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Pointers for Meat Cuts and the Best Way to Prepare Them

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If you cut meat just to make smaller pieces that are easier to cook, then you’re doing it wrong. There are proper ways to cube, cut, and shred meat for a better presentation and better-tasting meals.

Partially freeze meat to make it easier to prepare

A meat that is rock frozen is just impossible to slice, but if you thaw it completely is also difficult to slice if you are aiming for specific cuts. The best option is to partially freeze (45 minutes) the meat so that the water inside is frozen, giving it a firm structure. Your fingers should not leave an indentation either when you touch the meat.

Slice meat across the grain

Remember that most of the meat is made up of muscle that can be tough. Slicing across the grain makes the meat tender and easier to cut besides. The grain refers to the muscle fibers that are stacked like a close-packed cord. That stringy long thing you see on the meat is the muscle. The idea is to shorten those fibers so that it isn’t tough to chew.

Chicken cut recommendations

Chicken legs are considered dark meat and are best for braising, broiling, grilling, and roasting. Chicken thighs, whether boneless or bone-in, are also considered dark meat and best prepared by braising, broiling, grilling, and roasting. Chicken wings can also be prepared by braising, broiling, grilling, and roasting. Chicken breast, whether boneless or bone-in, are best enjoyed by baking, frying, and grilling.

Beef recommendations

Ribs can be broiled, grilled, roasted, or slow-cooked while brisket is best prepared when slow-cooked. Beef chuck is good for roasting, broiling, grilling or fried in a skillet. Beef plate is utilized as ground beef and best prepared by braising. Flank can be braised, broiled, grilled or pan-fried, while round is best prepared by braising. Shanks can be enjoyed in stews and soups.

The sirloin should be braised, broiled, and grilled like the tenderloin, while the top sirloin should be broiled, grilled, sautéed, and pan-fried. Short loin on the other hand is best prepared by grilling while the bottom sirloin is good for roasting and braising.

Pork recommendations

Spareribs are best for grilling and roasting, while the belly is best for braising, frying or can be cured as bacon. Pork jowl is best fried or used in stews and soups, while pork shoulder can be prepared by roasting and slow cooking. Pork loin, whether boneless or bone-in, is best enjoyed braised, grilled or roasted.

Pork rack are good for grilling or roasting like the pork sirloin. Pork arm shoulder is used for ground pork or for roasting, while hocks are best prepared by smoking or as ingredient for stews and soups. Ham can be cured or uncured and may be roasted for better presentation.

Turkey and duck recommendations

You can apply the same techniques with the chicken meat on duck meat, but duck breasts are best prepared by searing. Turkey on the other hand is lean, so it is good for brining or grinding the meat.

Fish recommendations

Oily fish are best prepared by baking, roasting, steaming and barbecuing, while other types of fish can be grilled, steamed, roasted, baked, broiled, and pan-fried. Avoid boiling fish because the meat will fall apart.

Techniques in Photography Every Beginner Should Know

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With so many options for beginner photographer nowadays, there is no excuse for not getting at least one good shot with constant practice. However, getting a good photo doesn’t only mean being at the right place and at the right time. There are useful techniques that will help you get optimal photos every time.

Here are some techniques every beginner should know.

  • Try black and white shots. The best way to understand how lighting works and affects the subject is to not be distracted by colors. This will let you shift your focus into getting the best angle to see all the details into appreciating how the light, dark, and shadow affects your presentation.
  • Experiment with different lighting effects. By lighting, you should also utilize other sources besides natural sunlight. Try taking photos by lighting the subject with candles, lamppost, flashlight, glow sticks, and other sources. You will be amazed how a subject can transform under different lighting conditions. You can also combine different light sources. This is similar to experimenting with different color combinations when painting.
  • Use silhouettes to focus on outlines. A silhouette places the subject against a bright background so that the subject is darkened. This works really well when you are outdoors and will allow you think of different ways to use the background instead of focusing solely on the subject.
  • Don’t be afraid to try motion blur. If you have a tripod, now is a good time to use motion blur and master the long exposure. It’s also a good practice on getting the timing right with the shutter speed and panning. If you have a willing subject, this can be a fun exercise.
  • Master the long exposure. Ever wondered how the pros take photos of moving objects with stunning results? You can find hundreds of examples of waterfalls or any flowing body of water, highway traffic, moving animals, athletes in action, etc. The idea is to let in more light by leaving the shutter open a bit longer. With the modern digital cameras, you can easily see the results without worrying about how much time you will need for the exposure.
  • Practice night photography. Your camera settings are different when you are taking photos at night from when you take photos during daytime. The exposure will also depend on what your light source is and how much light is available. This can be tricky, but it is a good way to finally master the settings in your camera.
  • Try macro photography if you like close-up photos. If you like showing the details in your subjects, it is easy to take macro photos with modern digital cameras. This is also a good opportunity to learn how to distinguish between the different types of lenses for your next purchase.

Too Much to Eat: How to Treat a Full Tummy and Feel Better

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Oh dear, we usually find ourselves in situations where we’ve eaten more than we could possibly chew. The food was just that good we couldn’t help but eat a fortune. What do we do now? Although full and happy, we need to move around. What if we still had things to do after our meal?

