Tag Archives: guest post


Marc’s Corner: Cooking with Stainless Steel {Guest Post}

Introducing guest posts from Marc, which I’m affectionally calling “Marc’s Corner.”

Marc is a fellow member/moderator of the Home Cooking community on Google+.  He’s also a semi-retired Food & Beverage professional-turned home cooking enthusiast.  He’s been kind enough to share some of his culinary experience and expertise to help you cook better in your own kitchen.

Some people seem to have this fear of cooking with stainless steel cookware choosing either a teflon or non-stick coated pot or pan over a stainless steel one. And I can understand where they are coming from.

Non-stick pans are a dime a dozen and some of them can be had for a bargain. Non-stick pots and pans literally endorses what the product stand for. Food does not stick on them. They are ideal for quick and easy frying, general cooking and they are definitely easy to wash.

Stainless steel cookware on the other hand is a different beast altogether. You need to treat them with a little respect. When not used correctly, food gets burnt and stick to the sides. Sometimes, it becomes almost an impossibility to remove.

On the other hand, stainless steel cookware is one of the most durable and versatile cookware invented by man. Modern and well made stainless steel pots and pans even come with a 3-ply base to distribute heat evenly.

I am not advocating stainless steel but it is my preferred choice and I hope this short article will convince you to try cooking with stainless steel if you haven’t already done so. You won’t become an expert at it overnight but over time and a little practice, I hope that you will truly appreciate its qualities.

First off, understand how stainless steel reacts to heat. Once you understand and learn how to control heat, you are practically  halfway there.


First rule of thumb, you must always pre-heat your stainless steel cookware. And I am not talking about turning up the fire for 5 seconds and  get going. Keep the heat steady and constant. No roaring fire please. Respect and master heat, do not let it become your master. Control is the keyword here. Ok, so this is starting to sound like something from a kung fu movie. But let me tell you this, it is.

Now that you’ve pre-heated your cookware, ow do you know it is ready? Test it with water. Let a few drops of water trickle onto the surface. If they start ‘dancing’ on the surface, you’re all set.

Add a small amount of oil, a teaspoon to a table spoon depending on what you intend to cook and let that oil heat up. Don’t go Rambo on me now and start throwing food in.  Wait till it gets hot and I mean smoking hot but not hot to the point when your cooking oil starts degrading and burning. You will know it’s ready when you see a wisps of smoke emanating from the surface. When you add meat in, it should be able to slide around. If the meat sticks, it’s not hot enough!

Why go through all this trouble you might ask? Stainless steel surfaces makes it easy for you to brown and caramelised food, retaining all those wonderful flavours that you think only those professional chefs in fancy and expensive restaurants can achieve. That brown stuff on the cooking surface is where all the flavours reside. Use it well. Well you’ve now moved one step forward.

With practice and the occasional screw-ups, your cooking skills will gradually improve and soon you will be able to bring out fantastic flavours from food that may even surprise you.

Moves - fitness app

Fitness Apps: How they keep you motivated!

Depending where you live, June is a month where the weather starts to get a lot nicer and more people are getting outside. Walking is a great way to get your day started or even finih it off so you can burn those “desert calories”. Fortunately for most, walking is a pretty simple activity that requires little equipment. In a way, you just get up and go!

As an online fitness coach, I’m always looking for ways to use technology to help people be more active. Since most people nowadays have a smart phone and carry it with them everywhere, it can be a great too for tracking your fitness. Do a quick search in the app store and you’ll find many apps that are great for tracking your walking and even steps throughout the day.

One if these apps I’ve been testing out lately is called Moves. It uses the accelerometers of the phone to track your steps and the GPS to track where you go. It connects Foursquare, a location tagging program, that allows you to check in and get recommendations for the places you visit. This combination allows you to accurately track where you go each day. They’ve also done a pretty good job with their display, so at the end of the day you see where you’ve been, how long it took, how many steps you took and even how far you’ve travelled. Like magic, it even seems to know when I’m cycling!

Moves - fitness app

However, tracking where you’ve been and how many steps is only great if you’re actually walking and going places. The key is how will this app motivate you to keep moving?

When it comes to motivation, it’s all about goals. If you don’t know your destination, how motivated are you to get up and start walking? I suggest setting a daily, weekly and even monthly goal for your tracking in Moves. This can be the minimum steps or miles you want to achieve daily. I suggest aiming for at least 5000-7500 steps per day to start. Once this goal is set, check in to the app daily to see how you’re stacking up. Some days you’ll find that you blow your goal out of the water, while other days may require a late night walk just to get your minimum.

Bottom line, apps can be great tools for tracking your fitness, but if you’re not setting goals, you won’t stay motivated to use them and push yourself.

Have you used Moves? What do you like most about it?


{Guest Post!} Chad’s Beer Butt Chicken

If you remember, Chad Williams is the fitness guru behind Anthrophysique and the Evernote Ambassador for Fitness.  Here he’s sharing one of his favorite healthy recipes!

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Beer Butt Chicken is one of my favorite meals of all time. It’s a pretty simple recipe and best of all, it’s done on the barbecue.

When it comes to cooking, I like my meals on the BBQ. I’m not so handy when I have to do things in the oven, but over an open flame I’m better at getting it just right. I also like the flavour you can get and the control you have.

If you’ve never had this meal, you’re in for a treat! Continue reading