Differences Between Pasta



You are standing in the pasta aisle, faced with a wide variety of different shapes size, and even colours of pasta. What do you choose? Though you can walk away with anything and use it however you like without major taste differences, you still want to consider your options carefully. The different types of pasta are intended for different dishes, so for the best results consider what you want to cook with your pasta!


Sheet pasta is easy to explain. They are quite wide, and instead of eating your pasta out of a bowl or on a plate like spaghetti, you are better of making a casserole like lasagna with your sheet pasta. Some of the sheet pastas out there come with ridges along the sides. For the most part, this is for sauce retention, though either option is fine for you to use in your casserole.


There are quite a lot of different strand pastas, though the three most popular are fettucine, spaghetti, and spaghettini. The only significant difference between them is the size/width of each strand. Fettuccini are the largest, which makes them ideal for heavier sauces (such as Alfredo). Spaghettini is the smallest strand pasts, and is best suited for thin sauces, such as simple olive oil or basil pesto. Spaghetti is a good all-purpose pasta, as it is a nice middle ground between the two.

Tube and Shape

Of course, there are also countless tube pasta and ones in fancy shapes, such as fusilli or bowtie. The uses vary widely based on the specific shape and size, but the general rule of thumb is the bigger the tube/size, the heartier the sauce you can serve it with. Significant ones to note include orzo pasta and the giant shell pasta. The former is actually best suited in a soup, whereas the latter is often stuffed and baked in the oven.

3 Reasons Why You Should Eat Healthy

When most people think of why they should eat healthy food, they tend to latch onto the idea of losing a little weight. While you can definitely do this, provided you pair a healthy diet with a sufficient amount of exercise, it is not the only reason to eat healthy. Here are three significant reasons why you should eat healthy aside from losing weight:

Get Better Rest

When your body has whole grains, leafy greens, and similar running through its veins rather than greasy food and candy, it runs more efficiently. It also runs in a way that allows you to get a higher quality of sleep on any given night. This is particularly helpful if your schedule demands a lot of your time, resulting in less overall sleep. While you should make time to get roughly seven to eight hours a night, making sure it is quality sleep is perhaps just as important.

Add More Energy

Have you ever felt fatigued, bloated, or just run down when you eat a lot of unhealthy food like greasy pizza and fast food? You can kiss these feelings goodbye nine times out of ten when you shift to a balanced and healthy diet. Watch your energy levels spike on a daily basis when you eat healthy food every day and consume less junk.

Arm Your Body

When you eat healthy, you are giving your body exactly what it needs to function. Well, you can actually be giving it even more? When you eat a healthy and balanced diet, you are also arming your body to fight off all manners of illnesses, including the common cold. This is because the nutrients, vitamins, et cetera in your food help build your immune system so it is as strong as it can possibly be.

3 Benefits of Organic Food

In your local grocery store, we are willing to bet you see produce, meat, et cetera with labels indicated they are organic food. When most people see organic food, they think it must be a little better, but they are not sure exactly how. Then, when the higher price tag is revealed, very few of these people still reach for the organic option—if they don’t know the benefits, why pay the extra money? What are they getting out of it? Well, the good news is you get a lot out of it when you are eating truly organic food. Here are three of the top benefits:


Organic food does not contain any of the preservatives in other products. The preservatives are added in other products in an effort to make them last longer. However, these preservatives can alter the freshness and  taste of the produce, though many individuals never realize this, since they do not know any different. With organic produce, though you will have to eat it faster, you can definitely taste a significant difference when you are committed to true organic options.

Fewer Pesticides

Organic food contains far fewer pesticides than regular produce, though there may still be some traces or residue on the food, especially if they are stored right next to the “regular” variety, where the agriculture practice included the use of pesticides, herbicides, et cetera.

Environmental Impact

Did you know? The farming practices required for organic food results in a reduced amount of pollution, more water conservation, less energy usage, as well as an increase in soil fertility. Overall, the impact of organic farming on the environment is much more positive than non-organic farming practices. Since we want the Earth to last as long as possible, this is always a good thing! Treat the environment as best you can—including consuming more organic produce.

3 Types of Lettuce

So you are making a salad. What type of lettuce do you need to use? While much of this depends on personal taste, there are some differences between each type of lettuce you might want to take into account. However, there are quite a lot of different types of lettuce. To make things easier, we have compiled data for the three most popular types below:

Iceberg Lettuce

Many reports indicate iceberg lettuce is simply water—that there is no real nutritional value in its leaves. However, this is not strictly true, though if you really want to squeeze as much nutrition out of your lettuce as possible, you are better off looking elsewhere. If you still want to consider this light and crunchy choice, continue:

Iceberg lettuce contains, on average, four grams of carbohydrates, and 1.8 grams of dietary fiber per two cups. This two-cup serving also includes 35 micrograms of vitamin K and 722 international units of vitamin A.

