WHAT TO PREPARE FOR DINNER FOR TWO

hanukkah meal on table
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Do you ever just stand in your kitchen wondering what to cook and secretly hoping fairy chefs will appear and create a dinner masterpiece?

Well……I do! I love to eat, but I have never enjoyed cooking and since the nest is empty, my motivation is almost zero. I have also discovered that it can be a challenge to cook for just two people.

Don’t get me wrong, I love leftover night, but scaling down my “go-to” recipes is not so easy and I hate to waste food that we simply get tired of reheating. Cooking dinner for two shouldn’t be so difficult.

There is a solution. America’s Test Kitchen has published a terrific new cookbook devoted to recipes for two. The name is “The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook: 650 Recipes for Everything You’ll Ever Want to Make“.

Here’s what the publisher has to say:

If you even occasionally cook for two people, then you know how challenging it can be to find smaller-scale recipes, let alone a complete apps-to-desserts collection. It took America’s one of the most trusted test kitchen to develop an all-purpose for-two cookbook that’s equal parts guaranteed-to-work recipes, innovative cooking strategies, and time-honored cooking expertise.

650 foolproof recipes for everything you’ll ever want to make.

500+ color recipe photos show you finished dishes.

‘Fast’ and ‘light’ recipes are flagged for easy reference.

Notes from the Test Kitchen offers expertise on everything from various types of flour to the best steaks for two to freezing cheese.

250+ color step photos illustrate techniques

Definitely sounds like a kitchen must have for every empty nester or couple who’s looking to enjoy great meals and avoid the waste of cooking large dishes.

  • You’ll have plenty of recipe ideas.
  • Pictures!!!!
  • Cooking Strategies
  • Expand your expertise
  • And perhaps …. enjoy the kitchen again!

Don’t hesitate! Get one for yourself or even as a gift for someone you love. The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook just might be the answer to your “What to prepare for dinner” question.

Get yours by clicking here!

AFFORDABLE WRINKLE AND FINE LINE REDUCING FACE SERUM

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could age without wrinkles? Just think about it, no forehead wrinkles or fine lines around your eyes or mouth. Well, while we can’t stop the aging process, there is something we can do to reduce the visibility of our aging.

When I realized that my face was starting to show wrinkles and fine lines, I decided to take some action. My skin is very sensitive and prone to breakouts (even at age 52), so finding a product that would work for me took a little trial and error.

I want to share with you one of my favorite products. No. 7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum.

What is a wrinkle reducing serum

A serum is a cross between a lotion and a cream. Serums are full of ingredients that treat problems with your skin, such as fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and pore visibility.

How do wrinkle reducing serums work

Typically serums are applied after cleansing and before moisturizing. No. 7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum works best when applied at night after cleansing and in the morning before applying makeup. Serums have the ability to deeply penetrate the pores and skin with high potency, leaving your skin looking years younger.

Personal results

I have been using this product for about 2 years. I immediately (within 2 weeks of use) noticed that the wrinkles on my forehead were barely visible. The fine lines around my eyes became less defined and the overall texture and firmness of my skin greatly improved. My greatest concern was whether this serum would cause my skin to breakout. It did not!!!

Because my skin was healthier, my makeup also looked better. People often ask me what I use and of course I am happy to share that the secret is the No. 7 Serum!

No. 7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum facts

According to the No. 7 website (us.no7beauty.com) surveyed women found the following:

  • 92% had improved firmness
  • 89%had visibly reduced wrinkles
  • 77% had more even skin tone.

You might be expecting this product to be quite expensive. I can tell you that it is not. The cost of No. 7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum is around $30 and you can find it at Target, Ulta and Amazon (click here if you are interested in purchasing now).

It’s never too late to start taking better care of your skin. This product will definitely yield immediate results in your skins hydration, reducing fine lines and wrinkles and brightening dark spots.

Don’t wait go ahead and invest in your skin. The younger looking you will thank you.

ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH VITAMIN D?

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Did you know that the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin D for women over 50 is 600 international units (IU) per day? This amount increases to 800 IU per day for adults over 70. These recommendations are made by The Institute of Medicine. Unfortunately, most American are deficient in this vitamin.

Why we need Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays an important role in strengthening our bones, helping our nervous system as well as our heart. It also impacts our mood and ability to sleep well. Low levels can leave you feeling tired, moody, depressed, having muscle pain, experiencing frequent illness and hair loss.

