Sunday, July 18, 2021

The Benefits of Being an Early Bird




Are you an early bird? If so, good for you! If you’re not, you might want to consider trying out a new schedule. There are a lot of advantages to being an early riser.

Studies show that early birds are more productive and healthier.

It’s a great way to live. All you have to do is get up a couple of hours earlier. The benefits are worth the momentary discomfort each morning.

Still not convinced? Read on.

See why the early bird really does get the worm:

It’s healthier. It’s been found that the sleep patterns of those that get up early are healthier. You might live longer by being an early bird. Spending less money on medical care is another bonus.

It’s more natural. Most animals are active during daylight hours and asleep while it’s dark. We don’t see well in the dark, so we’re clearly not designed to be active at night.

You’ll be thinner. On average, early birds are leaner than night owls. Maybe it’s the late-night snacking that many night owls like to do.

You’re more focused. There are fewer distractions early in the morning. You can get more done by having a greater level of focus. There’s no one around to intrude on your time.

You’re in good company. The majority of highly successful people are early birds. You might become more successful if you wake up earlier and get started on your day.

You can enjoy the morning. When you have a few hours before you need to leave for work, you can take your time and enjoy the morning. See the sunrise. Listen to the birds. Enjoy a cup of coffee without being rushed. Relax while everyone else is rushing to get ready for work.

You get more accomplished. You could use the extra time to learn the guitar, read, write, exercise, journal, or get started on your work for the day. Studies show that early risers are significantly more productive.

Most people don’t accomplish much after 6:00pm, so early risers have a day that is effectively longer. The night owls might spend as many hours awake, but more of their hours are spent on less productive activities. The early birds are sleeping while the night owls are playing.

You build willpower. It’s not easy to get up when you know you have time to sleep for another hour or three. It can be a bit of a challenge to get up earlier than necessary each day. However, the willpower you develop can be applied to other aspects of your life.

You’re more confident. Knowing that you have a big head start on most of the rest of the people in the world can make you feel a little smug. You can be a couple hours ahead of your coworkers while they’re still brushing their teeth.

Some of those coworkers will likely be working for you someday soon.

If you’re not someone that naturally likes to get up in the morning, there’s still hope. The key is to alter your bedtime and wake-up time a little at a time. Fifteen minutes each day is doable and sustainable. Or you could adjust by 15 minutes and keep that schedule for a week. The next week, add another 15 minutes. And so on.

Shifting your schedule to a couple hours earlier will change your life in so many positive ways.

Consider how you spend the last two hours of your evening with your current schedule. Those hours might be fun, but they’re probably not productive. Imagine adding two hours of productivity, enjoyment, and reflection into each day of your life.

There are so many advantages to being an early riser that it would likely benefit you to at least give it a try. Avoid assuming that it would never work for you. You might be pleasantly surprised!


Saturday, July 17, 2021

A Short Story For YOU

 One day


A physical education teacher at Fairleigh Dickinson High School in Teaneck, NJ. was watching an intramural basketball game.

And he saw this kid playing basketball.

The kid didn’t dribble well.

He didn’t pass well.

He could not shoot.

In fact, he didn’t do anything well except.

Dunk the basketball.

This kid just shy of five feet six could dunk net!

Not only that . . .

He could throw dunk

He could reverse dunk

He could even do a one-arm dunk.

Dunking was the kid's thing.

“After the game, a teacher had a conversation with "The Kid."

'What’s your name?’

He said, ‘Franklin Jacobs.’

Do you play any sports?’

‘No.’

‘You don’t play basketball?’

‘No. I’m not good at basketball.

I’m good at jumping.

That’s the only thing I am good at.

‘Are you on the track team?’

He said, ‘No.’

The teacher said, ‘I want you to meet me in my office tomorrow.’

The next day Franklin went to the physical education teacher’s office, not quite knowing what to expect.

And the teacher introduced Franklin to the Fairleigh Dickinson University track coach.”

“Two years later, Franklin Jacobs, who was now 5’8” tall, set a world indoor high jump record at the Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden, when he jumped 7’7”.

Although that record has been since broken, one other record stands.

Franklin Jacobs remains in the Guinness Book of World Records for jumping the most inches over his height.

He jumped 23 inches higher than his height.”

Franklin had the talent he didn’t even know he had.

And So Do YOU!


Friday, July 16, 2021

Cooking with Direct or Indirect Heat




There are two different methods of cooking on the grill, they are with direct or indirect heat Direct heat cooking is straightforward. Learning the temperature of the coals is the only real skill. If you are using a gas grill, you just need to set the heat settings at the proper level. The coals are ready when 3/4 of them are gray and coated with ash. You can check the temperature of a charcoal grill by very carefully holding your hand just above the grilling surface and counting the number of seconds it takes before the heat becomes uncomfortable enough for you to pull your hand away. 

5 seconds equals Low Heat 
4 seconds equals Medium Heat 
3 seconds equals Medium-High Heat 
2 seconds equals High Heat 

You can use the following descriptions to check the cooking temperature by observing the coals: When the ash coating thickens and a red glow is just visible this would equal a low heat. When the coals are covered with light gray ash this would equal a medium heat. When the coals have a red glow visible through the ash coating this would equal a high heat. 

The proper method for indirect heat cooking on a charcoal grill is to place an equal number of charcoal briquettes on each side of the grill pan and leaving a space in the center, light the briquettes and wait until they are at cooking temperature. When you are ready to start cooking, place a drip pan between the coals and add 1/2" of water to the pan. Place your food over the drip pan and then cover the grill. You will need to add 5 or 6 briquettes to each side of the pan as needed to maintain even heat. As a general rule, briquettes should be added every 45 minutes. 

