The Designers Chic

June 26, 2007

Cook Chicken To Safe Temperatures

Cook chicken to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Use an internal thermometer to check the temperature of the innermost part of the thigh and the wing as well as the thickest part of the chicken breast. If preferred, chicken can be cooked to higher temperatures. However, it is not safe to eat raw or partially raw poultry in any instance.

June 19, 2007

Expert Cooking Tips

Choose The Right Bird For Chicken SoupChicken soup is a popular way to use chicken. The type of chicken used to make soup makes a difference in how it will come out. If you are buying the chicken specifically for soup, choose a kosher pullet (which is a young female chicken that is old enough to lay eggs). Kosher pullets are raised in a free-range environment and eat natural vegetation and insects. If a kosher pullet is not available, select a soup chicken, which are usually older, female birds. The meat might be tougher than a younger chicken, but it has more flavor. Cook the chicken whole first before cutting it into pieces. This process will take longer to cook, but the chicken will release more flavor into the soup.

June 18, 2007

How much food should i eat? part 5

Portion-Control Tips
Being aware of realistic portion sizes and visualizing portions or using the "divided plate" concept will help you avoid overeating. But sometimes these visual cues can be hard — especially when foods are difficult to measure, like a sandwich, or they're foods like chips and cookies that we tend to eat right out of the bag.

More tips for portion control:

Eat your meals on a smaller plate so your meal looks larger. A sandwich on a dinner-size plate looks lost; on an appetizer plate it looks downright hefty.

Avoid taking an entire bag of chips or a container of ice cream to the couch. You're far less likely to overdo it if you serve yourself a portion in the kitchen first.

Try single-serving size foods (like those cute little 8-ounce cans of soda!) to help your body learn what an appropriate portion size is. These days all kinds of snacks and beverages are available in "100-calorie" portions. Of course, the key is to eat just one!

Eat three well-rounded meals (with vegetables, proteins, and carbs) and one or two healthy snacks at regular times throughout the day. Skipping meals or waiting too long between them can make you more likely to overdo it at the next meal.

Add more salads and fruit to your diet, especially at the start of a meal. This can help control hunger and give a sense of fullness while controlling calorie intake.

Try not to rush through your meals. Eat slowly and chew well — giving yourself a chance to feel full before you take more. If you do want seconds, go for more salad or veggies.

Be aware that most restaurant portions are three or four times the right serving size. Try sharing meals with friends, ordering an appetizer as a main dish, or packing up the extra to take home before you begin to eat.

Don't be tempted to go for the giant value meal or the jumbo drink just because they're only a few cents more than the regular size.

Most important, make it a habit to let your stomach rather than your eyes tell you when you're done with a meal. The key to maintaining a healthy weight is to listen to your body's natural signals about when it's hungry and when it's full. Sometimes these signals can be confused by constant overeating or constant dieting, which is why it pays to watch portion sizes and make smart food choices.

June 17, 2007

How much food should i eat? part 4

Using Visual Cues
Serving sizes on food labels and recommended amounts on MyPyramid are usually given in grams, ounces, or cups. Of course, most of us don't carry around food scales and measuring cups. So how can we translate those amounts into quantities we can relate to? That's where the following visual cues come in. (Just be warned: Some might seem small, especially to recovering super-sizers!)

One easy way to size up portions if you don't have any measurements is to take a look at your hand. A clenched fist is about a cup — and a cup is the amount experts recommend for a portion of pasta, rice, cereal, vegetables, and fruit. A meat portion should be about as big as your palm. And limit the amount of added fats (like butter, mayo, or salad dressing) to the size of the top of your thumb.

Another great way to visualize appropriate portions is to use the concept of the "divided plate." Think of your plate as divided into four equal sections. Use one of the top quarters for protein. Use the other top quarter for starch, preferably a whole grain. Then fill the bottom half with veggies. None of the foods should overlap — or be piled high! Not only will dividing your plate like this help you keep portions under control, it can also help you to balance your meals.

June 16, 2007

How much food should i eat? part 3

Eat Smart: What's Recommended
Serving sizes tell you how much nutrition you're getting from a particular food but they don't tell you which foods you need to stay healthy — and how much of those foods you should eat. That's where the U.S. Department of Agriculture's MyPyramid comes in.

MyPyramid divides foods into six groups:
meat and beans

MyPyramid then offers guidelines to help people figure out how much of these foods they should eat based on age, gender, and activity level.

Once we know the types of foods and quantities we should be eating, it's easier to figure out how much of that heaping plate of food our bodies actually need as opposed to how much they want. Instead of going along with what your school cafeteria or favorite restaurant puts on your plate, you can take control by eating only the amount you need.

June 14, 2007

How much food should i eat? part 2

Help Yourself: The Truth About Serving Sizes
Look at the label on any product package and you'll see a nutrition information section that gives a serving size for that food. Contrary to popular belief, this serving size is not telling you the amount you should be eating. It's simply a guide to help you see how many calories and nutrients — as well as how much fat, sugar, and salt — you get from eating a specific quantity of that food.

Sometimes the serving size on a package will be a lot less than you are used to eating. In some cases, it's perfectly OK (and even a good idea) to eat more than the serving size listed on the package. For example, if you're cooking frozen vegetables and see the serving size is 1 cup, it's no problem to eat more because most vegetables are low in calories and fat yet high in nutrition.