This might call for you to digest your food as fast as you can. Do you know that you can actually make your body metabolize faster? Don’t expect to instantly get rid of the food coma, though, just try to get out of it as fast as you can. Here are a few tips for you to get out of the food coma as fast as possible:

1.  Stand straight

Standing up straight allows your digestive system to be right where it has to be and therefore helping out with the digestion process. You’ll need to stand with your back straight and allow your stomach to do the work. Don’t slouch at all. Slouching could really delay the digestion process and that could be disastrous for you if you’re deep into the food coma.

2.  Walk around a little

Walking around a little helps your body digest faster by pushing your body from a very relaxed state into a more active state. Don’t push your body too much as your stomach might hurt. Just give yourself the right kind of push to walk around, heating up your body a little bit, and digesting along the way. No matter how much you feel like sitting down, don’t do it. Walk around a little more.

3.  Drink tea

Ah yes, the medicine for food coma. Tea might be the best way to speed up your digestion process and get you out of a food coma because tea deals with the problem internally. The somewhat hot temperature of tea helps break down solid food still stuck inside your stomach and basically clears the way for a smoother digestion process.

4.  Stretch

Slowly but surely, stretch with all your might. Be careful not to stretch too far too soon as that might shock your body and might even give you stomach cramps. The main reason why stretching is helpful is that it helps normalize blood circulation within the body which in turn helps your digestive system work just right despite being on a food coma.

Although over eating or eating way too much than what we can take is never good for us, we can’t help it sometimes. The food is just too good. Despite that, we should learn to control our appetite as neither starving nor over eating is good for us. Eat what you need and try not to be excessive.

Tips for Busy People: How to Change Your Body Clock

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Let’s all admit: it’s hard to adjust our body clocks. As much as we’d love to get enough sleep every night, we’d also love to do other things as well. Sometimes we get too fond of this habit that we end up sleeping way past our bedtime and it greatly affects our productivity the next day.

Not only does this result to lack of energy, it also results to lack of focus. We can go on and on about the effects of the lack of sleep towards our body but let’s go straight ahead and talk about adjusting our body clock.

Let’s start from the top, what is a body clock? It’s a preferred schedule your body is most likely to fall asleep. But let’s simplify this even more. We said schedule. What is a schedule made of? A schedule is made up of constant habits. Your habits make up your schedule. Really easy right? Now that we’ve talked about what makes up your body clock, let’s talk more about how to adjust it.

Now here’s one thing about habits, it takes about 21 days to correct a habit or to develop a new one. What does this mean? Well, this means that to break down your body clock, you’d need 21 days. You’ll need 21 days for you to be able to create a new habit. Exactly 21 days? Well, not exactly, you’ll have to get it right first.

It might take some time to adjust into your ideal body clock but once you’ve got it down, it’ll only take 21 days for you to get it right. Consistency is the key to success. It always is. But then again, there are times when we are most definitely inconsistent.

Well, we just have to cope up with our flaws and don’t get discouraged. You might find it hard at first, but once you get it down, there’s no stopping you. In fact, when you get your ideal body clock, it would be hard to deviate from your body clock. Even if you would want to stay away, your body would automatically tell you to rest. It’s okay to struggle but don’t let yourself struggle for too long. Allow yourself to be able to achieve the body clock you need to get the rest you deserve. We can’t all be superhuman. We need rest. Our lives are always a battle, there’s always something to conquer everyday but the first thing you need to conquer is getting enough sleep.

How to Keep Your Painted Walls at Home Look New for Longer

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Even though movers and installers do their best to make sure that your walls retain their color and shine, there’s always the risk that your walls could suffer all kinds of dings, smudges, and scratches that can affect their luster.

While your first response to seeing these types of marks on your walls would be to scrub them, this may not always be a good idea – what you would end up doing is creating a really shiny patch on the wall, which most painters would call “burnishing”.

The best way to achieve this gloss is by doing it on walls painted in a flat finish. Be sure to use it only in areas in your home that get less traffic, such as your bedroom.

Cleaning Up vs. Touching Up
There are two things that you want to do to keep your painted walls looking like new for longer – cleaning them up and touching them up. For cleaning painted walls, it’s not the color that matters, but the finish itself that you need to take into account.

The trick to cleaning your walls is by doing so as quickly but gently as possible. Remove dust and dirt first by brushing it off gently, then dab with a non-abrasive sponge with water.

Meanwhile, touching up is simply applying paint for areas that seem to have lost their color – all you need to do is to use the paint from the original can and apply it the way it was applied, i.e. with a roller or a brush.

The easiest walls to touch up are those with flat paint, while the hardest to touch up are those with semi-gloss or satin finishes, as any unevenness or imperfections are glaringly obvious when light is shined on them.

On Fixing Chips and Scratches
The process in fixing these (especially if you see them in your corner walls) can be a bit more complicated – you will need not just the original paint and a paintbrush or roller, but you will also need spackling paste, a putty knife, sandpaper, and time.