It is particularly good for adding to a wrap, creating a lettuce wrap, or in a mixed greens salad.

Butter Lettuce

For each serving of butter lettuce (1 cup) you have only 21 calories, less than half a gram of fat, 0.74 grams of protein, 3.63 grams of carbohydrates, 1.53 grams of sugar, as well as 8 milligrams of sodium. It also contains roughly 91 micrograms of vitamin A per serving.

This lettuce is often sold in plastic containers to avoid bruising, and you may end up using an entire head for a meal-size salad. It is also a good addition to sandwiches, or as an alternative covering for wraps.

Romaine Lettuce

This is perhaps the most common type of lettuce, particularly for those who enjoy eating Caesar salad. Per every two cups of this type, you can expect 15 calories, two grams of dietary fiber, 10 milligrams of sodium, as well as 140% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A, 8% of vitamin C, and 4% of your recommended iron intake.

In addition to Caesar salads, romaine lettuce is also good when grilled, in other salad types, as well as an addition to wraps, though it is not good to replace the breading itself due to shape.

3 Popular Hot Beverages For The Winter

hot beverages

Winter is the time of roaring fires, fuzzy blankets, and cozy nights in your home, protected from the blowing snow outside your door. Want to make your evening even cozier? Reach for a lovely hot beverage! Not sure what you want to have? Here are three popular options to consider. Go on, indulge!

Hot Chocolate

Interested in the taste of liquid chocolate? Want to have puffy white marshmallows dissolving into your beverage? Hot chocolate is the perfect choice for your cozy winter night curled up by the roaring fire. You can make your mug of deliciousness in a few ways. If you want it with milk, we suggest warming a mug about ¾ full in the microwave, then stirring in a couple tablespoons of the hot chocolate mix. Follow up by filling the rest of the mug with some cool milk to make sure you can drink it right away.

A faster way of making a mug of hot chocolate is to put your kettle on to boil water, before mixing the hot water with your hot chocolate mix. Of course, you can still top off your drink with milk and marshmallows, should you choose.


Need a boost of caffeine to stay awake through the next movie on your screen or to finish reading a book? You might even want to wait up for Santa! Or, really, stay up later so our kids are asleep when you pile presents under the Christmas tree. Regardless, a mug of coffee is the best of these hot beverages to keep your system running as you stay awake. Sip on it without milk or sugar, or make it as creamy and delicious as you like.


Not a fan of coffee? Need something a little bit healthier? Why not be British for the night and brew a nice cup of tea? Tea is certainly cozy and is perhaps the most popular of these hot beverages to give someone if they are feeling a little down (think chamomile or peppermint).

3 Creative Ways To Drink Hot Chocolate

hot chocolateOne of the most popular hot drinks during the winter months is the decadent hot chocolate. This is a favourite among both coffee and tea lovers alike. There are countless ways to drink this rich, indulgent beverage—perhaps there are as many different ways to drink hot chocolate as there are people who drink it. Here are three of the most creative and delicious options available, if you have trouble deciding:

Spice It Up With Cinnamon

Did you know you can make your mug of hot chocolate taste like winter? Did you know its deliciousness can rise significantly? All you need to do is add a little sprinkle of cinnamon to taste, or use a cinnamon stick as your way of stirring your drink. The spice from cinnamon blends with and enhances the flavour of your hot chocolate. Sip away with the spice!

Spike Your Drink

If you are of legal age and are not intending to drive anywhere, make your hot chocolate extra cozy by spiking your mug. You can choose from many different liquors, such as rum or whiskey, but our personal favourite is the delicious, creamy taste of Baileys drizzled into a hot mug of chocolate. Just be aware of how much you put in—make sure you keep your wits about you!

Candy Cane Christmas

Who wants to have Christmas in a cup? Try making your own peppermint hot chocolate by purchasing a box of candy canes and using them as stir sticks in your hot chocolate. As they melt and blend with your drink, candy canes will leave the taste of peppermint behind. Many people associate the scent and taste of peppermint with the fluffy snow and warmth of the Christmas season. Why not embrace the idea and pour a little Christmas to sip on while you wait by the fire?

Substituting Fresh Herbs for Dried Herbs

Regardless of the recipe, you can use fresh herbs if it calls for dried and dried herbs even if it calls for fresh. However, you cannot just do the exact same thing with your chosen substitute as you would have with what the recipe called for! Doing so will not produce the same flavours you would get with the recipe are written. Here are the major things to consider when substituting fresh herbs for dried and vice versa.

When To Add The Herbs

When you use dried herbs, you want to add them near the beginning of the recipe. They pack quite the punch initially, and cooking them longer helps mellow out their intense flavour. This is not the case with fresh herbs. You need to add the fresh herbs, often chopped, to your cooking near to the end. Fresh herbs have a more delicate flavour, so you do not want it to disappear or alter in a negative way during a longer cook.