But when it comes to foods that are high in calories, sugar, or fat, the serving size can alert you that you may be getting more than is healthy. If you buy a 20-ounce bottle of soda and drink it all at once, the amount you consumed is 20 ounces. But if the label shows the serving size is 8 ounces, not only did you have 2½ servings, you also had 2½ times the listed calories as well as 2½ times the sugar.

June 12, 2007

How much food should i eat? part 1

Cookies as big as frisbees. Muffins the size of flower pots. Bowls of pasta so deep, your fork can barely find the bottom. One reason people's waistlines have expanded over the past few decades is because food portions have too.

Portion Distortion
People today eat way more than they used to — and way more than they need to. This means that they're constantly taking in more calories than their bodies can burn. Unfortunately, lots of us don't realize that we're eating too much because we've become so used to seeing (and eating!) large portions.

Portion sizes began to increase in the 1980s and have been ballooning ever since. Take bagels, for example: 20 years ago, the average bagel had a 3-inch diameter and 140 calories. Today, bagels have a 6-inch diameter and 350 calories. One bagel that size actually contains half a person's recommended number of grain servings for an entire day!

The price of such overabundance is high. It's common knowledge that people who consistently overeat are likely to become overweight. But they also risk getting a number of medical problems, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, bone and joint problems, breathing and sleeping problems, and even depression. Later in life, people who overeat are at greater risk for heart disease, heart failure, and stroke.

It's easy to understand why the food industry tends to serve way more food than is necessary: Customers love to feel like they're getting the best value for their money! But the value meal is no deal when it triples our calories and sets the stage for health problems.

So what can you do to take back control? A good place to start is knowing about two things that can help you eat smart: serving sizes and recommended amounts of different foods.

June 10, 2007

5 Ways to Reach (and Maintain!) a Healthy Weight

Diets aren't the way to go when it comes to losing weight. That's because they create temporary eating patterns — and, therefore, temporary results. Most dieters gain back any lost weight when they go back to their old eating habits. So what's the best way to drop excess weight? Create a new normal!

Weight loss is most likely to be successful when people change their habits, replacing old, unhealthy ones with new, healthy behaviors. Here are 5 ways to make that happen:

1. Exercise. Regular physical activity burns calories and builds muscle — both of which help you look and feel good and keep weight off. Walking the family dog, cycling to school, and doing other things that increase your daily level of activity can all make a difference. If you want to burn more calories, increase the intensity of your workout and add some strength exercises to build muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even when you aren't exercising.

2. Reduce screen time. One reason people get less exercise these days is because of an increase in "screen time" — the amount of time spent watching TV, looking at the computer, or playing video games. Limit recreational screen time to less than 2 hours per day. If you're with friends at the mall, you're getting more exercise than if you're IMing them from your room.

3. Watch out for portion distortion. Serving sizes have increased over the past 10 years, and these extra calories contribute to obesity. Another key factor in weight gain is that more people drink sugary beverages, such as sodas, juice drinks, and sports drinks. So choose smaller portions (or share restaurant portions) and go for water or low-fat milk instead of soda

4. Eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day. Fruits and veggies are about more than just vitamins and minerals. They're also packed with fiber, which means they fill you up. And when you fill up on fruits and veggies, you're less likely to overeat when it comes to high-calorie foods like chips or cookies.

5.Don't skip breakfast. Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, burning calories from the get-go and giving you energy to do more during the day. People who skip breakfast often feel so hungry that they eat more later on. So they get more calories than they would have if they ate breakfast. In fact, people who skip breakfast tend to have higher BMIs than people who eat breakfast.

June 8, 2007

Corn fritters

1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
11/2 tsp.baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs
11/2 cups canned sweet corn (with cream), drained
2 tbsp, white sugar
2 tbsp, butter or margarine, melted
oil for frying

1.) in a mixing bowl. combine flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
2.) in another bowl, beat eggs, then add corn and sugar. add to flour mixture.
3.) beat thoroughly until smooth.
4.) heat oil in a pan over medium flame.
5.) drop a spoonful of batter into deep hot oil. fry until golden brown.
6.) while fritters are still warm. roll each one on combine sugar and butter.

June 4, 2007

Doughnuts with sweet yogurt dip

2 cups self-rising flour, sifted
1/2 cup packaged ground almond
1 tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup plain yogurt (for dough )
1/4 cup warm water
extra butter for deep frying
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 cup plain yogurt (for dip)
1 tbsp. icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)

1.) combine sifted flour and almonds in large bowl. rub in melted butter.
2.) stir in combined yogurt and water. mix to a soft dough.
3.) turn dough into floured surface and kneed until smooth.
4.) devide dough into desired number of portions. roll portions into balls, then flatten with fingers.
5.) melt extra butter in medium saucepan.
6.) deep-fry doughnuts a few at a time for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.
7.) remove from pan, and drain on absorbent paper.
8.) toss hot doughnuts in caster sugar, then serve with sweet yogurt.
9.) to make sweet yogurt dip: combine 1 cup yogurt and sifted icing sugar in a small bowl. mix well.

Doughnuts are best made close to serving time.