Monthly Archives: September 2014

Ten Housewarming Gift Ideas

Moving to a new house is always a hectic job and nobody wants to do it. But remember that your new house will bring new memories, joy and happiness, which calls for a housewarming party. If you are visiting a housewarming party, you should find a gift that can give them comfort and ease their job of furnishing. Try one of these 10 best gifts.

  1. A Set of Tools

cushionsA set of hardware tools comprising of a hammer, screwdriver, measuring tape, some nails and pliers or vice-grips will do the job for movers. These are some of the most useful tools you can give to someone who moved to a new house. These will help them in various tasks such as in carpeting, hanging photo frames and doing basic renovations. You can also buy a cordless drill and a set of drill bits.

  1. Cozy Cushions

Some new cushions on a couch or sofa look great. People want to bring new things to their house when they move and furniture is usually their top priority. It will give them a sense of comfort and they will be happy to use your cushions with their furniture.

  1. MagicKitchen.com Lasagna
    MagicKitchen.com Lasagna

    Pasta

Who wants to cook after moving and hours of furnishing? Some nicely cooked pasta will do the job. Try adding meatballs and keeping it less spicy, and it will be a great housewarming gift. You can cook yourself for the couple or family, or order it online at http://www.magickitchen.com/menu/Pasta.html

  1. Home Sweet Home’ Mat

A door mat with a nice quote or message line is an excellent choice. It will probably be one thing that the couple will have forgotten about, and it would be a great idea to give them just what they missed.

  1. Set of Kitchen Knives

A set of kitchen knives is also a very nice gift that they will always remember and which will remind them of you. Cooking knives are very useful, and a complete set makes it even more cherished. If you add a wooden knife block, the gift is complete.

  1. Set of Glasses

Try giving a set of glasses that they don’t have- a set of martini glasses or nice wine glasses. How about bringing champagne flutes and a bottle of cold Champagne?

  1. Key Chains

Your friend moved to a house with new keys but probably have no key chains. There are plenty of varieties of key chains with wooden carved zodiac signs, photo holders and leather straps. There is no shortage of designs and they cost only a few dollars.

  1. plantsA Small Plant

A plant gift doesn’t sound like much, but it can bring a sense of calmness and harmony to the house. A small plant on your working table actually makes you feel good. Just don’t bring a meter tall plant but a miniature cactus or ones that are only few inches tall will work best.

  1. Painting

An oil or pastel painting is a great way to fill a blank wall. You can choose scenery, showpiece, fruits or sunset as they easily blend with the surroundings.

  1. A Good Corkscrew

There are lousy corkscrews that break or bend with the first bottle opened, or there are good corkscrews in a huge variety of costs and complexity. Get a good one!

 

Guest Blog by Haris.

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Get Well Soon Food Gifts and Recipes

If you have an ailing friend or relative who is not feeling well, or perhaps recuperating at home from a hospital stay, a get well comforting meal or food hamper is the perfect gift. People recovering from illness or surgery are greatly appreciative of a nutritious get well food gift.

A get well soon basket or hamper filled with snacks, foods, fruit and chocolates will lift the spirits of under-the-weather friends or family. They will feel great knowing that they are remembered and thought about during the difficult days of illness.

A unique get well gift from MagicKitchen.com, who offer a country-wide delivery service, will be a get well soon gift that won’t be forgotten. They have a variety of homestyle or gourmet menus to choose from.

Get Well Meals from MagicKitchen.com
Get Well Meals from MagicKitchen.com

Listed here are just 4 of the delicious get well meals on offer from MagicKitchen.com:

  • Tomato Basil Bisque, 9 grain rolls.
  • Magic Meatloaf, Haluski Kapusta (noodles and cabbage.)
  • Pot Roast, Rosemary Potatoes.
  • Roasted Turkey with Gravy, magic Mashed Potatoes.

DESSERT:

  • Pucker up Lemon Loaf.
  • U-Bake Apple Strudel.

MagicKitchen.com also offers gift certificates which you can purchase and send to family and friends, enabling them to make their own choices from the exciting range of menus.

For more information and advice visit www.magickitchen.com

As another alternative, you can make food gifts yourself to deliver.

Simple recipes you can prepare yourself.

chicken-noodle-soupGet-Well Chicken Noodle Soup

Spray of cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp thyme
8 cups Chicken Stock
2 cups diced carrot
2 cups diced celery
6 ounces egg noodles, uncooked
6 ounces leftover chicken meat, diced
1 cup mixed frozen vegetables- peas and corn
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  1. In a Dutch oven or large pot, spray with cooking spray and saute onions and thyme over medium heat until soft.
  2. Add chicken stock, carrot and celery. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook until vegetables are barely soft.
  3. Add noodles, chicken meat, frozen vegetables and salt & pepper. Bring to a boil and cook until noodles are soft.
  4. Serve immediately.

