How To Cut Onions Without Crying

Chopping an onion and having your eyes well up with tears is a rite of passage in the cooking world. It is, as many believe, an unavoidable occurrence. Whenever you cut onions—your eyes will water. Right?

No. You do not have to suffer through watery eyes when you need to cut onions. You do not need to avoid or dislike cutting onions because of the looming possibility of tears. Here are some ways you can minimize and even prevent yourself from crying when you chop onions.

Sharpen Your Knife

The sharper your knife, the cleaner the cut. The cleaner the cut means less of the onion fumes released immediately, which buys you time before your eyes start to well up. If you are able to chop fast enough with your sharp knife, you might not well up at all.

Vent The Kitchen

Want to prevent the fumes from going directly into your eyes? Most kitchens should have a vent above the stove—use it now. While you are chopping the onions, do so close to this vent so it sucks away the majority of the fumes. No fumes means no tears. Your eyes will certainly thank you for it.

Cut Side Down

When an onion is whole, even with the outer skin peeled, there are no tears. The potential for crying begins as soon as you cut into the onion and expose the layers. Help minimize the fumes getting into your eyes by placing as much of the cut side of the onion down onto the cutting board rather than up as you can. This ensures less fumes come up to your face causing the tears. Instead, the fumes just go into your cutting board.

Give Time To Chill

Did you know that a cold onion will release less propanethial S-oxide? This is directly connected to your tears and the irritant resulting in them. There will still be some, of course, but minimizing everything you can means fewer tears in the end. Note you should never freeze the onion, since when a raw onion thaws out, it can turn mushy.

Differences Between Dinner And Supper

Some people say dinner. Some say supper. Some people even use both terms when they are talking about food. This might make you think about what each of these terms means. What is the difference between them? Is there even a difference or do they mean the same thing? Let’s examine the differences between dinner and supper (or lack thereof) now:

Timing

When people talk about a difference between dinner and supper, it often comes down to the timing of the meal. In certain instances, when people say dinner they may actually be referring to the midday meal (instead of saying lunch). When this happens, supper takes the position of the main evening meal (usually the biggest meal of the day).

Alternatively, some cultures place dinner as the main evening meal traditionally eaten around 6pm, then supper as a late light meal or snack around 10 or 11pm, prior to turning in for the night. Regardless, the difference in the term comes down to when you go to eat the meal!

Class

In history, differences between dinner and supper actually come down to class. Of course, timing comes into play. Let’s look at it closely. While the upper class might call the midday meal lunch, in many cases the working class people use the term dinner instead. Other instances have the upper class using dinner as them for their evening meal, whereas the working class call this tea. Supper does not see a lot of difference in terms of class, though some consider this term more formal than dinner.

No Difference

In modern society, people often end up using this term interchangeably. There is often no intended difference in the meaning. Some families simply say dinner instead of supper, or supper instead of dinner. You might assume this can be an indicator of their family history in upper or working class people, but this is only a guess and there is often no basis or connection to actual fact.

Why Food Is Comforting

Have you ever wondered why things seem so much nicer after you eat a good meal? Food is uniquely comforting in many different ways. It is, however, tough to put a finger on, since the food each person eats to comfort them will be different, since the exact comforting feeling might change, et cetera. With that said, here are three general reasons behind why food can be so comforting:

Warmth

Have you ever heard the old adage about giving someone a hot beverage if they are feeling upset? This is because the hot beverage introduces warmth to your body, which is immediately comforting. This is similar to how you might want to curl up under a blanket or sit by the fire for comfort—it just happens to come around in your mug instead. And if you do not want a hot beverage? A hot meal can work the same way, whether its some homemade chicken noodle soup or some macaroni and cheese cooked to perfection.

Relationships

Food can be a great reminder of and bonding component to the relationships we make. These relationships can be with family members (especially between children and their parents), friends, or even romantic relationships. When there is a loving connection involved with the food, there also comes a certain level of comfort whenever that food comes around again, whether or not the people in the relationship are both present at the time.