3 Ways to get Vitamin D

  • The Sun
  • Food/Diet
  • Supplements
Vitamin D and the Sun

Some may refer to Vitamin D as the “sunshine vitamin” because our bodies are designed to convert UV rays from the sun into this critical hormone. The problem is that as we get older, our bodies become less efficient at this task. In addition, we know that too much time in the sun can be dangerous so many people avoid the sun altogether. We can assume that this is not an effective option for women over 50.

Vitamin D in Food/Diet

Another way to get Vitamin D is through the food you eat. However, the typical American diet tends to not be rich in this nutrient. By changing your diet to Vitamin D rich foods, you can increase your daily intake. Some examples of foods to consider are:

  • Fatty fish (Salmon, Trout)
  • Fortified milk
  • Yogurt
  • Pork
  • Eggs

While this is not an exclusive list, it gives you an idea of some foods to try.

Vitamin D Supplements

The most effective way to meet the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin D is through supplements. There are many brands and prices that can be found at your local pharmacy, grocery/retail stores as well as online. Keep in mind that you should always check with your doctor before starting a supplement to make sure that it fits your needs.

So ladies…. while it might be better to stay out of the sun, don’t neglect this very important aspect of your health. Check with your doctor to see what your Vitamin D levels are and together come up with a plan that will be best for you.

8 FUN ACTIVITIES WHILE SOCIAL DISTANCING

women performing yoga on green grass near trees
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It’s summer and the rules have definnitely changed. Pool parties and hanging out with friends at restaurants, theaters and shops has been put “on hold” for now. Mask wearing and social distancing have unfortunately become the priority for our health.

Even so, there are still many ways to have fun and connect with friends and family. Here are some ideas to get you feeling connected again.

1. Sports Activities

Have you ever considered playing tennis, pickleball or badminton? Well, now is the perfect time to give it a try. These sports are played on a court so they naturally create proper social distancing. Not only are these great activities for your health, but they are fun for all ages and abilities.

2. Outdoor Exercise

It seems that all the health experts agree that getting outside, in the sun and enjoying some fresh air are beneficial to both our physical and mental health. Getting together to walk, run or even do a class like yoga outdoors is a great way to stay active, connect with friends and remain properly social distanced.

3. Virtual Social Events

I have personally been invited to participate in several social events such as book clubs and hobby groups. Zoom has become a common way to continue connecting with your current hobby club or even start one of your own. You can do a quick online search and find many online book club opportunities,or hobby groups to join.

4. Virtual Wine Tasting/Dinner Parties

While I have not participated in one of these, it sounds like so much fun. Many professional chefs and wine experts are offering online classes, tastings and other virtual events where you can learn some new skills in the kitchen and share it through Zoom or other mediums with your friends.

5. Watch Movies or Shows Virtually

The beauty of today’s technology is that you and your friends can watch movies or shows together without leaving your own homes. Simply pick your favorite show or movie, choose the date and time and watch it together while on the phone, Facetime, Zoom or other platforms that allow your group to communicate with each other while watching a show.

6. Play Games Over Internet

There are a variety of games that you can play with one or multiple friends online. One of my personal favorites is to use the app Houseparty. This app allows group chats and offers several games you can play together. My daughter and I have a great time with this one.

7. Call, Text, Video Chat

The simplest activity we can do to stay connected is to just check in with our family and friends regularly. It is the perfect time to call or video chat with the ones we care about.

8. Virtual Tours

Since traveling in person is not allowed in many places, a great way to see the world and stay at home is through virtual tours. Currently there are free virtual tours for museums, castles, landmarks and parks all over the world. Coordinate with a friend and virtually tour a castle in Europe together and then talk about your adventure. You may even discover some places you would like to see when travel opens up again.

It might take a little more coordination and effort than before COVID19, but with today’s resources, we can still stay active and connected!

5 TIPS FOR SUN PROTECTION FOR WOMEN OVER 50

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I grew up in a time where coconut tanning oil was king and so were tanning beds. I did a lot of damage to my skin that I now regret in my 50’s. I still love feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin, but I also know that I must protect it. It’s common knowledge that overexposure to the sun damages our skin. In fact, the Skin Cancer Foundation says that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70. I don’t know about you, but I want to do everything I can to avoid that. Here are some easy things you can do that will greatly impact the “older” you.