Different Amounts of Herbs

Did you know you need different amounts of fresh herbs than dried, regardless of the specific herb and the original amounts the recipes calls for? You need more fresh herbs than you would dried for the same reason you add them later on in the cook: fresh herbs have a more delicate flavour, which means you need more in order to get up to the same level. A rough guide to follow is to use one tablespoon of the fresh herbs per teaspoon of dried herbs. That said, you might also need to play around with this according to your recipe as well as your personal tastes. The important takeaway, however, is that you cannot just use the same amount of dried herbs as you would fresh and vice versa.

3 Holiday Cooking Hacks

Are you responsible for cooking Christmas dinner? Are you hosting any other events over the winter holiday season? Cooking can get out of control if you are not careful. While we cannot reduce the amount of food you have to cook, we can help make your life a little easier with these three holiday cooking hacks:

Slow Cooker Magic

Your slow cooker is going to be your best friend over the holiday season. You can make a wide variety of things in it. In addition, you can make food in bulk in an appliance you just have to let sit and only stir once our twice. Need soup? Make it in the slow cooker. Need to make some potatoes and carrots for dinner? There are quite a few slow cooker recipes that will all you to do both at once.

Oven To Table Dishes

What are you baking your food in? What are you serving them in? Reduce the amount of dishes and general serving headaches by choosing dishes you can have in the oven and transfer directly to your table! Ceramic or glass casserole dishes are ideal for this. Just remember to have trivets on hand to protect you table from the hot dishes.

Rescue Turkey With Soup Stock

Do you often find you accidentally overcook the turkey or another protein when making your holiday dinners? This is actually more common than you might think, and is often the result of someone simply having so much to get done with a lack of assistance from others. Thankfully, you do not need to deal with this nor do you have to throw out your turkey. Using soup stock when you are cooking your turkey can work wonders on this issue, even if you just let the carved turkey meat sit in the broth for a little while afterwards. Note that chicken or vegetable soup stock works best for this, as beef stock could add conflicting flavours to your turkey.

3 Ways To Help Kids Eat Healthy

Children can be notoriously picky eaters, there is no denying it. And when their picky eating falls into things like macaroni and cheese, pizza, and chicken nuggets, things can get quite unhealthy very quickly. So what can you do as a parent to help your kids eat healthy, while also contending with the world’s most notorious picky eaters? Here are three key strategies to get you started:

Engage Kids In Cooking

If you child is more involved in cooking, chances are they will have an increased level of interest in what they are eating. Engage them from the very start: while you are grocery shopping. Of course, you cannot just let them loose. Make the exchanges something like letting them choose one or two fruits for the week. You can do the same thing with vegetables! If you want to, you may also let them pick out one treat if they pick out a selection of healthier options from choices you present them with.

Introduce New Food Slowly

When you are adding new food into your child’s diet, try not to introduce too much too quickly. You will not make progress that way! Taking things a little slower can make the world of difference. For instance, are you trying to get your child to eat peas or broccoli? Try including it once or twice a week to start with. Ease them into eating it and you will find there is less resistance than forcing them to eat something they are wary about all the time right away.

Make Food Fun

Kids are far more likely to eat their fruits and vegetables when they are in fun shapes, arranged in a smiley face, et cetera. Does your child like pancakes? You can make it healthier and a lot of fun by adding in blueberries or another fruit and arranging it to appear as if the pancake is smiling. Cut carrots into stars! Make ants on a log with celery, a little peanut butter, and raisins. Making food interesting, even into a game, can really increase the chances of your child eating healthy food without much resistance.

3 Dishes To Make With Your Children

Cooking with your children is a great way to not only bond with them, but also to begin teaching them a life skill they will need to rely on once they are all grown up. But where do you start? Particularly with younger children, you do not want to let them use knives to chop anything, which can put a limit on what they are able to do with certain recipes. If you are really interested in cooking with your child, however, here are three delicious dishes and treats to get you started:

Personal Pizzas

Pizzas are perhaps the best savoury food to make with your child. You can get pita bread for the crust, or make your own dough beforehand. Ask your child what toppings they like on their pizza and buy a selection. Put them in bowls or on plats and have your child help prep their pizza (e.g. spread the sauce, sprinkle the cheese, place the pepperoni, et cetera). You will have to preheat the oven and complete the cooking yourself, but almost all prep is safe for your child!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

You will have to measure out quite a few of the ingredients, but you can have your child pour each into the mixing bowl and even start mixing! Once things like flour go in (and oatmeal, if you have those in your cookies), you might have to help your child out in terms of strength, but aside from that they are good to go! They can also help scoop the dough onto the cookie sheets!


Do you have bonfires? Do you go camping? Make some s’mores with your child! All you need are some marshmallows, some easy to melt chocolate, graham crackers, and a long stick to spear your marshmallows on. Your child, with some supervision, can hold the stick with the marshmallow over the fire to toast it. Once it is ready (you might need to help watch it so it does not burn) you can assemble this delicious summer treat.