Memory

In many instances, the most comforting foods are associated with specific memories from our past. This might mean nice Christmas dinners with roast chicken or turkey, or it could be baking cookies on any day with a parent. It could be any memory with food involved! After the creation of the memory, what often happens is the person will be reminded of that memory every time they consume that particular food (e.g. whenever they eat cookies or roast chicken).

3 Reasons To Love Food

Food is an amazing thing. Do you love it? We sure do! Not sure about food? By the end of this article you will love it perhaps even more than we do. Here are three stellar reasons to love food:

Expressing Feelings

Did you know food is a great way to express your feelings? You can do this through the actual act of cooking—think of the episodes of MasterChef where the contestants say they have put themselves on the plate. You can also eat food to help your feelings, the most common example of which is eating ice cream after a breakup. In any case, food helps manage your feelings, which is a prime reason to embrace and love it.

Changing Your Mood

Did you know food is an easy way to change your mood in an instant? Think about fond memories, ones that bring you comfort. Is there food involved? Or, is there a particular meal that reminds you of the memory? Some of the most common “comfort foods” are ice cream, macaroni and cheese, and grilled cheese. You can go with the popular comfort food choices if you are unsure, but we highly recommend choosing something with good meaning for you specifically, if there is a particular meal or food item you have in mind.

Bringing People Together

Food is perfect for bringing people together, whether it is a big family dinner on a holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas, eating with friends to celebrate a birthday, or to foster a budding new relationship (perfect date night: going to eat at a restaurant or cooking food together). Sharing food with others, even at a restaurant (e.g. sharing platters), is excellent. You can bond and make conversation while you eat, or even while you cook. Think about making pizza with someone you care about. Not only are you bonding, but you will also have something delicious to eat at the end of it too!

 

4 Kitchen Organization Tips

Do you find your kitchen getting a little chaotic? Are you having trouble finding what you need? Organizing your kitchen is essential if you want to make sure every time you cook your dinner or bake dessert, things go smoothly. When you are prepping food, you need to know where everything is! You do not want to keep searching for a utensil if something is on the stove and at risk of burning.

Here are key tips for good kitchen organization:

File Dividers For Sheets and Pans

Do you have a bunch of cookie sheets, frying pans, and similar? Sometimes these can get muddled in cabinets and drawers. To help keep all of the sheets and pans straight, use office organizational tools like plastic file dividers to stack and separate each item. You can group similar items together this way as well. It makes things easy to find and pull out when needed.

Flatware Divider

Don’t just dump all of your cutlery into a drawer—it will make things harder to extricate when you need it, and increase the potential for dirtying the cutlery even before you need it. Avoiding this is easy if you buy a flatware divider, which has separate sections for forks, spoons, butter knives, et cetera. Depending on what kind of divider you purchase, you may also have enough sections to separate the cutlery based on size (most cutlery sets include smaller versions of forks and spoons).

Whiteboard On Fridge

Have you ever found that you run out of a critical ingredient, only to forget about that until you are in the middle of cooking something where you need it? You can easily organize your pantry and understand what ingredients you have and what you need more of by attaching a whiteboard to your fridge and noting down the ingredients as you know you need them. Then you can easily transfer the notes to a paper you can easily carry at the grocery store—no more forgetting anything because of disorganization in your kitchen.

Freezer Bins

Packaging up extra food, such as chicken breasts and ground beef, is great to help save for the future, pulling out a last minute meal, et cetera. For the most part, people will stick things like a chicken breast into a plastic freezer bag and place it in the fridge. However, these bags can slip through cracks in the freezer shelves, be hard to sort through, and just make the freezer inefficient. You can still use these bags, they are very effective, but buying freezer-safe bins can really help keep those bags organized so getting what you need from the freezer is easier.

4 Reasons Why You Should Cook

Cooking is surprisingly an underrated and uncommon skill. There are more people than you might think who are unable to cook their own food, and thus have to rely on others, whether family, friends, or local restaurants. While eating out every so often is perfectly fine, you should still know how to cook your own food. Why? Here are four key reasons why you should cook your own food most of the time:

Control Over Your Diet

Do you want to know what is in your favourite dishes? Do you want to eat healthier? Do you just want to control what you eat? Learning how to cook is the very first step. By cooking your own food you know exactly which ingredients go into which dish. You also make healthier choices just by cooking for yourself, as many recipes you will make do not include the same preservatives, same amount of fat and salt, et cetera, as many restaurant and fast food dishes do.