Keep in mind that you will need to mix the spackling paste until it is smooth before applying it to the chipped area with a putty knife, and that you will also need to wipe off any excess paste around the spot.

Once that’s done, wait until the paste has completely dried before lightly sanding it with fine-grit sandpaper, and then vacuuming away the excess dust and painting it.

For larger areas of chipped paint, larger amounts may be required, and the difference between old and new paints is more likely to show up.

How to Make Any New Routine Stick in 3 Simple Steps

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Deciding to pick up new, healthy habits to change your life for the better is just the first step –it’s following through on these habits on the first few days that’s the real challenge, and in a lot of cases, many people often give up after a few days once they find that they can’t stick with their new habits.

However, forming habits doesn’t have to be too complicated. Here’s how you can get started on your healthy, productive habits and make them into a routine:

1. Start by picking out a few habits that you want to cultivate over the next few weeks
Small things can be huge later on, and something small as sleeping in before 12 a.m. or reading a book at least once a day can be a good start.

Be sure to pick habits that can interact with each other easily. This is because habits that reinforce each other are more likely to stick, and they do this because they have a more obvious effect on your daily routine.

For instance, being on time, sleeping early, and waking up early are all interlinked. In order to get to work on time, you need to be able to wake up early, and to wake up early, you need to sleep in early.

2. Find out why other habits didn’t stick when you tried the last time
It’s not enough to struggle to wake up early in the morning – you also need to figure out why you have such a hard time waking up in the morning.

To find out the root cause of your problems, ask yourself why the effects happen in the first place, and by tracing where the answers come from, you can find yourself at the root of your problem that you can fix much more easily.

3. Start planning your habits down to the time you start doing them
When it comes to setting a new habit for yourself, schedules and planners are your best friends as they let you know if you are on or off-track in your planning process. Not only do they allow you to see the tasks that you need to complete for a certain time period, but they also allow you prioritize which tasks need to be done first.
Once you start getting the hang of the daily schedule, you can even kick it up to start planning your week, your month, and even your whole year.

However, as much as you want to plan, you also need to be realistic in your planning process. You are also just a person, and you need to breathe once in a while.

Interior Painting Process Explained

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The best painting services company in Singapore knows that your home is not only an investment but a sanctuary for your family. That is why when you hire a painter, he must follow a tried-and-tested process with the highest standards of workmanship and materials.

Below is a breakdown of the interior condo painting process you can expect from a trusted HDB painting contractor that specializes in residential buildings.

• Assessment. First, the painting service crew has to inspect the interior of your apartment unit to get a detailed estimate, explain to you the terms of the contract, and detail the process in interior house painting. This assessment also determines whether or not your Singapore property needs a 2nd layer of coat.

• Selection. Next, we will work with you to determine how to best achieve the style and look you desire by selecting the type of paint and the paint colours that will be used for the rooms. You will also get an estimate of the cost of paint, the time it will take to finish the project, and what you can expect during the process, such as safety issues, preparation of the walls and ceilings, renovation suggestions, and others. A residential paint contractor who does a full condo painting will suggest a room-by-room progress so that your family doesn’t have to move out of the house.

• Setup. All furniture, appliances, and removal fixtures on the walls and ceiling will be removed before conducting multiple wall colouring for HDB flat in Singapore. The painting crew can move them to another room of the house or suggest that you rent a warehouse to store them before they begin to paint the wall. Your contractor will make sure that all your items are protected and will be returned in the same condition once the hdb painting is complete. Drop sheets will be placed on the floor to prevent paint stains and fixtures that cannot be removed will be covered with plastic or masked off.

• Paint Prep and Cleaning. Then, the holes, seams, gaps, missing textures, and cracks on the walls and ceiling are fixed. The surfaces should be smooth, clean, and even before paint can be applied to make the paint adhere longer. Usually, the painting services crew will caulk, scrape, and sand the imperfections, and then wipe or vacuum the area. The baseboards are also caulked if there are any imperfections, while loose old paint is scraped away.

• Primer. A primer is applied on wood or drywall before the crew can paint the wall. This will ensure that the colors will adhere to the wall and will also protect the surface that is painted on.

• Paint. Finally, the HDB painting service workmen will apply the first coat of paint in your landed home. If the ceiling is included, they usually start at the top and paint the baseboards last. Once the first coat has dried, it might be lightly sanded just to make sure the surface is smooth, and they have not overlooked any imperfection that needs patching up. If there are spots, these are primed and then another coat of paint is applied. This is observed by your local painter in Singapore to achieve excellent interior painting for bungalow.

• For darker paint colors, additional coats are needed. Depending on the style you want, some designs also need more than two coats of paint from the cheap house painting workmen. Some painting services crews use a spray for the ceiling and rollers for the walls. The painting edges are done last by the best painter as they are the most difficult part to paint over.

• Cleanup and Inspection. Once the crew is done, as masking and covers are removed. The place is vacuumed for the last time and the furniture are returned. A final inspection is done by the foreman to make sure no detail is overlooked. The best commercial painting service will also give you details about possible touchups and a guarantee of their work.

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