. Exfoliate on a weekly basis. Moisturizer is so much more effective on properly exfoliated skin. Its best to scrub skin when its dry, massage into the skin before turning on the shower.

4. Baby your hands and feet. Hands and feet are the worst reactors to the cold weather. Put on moisturizer and gloves before heading outside and consider lathering up your feet in moisturizer and put on some therapy socks over them for sleeping in.

5. Stay Hydrated. Dehydration does affect the skin so keep your skin hydrated with at least eight 8 oz glasses a day.

6. Don’t forget to protect your face and lips too. Remember what your parents always told you about licking your lips? Well its true, licking your lips will only cause them to dry out and crack. A simple lip balm will do the job. For your face remember to use moisturizer everyday.

For more information on Dry Skin Fixes click here.

Heating up Your Workout in the Cold

In an article I read on Divine Caroline by Allison Ford, she talks about heating up your workout in the cold outdoors. We all seem to slow down a bit during winter, due to the weather outside or the activities that keep us occupied. Allison has some helpful tips to help you when you are out there in the cold working out.

  • Exercising is an especially good idea during wintertime because people so often feel heavy and sluggish during that season. Our bodies have evolved to respond to cold weather by becoming hungry; burning fuel creates heat, which warms us up. Studies have shown that people who get regular exercise in the winter experience 20 to 30 percent fewer colds than nonexercisers.
  • One of the biggest exercise myths is that those dedicated folks who work out in the cold are burning more calories than those of us who prefer to keep our workouts indoors. About 75 percent of the energy we produce during exercise is lost to heat, and in the winter, our bodies use that heat to keep us warm. Those who do winter sports that require heavy equipment might burn some extra calories lugging their skis, helmets, showshoes, skates, or boots, but the caloric difference between cold and warm weather is negligible for people who are simply jogging, walking, or hiking.
  • Cold weather dampens our thirst, so be sure to keep drinking plenty of water. Even if we’re not sweating as much as in the summer, we still lose moisture through exhalation.
  • Also, winter is no excuse not to wear sunscreen.
  • Of course, a good warm-up and cooldown are even more important during the winter, to be sure your muscles stay warm and pliant.
  • Begin your exercise by heading into the wind. On your return, you’ll be bolstered by the wind at your back and less likely to experience wind chill if you’re sweaty.

For the complete article click here.

New Years Resolution Tips

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1. Plan. Don’t make your new years resolution on New Years. Plan ahead and

2. Write down your plan and resolution. Commit your resolution and plan to writing it someplace, such as a notebook or journal.

3. Be realistic. The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make your goal unattainable. Strive for a goal that is unattainable.

4. Talk about it. Don’t keep your resolution a secret. Tell friends and family members who will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the better or improve your health. The best case scenario is to find yourself a buddy who shares your New Year’s resolution and motivate each other.

5. Remain flexible. Life has a funny way of throwing unexpected things at us, and flexibility is required to complete anything even the simplest goal.

6. Track your progress. Keep track of each small success you make toward reaching your larger goal. Short-term goals are easier to keep, and small accomplishments will help keep you motivated.

7. Reward yourself. Celebrate your success by treating yourself to something that you enjoy that does not contradict your resolution.

Last Minute Christmas Shopping Help

Do you still have shopping to do? Has the time passed so quickly that you find yourself scrambling to get your Christmas shopping done? Or have you waited until the last minute to get your shopping done? Either way your probably a little stressed at the moment and need some help to get your shopping done. Below are some helpful hints to get you prepared for Christmas day.

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  1. Something I find super helpful and easy to get, send electronic gift certificates or gift cards. No need to even go to the store, you can print them at home or email them to your recipient. Amazon.com can help you with all your e gift cards.
  2. Buy gift cards. You may have to take a trip to the store to get these but you usually can get a number of different gift cards at supermarkets, so you only  need to stop at one place to find all the gift cards you need.
  3. There are upsides to waiting until the last minute, you can shop with little or no lines and crowds, and the sales become much better the day before Christmas. So save money and don’t fight the crowds if you wait until Dec. 24.
  4. Another easy quick to purchase gift is magazine subscriptions. All you need to do is buy a current issue of the magazine and wrap that up with a note that says their subscription will start in the next month.
  5. Make some coupons to give out to your friends and family. Giving of your time and services is a great gift to receive and an easy one to prepare and give.