Save Money on Food

Eating takeout, delivery, and sitting in at restaurants gets quite expensive, quite quickly. Even though buying food and ingredients at the grocery store will cost you money, you can make more dishes from these purchases, which means your money goes a longer way. In addition, the prices on food at the grocery store, when they are not the prepackaged foods, are often less than the dishes you buy at restaurants to begin with!

Self-Sufficiency

An inability to cook means you have to rely on others to make you food all the time. This may mean just eating at restaurants all the time, or getting family and friends to do the cooking for you. Unfortunately, you may not always have these options, whether your family is not available or you cannot afford a restaurant

Appreciate Food

When you work for something, you appreciate it more. This goes for big things like your education and relationships. It also goes for your food! If you are the one making your food, studies are clear about how you appreciate the finished meal more when you eat it. Embrace that and learn to cook!

Health Benefits of Overnight Oats

If you often experience busy mornings, overnight oats for breakfast is one of the most popular answers. You can easily prep them the night before and leave the oats in your refrigerator overnight. Their name is clear: they “cook” overnight in your fridge and are ready for you to pull out in the morning for your breakfast. But beyond their convenience for busy mornings, what do you actually get out of consuming overnight oats? In fact, there are quite a few health benefits of overnight oats. Here is a quick selection of three:

Prolonged Energy and Fullness

Raw oats are quite an effective resistant starch, which means you digest them quite slowly, during which time you will release digestive acids we know suppress appetite and boost how fast you burn calories. Consuming overnight oats in the morning, made from raw oats the night before, makes sure you have a filling breakfast, reducing the chances of overeating later in the day. In addition, their fullness packs a punch and ensures you have a good store of energy to use throughout the day without a significant crash, like you might experience with a sugary cereal.

Nutritious and Delicious

Oats are packed with nutrients, but so too are the delicious mix ins you will often find in recipes for overnights, such as the array of fruits and nuts! These nutrients make for a good, balanced breakfast. The benefit of the mix-ins to your overnight oats? Make your breakfast delicious at the very same time you are helping out your health!

Increased Heart Health

If you prepare your overnight oats in the traditional manner, which includes lemon juice, you can add vitamin C to your oats ability to reduce your overall cholesterol levels through beta-glucan. Working together, and if you eat one bowl of overnight oats each day, you are just about doubling your heart’s overall health. Great, right? Grab a bowl and go!

Difference Between Muffins and Cupcakes

Though they are quite similar when you first think about it, given you bake them in the same tin and they are the most portable baked goods next to cookies, muffins and cupcakes are not the same thing. In fact, there are a few key differences between the two, though they may not be well known to some. Here is a quick breakdown of the significant differences between muffins and cupcakes:

Can You Make A Birthday Cake?

There is a quite simple test you can run to determine if something you are baking is a cupcake or a muffin. If you have cupcake batter, you can just pour it into a cake tin and bake it, resulting in a nice birthday cake (or a cake for another occasion). For muffins, on the other hand, the batter will not make a nice birthday cake if you were to pour it into a cake tin instead of the individual tins for muffins/cupcakes. No, if you have muffin batter you could make a quick bread like banana or zucchini bread, which are both denser than cakes, much like how muffins are denser than cupcakes.

Only One Can Be Savoury

Most people tend to make sweet muffins and cupcakes when they are baking. This is, after all, what baking is most associated with! However, the idea of savoury baking is rising in popularity at a steady pace. Most significantly, you can make savoury muffins, such as cornbread muffins to go with chili or a baked egg muffin for a quick breakfast. You cannot, however, make savoury cupcakes. Those remain exclusively sweet.