1. Use Sunscreen

There are so many varieties of sunscreen available today for every type of skin. There is simply no excuse for not using sunscreen when out in the sun. In fact, many types of make up, both in foundation and powder forms, contain SPF15 protection. This is fantastic because it gives you daily protection from the sun.

2. Wear a Hat

When I was a teen, no girls wore hats in the sun. Today, it is very common to see women of all ages sporting everything from ball caps to beautiful sun hats. It is pretty obvious that a hat provides greater protection for your face, ears and neck. With so many options, find the look that fits you best and rock that hat at the pool or beach.

3. Wear Sun Protective Clothing

Clothing can provide a great level of ultraviolet protection. Whether it’s swimsuits, t-shirts or active clothing, the right choice can help block the damaging UV rays of the sun. The best choices are dark or bright colors in a densely woven fabric. Also, keep it loose because tight fitting clothing will stretch and allow the UV rays to filter through. Also, the more you cover, the better the protection.

4. After Sun Care

After coming in from the sun, take advantage of a cool shower to clean the skin and remove any chlorine and sunscreen. Apply a quality lotion or cream to moisturize your skin and don’t forget about your lips. You may want to use a serum or special moisturizer for your face. Personally, I love applying aloe after being in the sun. It leaves my skin feeling cool and refreshed.

5. Water

Hydration is a key. You must drink water before, during and after spending time in the sun. Nothing will make you feel more run down than not getting enough water while at the beach or pool.

There are so many ways to enjoy the sun and still protect your skin. Taking care of your skin today will keep it healthy for the future and it’s never too late to start!

4 EASY GRILLING TIPS

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Summer is the season for getting outside and firing up that grill. Who doesn’t love a perfect steak or just right burger straight off the grill. But, before you dive in, make sure your grill is ready. Here are some tips to keep things “cooking”.

1. CLEAN YOUR GRILL

It’s common practice to use a metal grill brush to clean the grates. While effective, you run the risk of loose metal bristles ending up in your food. Nobody wants that. An alternative is to use tin foil rolled into a ball to clean the grates. To save your fingers, use tongs to run it back forth across the grill.

2. CHECK YOUR PROPANE LEVEL/CHARCOAL SUPPLY

Nothing can create panic faster than realizing you are out of propane or don’t have any charcoal left.

If you use charcoal, make sure you have enough and don’t forget to take advantage of charcoal starter bricks. They get things going quickly and are much safer than pouring lighter fluid all over the charcoal to get things “fired up”.

If you use propane, one way to check the level is to pour hot water over the tank and then feel it with your hand until you find where it feels cold to your touch. The cool spot reveals the propane level and the hot area reflects the empty portion. FYI, in general, a standard tank will provide 18-20 hours of use.

3. ADD SEASONING BEFORE GRILLING

It is always best to season your meat at least 1 hour before grilling. This will help lock in the flavor and moisture. You’ll also want to keep the seasoning close by so that you can add more as you are grilling. Since some of the seasoning will fall off in the process, you’ll want to add more.

4. TEMPERATURE IS BOSS

The hardest part about grilling is knowing if the meat is thoroughly cooked. It is a great investment to purchase a meat thermometer so that there is no question whether that steak or burger is safe to eat. No one wants to bite into an under cooked burger! If you need to purchase one, click here for meat thermometer options

Now go out there with confidence and fire up that grill. Happy eating!

DON’T BE SCAMMED

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As if things couldn’t get worse …. the scammers are out in full force. As quickly as COVID19 might be spreading, so are the scammers trying to steal your information and your money. In addition, these folks love to take advantage of senior citizens and those who might be most at risk.

Some scams claim to offer assistance through the CARES Act to cover things like hearing aids, which clearly aren’t a part of this act.

These scams may come in the form of mailings, texts, emails, robocalls and may offer antibody tests, cures, and bogus financial help through the CARES Act.

Another tactic is “phony” contact tracers calling you to warn you of exposure to someone with COVID19. They will then seek health insurance information, social security numbers and even back account info so that you can be tested. Emails or texts may also include links that if downloaded, will introduce malware to your device or computer.

Please be wary of these kinds of communications. The CDC and WHO are reputable sources of information regarding COVID19 and they will never ask for personal information or financial information.

Stay safe and don’t be SCAMMED!