Holiday Meat Reheating Instructions

Another set of helpful tips from Whole Foods. Left overs are a way of life during the holidays, but a lot of people have no idea how to correctly reheat their meat.

Pre-roasted and Smoked Whole Turkeys – If the turkey has been slow roasted until it is fully cooked, all you need to do is heat and serve as follows: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Remove turkey from bag and place in a roasting pan. Roast for 1 1/2 – 2 hours until hot and nicely browned.

Pre-roasted Turkey Breast – If the turkey breast has been slow roasted until it is fully cooked, all you need to do is heat and serve as follows: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove turkey breast from bag, place in a roasting pan with a small amount of chicken stock and cover with aluminum foil. Heat until warmed.

Spiral Ham -Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove from bag and place on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Cover with aluminum foil and heat until ham reaches an internal temperature 155 degrees F. Remove from oven and let rest 20 minutes before serving.

Boneless Prime Rib – Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Pour Au Jus into bottom of roasting pan. Place the Seared Prime Rib into roasting pan and then place in oven. Cook the roast for approximately 55 minutes for “Rare” and an additional 15 minutes longer for each increment of doneness. Use a probe thermometer to check the desired temperature.

  • 120-130 degrees F. = Rare
  • 130-140 degrees F. = Medium
  • 150-160 degrees F. = Medium well
  • 160 degrees F + = Well done

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Remove and strain Au Jus from pan to serve with prime rib.

5 Tips to Keep you Safe While Driving this Holiday Season

Last year we did a post on ways to keep you safe while driving this holiday season. I think it has important tips and it never hurts to be reminded. So from December 19, 2008 here are 5 Tips to keep you safe while driving this holiday season.

Holiday get-togethers and parties are what make Christmas such a fun time of year. We see friend and family we haven’t seen all year, we get to enjoy wonderful food and enjoy the beauty of the snow. But all these things can turn into tragedies when people are killed or injured in traffic accidents.

Here are 5 tips to keep you safe while driving this holiday season:

1. Don’t drive while eating, drinking or talking on your cell phone. Winter weather is hard enough without those distractions. If you need to use the cell phone, pull over to a safe spot(rest stop or wide shoulder) to use your cell phone.

2. Always wear a seat belt and make sure every passenger in your car is wearing one too. Remember the rear seat is the safest place for children of any age to sit.

3. Do not drive when you are drowsy. Take a nap before you head out or pull over to a safe rest stop (not on the highway) to take the edge off your exhaustion.

4. Be flexible with your travel plans! Leave early to avoid the peak traffic hours. If snow is predicted during the time you plan to travel, change your schedule. It is better to reschedule your get-together then to risk the lives of traveling family or friends.

5. Be a designated driver and Dont Drink and Drive! Offer your services as a designated driver and keep drinkers off the roads. If you are drinking, give up your keys. Even one or two glasses of wine or beer can greatly impede your driving ability, especially in bad weather.

Holiday 2009 Turkey Cooking Tips

Christmas dinnerIf you are making turkey for Christmas you may have some questions about the best way to handle and cook it. Below are some tips from Whole Foods Market that can help make your holiday meal the best it can be.

  1. Refrigerate a fresh turkey immediately.
  2. Remove a turkey from the refrigerator about an hour before placing it in the oven.
  3. Don’t stuff the bird! It’s best to cook the stuffing and the bird separately and stuff once both are fully cooked. his method reduces baking time as well.
  4. A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.
  5. Allow bird to rest (covered) for about 20 minutes after cooking. This redistributes the juices and makes for smooth carving.

Tools to have on hand:

  • Heavy duty roasting pan with rack to keep the turkey from resting on the bottom of your pan.
  • Trussing string to tie the turkey legs together.
  • Aluminum foil to cover turkey when cooling.
  • Wooden spoon & large metal spoon.
  • Fat separator for a leaner gravy.
  • Basting brush to baste turkey with melted butter, or bulb baster for basting with pan juices.
  • 8-cup measuring cup.
  • Fine sieve for straining pan juices.
  • Wire whisk for making gravy.
  • Good quality carving set.
  • Instant-read meat thermometer.
  • Apron

Handpresso – Premium Quality Espresso Anywhere

Handpresso would make a great Christmas gift for the hard to buy for or for the espresso lover in your life.

Reasons why Handpresso is the perfect travel espresso maker:

  • Travels with you
  • Makes perfect coffee
  • Enhances the coffee experience
  • Packs away
  • Helps the planet

Check out Handpresso for yourself, just click here.