Note- if you are not going to serve this within a half hour, then cook the noodles separately and add them to the soup just before reheating. Otherwise, the noodles with soak up all the broth.

Nutritious Health Bread.

  • Total Time: Preparation 20 minutes, bake 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup chopped onion, 1 tablespoon canola oil.
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk, 1 egg lightly beaten.
  • 1 ½ cups biscuit or baking mix. 1 cup grated cheddar cheese.
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds.
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted.
  1. Saute onion in oil until golden brown, allow to cool. Combine buttermilk and egg in large bowl, stir in the biscuit mix, onion and ½ cup cheese.
  2. Pour into greased 9 inch round baking pan, sprinkle with poppy seeds and remaining cheese, drizzle with melted butter.
  3. Bake at 400deg for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool before cutting.

Serves 8.

There are other simple recipes you can try, to help build up the strength of a friend or family member who is ailing.

You can also serve warm ginger tea to soothe the throat and build up their immune system!

And of course, if you want to send a comfort food get well gift to someone who is not living all that close to you, remember to visit www.magickitchen.com for amazing ideas.

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More Kitchen Tips and Shortcuts

Ten great tips and shortcuts to help you out in the kitchen!

rod

1. Using a hanging rod to take advantage of unused space under the sink.

brown-sugar

2. Keep your brown sugar from hardening, just put it into an airtight container. Stays soft for years.

ice

3. Clear Ice Cubes- This is pretty interesting, if you use boiled filtered water to make your ice cubes, they will come out clear instead of cloudy. We recommend you cool it before putting it into trays. 😉

lemons

4. Chef Tip- If you think you’re “missing something” in a dish you’ve cooked, chances are good that it’s something acidic. Try adding a little squeeze of lemon or lime, a flavorful vinegar, tart yogurt or some tomato.

5. Shuck corn in a hurry- Use your microwave! Cut off the stalk of each ear about one inch above the last row of kernels and microwave for two to four minutes. Holding the uncut end, shake and squeeze the husk until the corn slides out. See video  for the technique.

 

squash

6. Easily scoop out pumpkin or squash seeds – Use an ice cream scoop. It’s got a hard edge, perfect for cutting, and a big bowl to hold the seeds.

pomegranate

7. Get Pomegranate seeds out easily- Cut the fruit in half, then take one half and hold over a bowl. Tap the back briskly with a spoon, and the seeds will fall out! I first saw this in Turkey, where they really know their pomegranates.

honet

8. Measure sticky stuff without the mess- Coat the cup or spoon with cooking spray before putting homey or molasses in it, and the sticky goodness will slide right off.

egg

9. Use the empty half of an eggshell to get rid of bits of shell that end up in the bowl.

eggs-tack2

10. Use a Thumb Tack for the Perfect Boiled Egg. Push the thumb tack into the round side of the egg, just through the shell. Boil as usual, but add a tsp of baking soda to the water. Put into ice water and. after they cool, they should peel perfectly.

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10 Perfect Client Gift Ideas

There are times when you want to buy your most important clients a special gift. It may be in celebrations of the holidays, for a birthday, anniversary or just to say thank you for their business.

Gifts need to be well-thought out and it is sometimes good to know your clients likes and dislikes. Buying them something they wouldn’t buy themselves because it’s too pricey is a good way to get their attention.

digital-frameHere is a list of some popular gift ideas.

  1. A digital photo frame can be a great addition to any home or office.
  2. A Kiva gift card Kiva gives you the chance to make a loan to people in over 70 countries so they can start businesses, go to school, and change their lives. Giving a Kiva Gift card involves the recipient in a truly life-changing event.
  3. Is your client a huge MLB fan?  Get them a bottle opener made from a game-used bat. The very definition of something they wouldn’t buy themselves.
  4. Smartphone accessories  like lens systems, speakers, stands and carrying cases all make great gifts.
  5. gemstoneReal gemstone drinks coasters will catch the eye!
  6. How well do you know your client? If they enjoy good wine, whiskey or tequila, a good quality bottle of one of those spirits would be very welcome.
  7. Birchbox sends out monthly boxes with high-end skin and hair care products. We know a lot of women (and some men)  who’d love that.
  8. Do you have a client who loves his or her dog to distraction? BarkBox might be the answer for a gift for the doggie lover.
  9. Dinner and a show is a classic winner for a client gift. You will want to know their tastes for this, you don’t want to send them to something too racy if they are easily shocked.

10. An exciting different idea for corporate gifts.

Shrimp Fettucini Alfredo for two
Shrimp Fettucini Alfredo for two or four

A MagicKitchen.com Food Gift Certificate is a wonderful alternative to traditional gifts. The certificate includes a personal greeting and the recipients can choose their meals from a wide range of menu options.

The gift certificates can be purchased online and are immediately available to print and send via e-mail. The certificates can be redeemed by the recipients to purchase gourmet meals or any other traditional items on the menu.