Down To The Batter

Both muffins and cupcakes share common ingredients, such as flour, eggs, butter, milk, and sugar (though this will vary based on the specific recipe). However, with muffins you can commonly find the regular all-purpose flour substituted for oat, nut, or other wheat flour. In muffins you are more likely to find mix ins like nuts in the batter, whereas you may find a filling in a cupcake. The major differences come in the quantity of the ingredients, like the higher amount of butter and sugar in cupcakes, and the mixing process. For the most part, a baker would mix cupcake batter for longer, resulting in a different consistency, including more aeration than with muffin batter.

3 On-The-Go Breakfast Ideas

The vast majority of the population will have a string of busy mornings sometime during their lives, if not busy mornings just about every day of their lives. Regardless of how busy it gets, you should always take time to eat breakfast in the morning. It gives you your first burst of fuel for the day! In addition, skipping breakfast increases your potential for overeating later in the day. So how can you eat breakfast even when you are in a time crunch? Take breakfast on the go, of course! Here are three excellent on-the-go breakfast ideas to help get you through your busy mornings.

Smoothies

A smoothie for breakfast is a perfect choice for those busy mornings, especially if you are not a big fan of breakfast. You can even make your smoothie the night before if you will really be in rush! You have your choice, but a great nutritious smoothie would include your choice of fruit, a sliced avocado, some milk, and an add-in like flaxseed, chia seeds, or spinach. Once you blend your smoothie you are good to go for the morning. If you are making it the night before, make sure you store it in a covered container/cup in the fridge, so the smoothie remains fresh when you’re ready for it in the morning.

Overnight Oats

Yet another great idea for an on-the-go breakfast: overnight oats. We recommend choosing a quick cooking oat for this. Then all you need is water or milk for a basic recipe, though we also recommend adding some nutrition with fruit, chia seeds, flax seed, et cetera. You may also choose to add a sweetener like maple syrup to taste. All you need to do is combine the ingredients and leave them in a covered container in the fridge overnight.

Breakfast Muffins

Muffins are perhaps the most transportable item on this list. You also have a wide range of options when it comes to having muffins for your on-the-go breakfast. You can make your typical sweet muffin, such as a blueberry muffin, or a chocolate muffin. Alternatively, you can find a good savoury muffin recipe. There are often ones made from eggs, ham, cheese, and chives as a base! Simply make ahead of time and store them in your fridge or freezer. Just be sure to heat before you leave house if you want a warm muffin!

 

Meals For Lazy Days

Whether you’ve just come home from a long day at school or work, have been running around all day with your kids, or simply are not in the mood to cook at all, you will still need to eat. Of course, you have options like ordering a pizza or whipping up boxed macaroni and cheese (or just reheating leftovers). However, it is still nice to have a nutritious meal. So what kinds of meals might you want to cook when you are having a lazy day? We have some clear ideas for you:

Power of Slow Cooking

Do you own a slow cooker? If not, and if you lead a busy life, you should invest in one as soon as possible. This appliance is perhaps the most helpful thing when you have a lot on your plate in other areas of your life. All you really need to do to make a meal in a slow cooker is to add the ingredients with some preparation (e.g. chopping the vegetables), setting the timer, and letting it run until your meal is ready to eat. Popular dishes for the slow cooker include soup and chili.

Quick Cook Pasta

There are gourmet pasta dishes out there, there is no denying it. However, you can have quick pasta dishes, which makes it a great choice for lazy days. If you really want to get down to it, all you really need to do is cook the pasta itself and open a jar of premade sauce. If you did have some energy, you can steam vegetables and incorporate those into the sauce, or slice precooked meat (e.g. chicken or sausage) and include that as well.

Scrambled Egg Sandwiches

Want to have breakfast for dinner? Scrambled egg sandwiches are a perfect choice for a quick dinner. All you really need to make the sandwich are two eggs, two pieces of bread (or a bagel or English muffin), and a little bit of butter to coat the pan and butter the toast. Of course, you can add flavour to the eggs with shredded cheese, and increase their fluffiness with a splash a milk during the scrambling process. You may also choose to add a slice of lunch meat or slice of bacon to the sandwich, if you have those on hand.