Meals are delivered nationwide in the USA.

For more information about this innovative service visit www.magickitchen.com

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Diabetes Tools

When you are diagnosed with Diabetes type 2, the first thing you need is a sort of diabetes tool kit.

That tool kit should include:

1. Recipes –  The American Diabetes Association has a large variety of diabetic recipes, and their advice is to “Focus on filling your plate with non-starchy vegetables and having smaller portions of starchy foods and meats.” Ready made diabetic meals from MagicKitchen.com follow that rule.

2. Fitness Plan – Consult your doctor before beginning any type of fitness plan. If you’ve been inactive, starting a walking or swimming program is probably best. At least a half hour a day, five days a week, and you’ll soon find yourself wanting more! A simple weight training program is good for all of use as we age, so hit the gym as well.

3. Goals – It’s very difficult to change your lifestyle all at once, but it’s extremely important to make changes for the better. Left to run its course, diabetes can lead to kidney disease, nerve problems, blindness, high blood pressure and stroke.  Make a list of things you need to do, like reduce fat in your diet, go for a walk every day, reducing stress.

Break the list down into easy, manageable, difficult. Then develop a chart or calendar for doing the things you need to do. Be proud of yourself for each hurdle you cross.

4. Get Educated! – https://www.youtube.com/user/ndepgov is a series of youtube videos that will help you to understand what needs to be done.

Here’s one of the videos:

 

 

 

Focus on filling your plate with non-starchy vegetables and having smaller portions of starchy foods and meats. – See more at: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/create-your-plate/?loc=ff-slabnav#sthash.EkhQUupo.dpuf
Focus on filling your plate with non-starchy vegetables and having smaller portions of starchy foods and meats. – See more at: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/create-your-plate/?loc=ff-slabnav#sthash.EkhQUupo.dpuf

Focus on filling your plate with non-starchy vegetables and having smaller portions of starchy foods and meats. – See more at: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/create-your-plate/?loc=ff-slabnav#sthash.EkhQUupo.dpuf
Focus on filling your plate with non-starchy vegetables and having smaller portions of starchy foods and meats. – See more at: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/create-your-plate/?loc=ff-slabnav#sthash.EkhQUupo.dpuf”
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What is a Heart-Healthy Diet?

heart-healthyA heart healthy diet is an eating plan designed to keep blood cholesterol low and prevent the risk of heart disease. This is usually achieved by eating foods that are low in saturated fat, total fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Now, this may sound boring and not something that you would necessarily want to indulge in.

Granted, it goes without saying that we would all wish to live in a world where donuts and fried chicken are great for your heart and foods like French fries were a diet plan we all stuck to in order to shed a few pounds but unfortunately, the cruel world does not work that way. It is really sad that what keeps us healthy is a plate of broccoli and spinach but then in order to stay healthy we have to make certain sacrifices.

While we want to party and indulge in red meat and alcohol, we put our hearts at risk. Heart disease is one of the most common medical conditions but thank God for small favors. Medical practitioners, science and a heart healthy food diet have helped us come a long way in proving that heart disease is a condition that can be dealt with. Although we must agree, life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled half as good as bacon. Changing your eating habits can certainly be tough especially if you have years of unhealthy eating or you just wanted to try something different. Eating certain foods can put you at the risk of getting heart disease.

A heart healthy food diet plan is all about learning how to control your food portion size. How much you consume is just as important as what you consume. You needn’t eat until you feel stuffed-just eat enough. If it helps, you can use serving portions to measure your food intake. Eating vegetables and fruits is generally just eating healthy, not necessarily as a heart healthy diet. Vegetables are a good source of proteins and minerals  and fiber that generally help you not to eat high fat foods as often as you normally would.

whole-wheatFoods like whole grains are a well known source of fiber and nutrients. They regulate blood pressure and general heart health. The most common way to stay on a healthy diet is to limit unhealthy fats and too much cholesterol intake. Scientifically, it has been proven that a higher blood cholesterol level leads to a plaque buildup in your arteries causing arteriosclerosis which can increase a person’s chances of heart attacks. Mono-unsaturated fats like olive oil and coconut are the best kinds in any diet as they lower your cholesterol level. Heart healthy foods prevent and repair damage to cells.

Everybody is looking for that ‘special kind of food’ or ‘magic pill’. Truth is, a heart healthy diet consists of a variety of nutrients. You know, low carbs, low cholesterol, low sodium, portion-controlled meals that are encompassed into one plate. They contain the right amount of salt, carbs and calories. You have to go all-healthy if you want to cheat heart disease, and consume food in its most natural state (whole-foods). Of course, a heart healthy diet plan goes hand in hand with regular exercise and weight control. All these combined decrease the risk of getting heart diseases by 80%. There is no diet that will do what eating healthy does. It is important to take care of your body as it is the only place you have to live in.

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