For indirect heat cooking on a dual burner gas grill, set the drip pan on the lava rocks on one side of the grill and add water to 1/2". Preheat the other burner on high for 5-10 minutes. Turn the temperature down to medium, then put the food on the rack over the drip pan and cover the grill. For indirect heat cooking on a single burner gas grill, preheat the grill on high for 5-10 minutes. Turn the temperature down to low, and place a large foil baking pan on the rack. You can also line half of the cooking rack with a double thickness of heavy duty foil. Place food in the pan or on the foil, cover and cook.

Friday, July 9, 2021

The Secret To The Perfect Steak

 


First, let me say that searing is not just for steaks. The best way to grill a great prime rib is to start it out at a high temperature and sear the surface and then lower the temperature to finish cooking it. Other meats as well, such as chicken, pork chops and roast will benefit from searing.  The process of searing is essentially "browning" the meat, which gives it a delicious flavor and a little bit of a crusty surface. If your steak isn't browned it just isn't right.

What you want when you sear is to add that flavor and still end up with a juicy piece of meat. How can you get your meat seared just right? The first thing to know about searing is not to be apprehensive. Just because the meat has started to turn brown doesn’t mean that it’s time to turn it . You want the meat to have a dark brown color before turning, not just a golden color. This browning is what gives the steak the flavor you are looking for.

To get a good sear, there are steps that need to be taken before lighting the grill. You need to have a good clean grilling surface in order to have even contact between the metal and the meat. If you are using fatty cuts of meat you don't need to oil the grate, but if you do need to oil the grate, you want to use sunflower, canola or safflower oils because these oils will not break down at high temperatures like olive oil or lard. When oil breaks down it causes smoke and will leave an unpleasant taste to your meat.

The next thing is to make sure the surface of the meat is dry. If you use a marinade, make sure all the marinade is dripped off the meat before placing on the grill.

Now that you have a dry piece of meat and a clean grill, you will need to preheat the grill. If you are using a gas grill you will need to set both of the grills main burners to high and close the grill cover. You will want to let the grill get as hot as you can get it. If you know your grill you will know how long this takes. If you are a beginner about 10-15 minutes should do it.

If you are using a charcoal grill, you will need to build a two-layer fire. This, as covered in a previous chapter requires that you build a two-layer fire on one side of the grill and a single layer on the other. You will then sear the meat on one side of the grill and cook it the rest of the way on the other. Charcoal fires are ideal for searing because you get a more intense heat. You can tell when the charcoal fire is hot enough to sear by the hand test. You will not be able to hold your hand over the searing fire. For the finishing fire, you want it at about medium-high heat (you can hold your hand over it for a count of three).

The grill is now ready for searing. Have everything you need close by because you will have to move fast. This is especially true for the gas grill. The grill has stored up as much heat as it can by now and you will want to keep as much of that heat inside the grill as possible. You will now need to lift the lid and get the meat on the grill as fast as you can and then re-close the lid.

If you are a beginner you are going to turn the meat after one minute. As you gain experience you can adjust this time so that you get the perfect browning. Your aim is to get a nice dark brown color to the meat without lifting the grills lid to check it. When turning the meat you want to act fast, as before, and position the meat as you turn it so that it is on a previously unused part of the grill. Sear this side for 1 minute and then open the grill. On a gas grill turn the heat down to medium-high and finish cooking , on the charcoal grill you will want to move the meat to the side with the single layer fire to finish. When you move the meat turn it the opposite way so that you get a criss cross grilling pattern on the meat.

If you are searing a roast or prime rib, you will need to move the meat to an indirect fire to finish it off.

After your meat has reached the desired doneness, remove it from the grill and let it sit for about five minutes before serving. This will let the juices in the meat return to the surface.

Just as with the other methods of grilling, searing will take some practice. If you find that the meat has been overcooked you will need to adjust accordingly. If you didn't get the dark brown sear that we are looking for, you will need to increase the time you sear a little bit. No two grills are the same and weather can also effect cooking times. Experience and patience is the key to getting the perfect sear and the perfect steak.


Wednesday, July 7, 2021

One Makes A Difference


A small boy was walking along a beach where thousands 

of small sea creatures had been washed up. During the low 

tide they all were stranded and doomed to perish.  

A man watched as the boy picked up individual creatures 

and took them back into the water. 

"I can see you're being very kind," said the watching man, 

"But there must be a million of them; 

it can't possibly make any difference." 

Returning from the water's edge, the boy said, 

"It will for that one."

Monday, July 5, 2021

 



 

Tips For Cooking Food On A Grill

 

Whether you are using a charcoal grill or a gas grill, here are a few simple tips that can help with the food. Sure you probably already know some of these but sometimes it helps to be reminded. You know the saying, 'the old is new again'

Adding a few wood chips and chunks to your coals can add awesome flavor to your food. But you should soak mesquite, alder, hickory and pecan chips for one hour before scattering over the hot coals.

Soak wood skewers in water for an hour before use. They are best used for foods that can be cooked quickly, like vegetables and fruits.

Use flat metal skewers when cooking meat kabobs. Round skewers will let the food turn and will not provide even cooking.

You should follow the recipe's cooking times carefully, and make sure you cover the grill if the recipe calls for it.

When using sauces containing sugar and fat, apply them only during the last 10 minutes of cooking, unless the recipe instructions are different, or you will cause flare-ups and the food may burn.

Weather can affect grilling times and so can the length of time the food is being cooked. Here are some rules for maintaining cooking temperature:

To lower the cooking temperature, you can raise the cooking grate, spread the coals farther apart, or adjust the vents on the grills pan to halfway closed.

If you need to raise the temperature,you can lower the cooking grate, tap ash from the coals, move the coals closer together, or adjust the vents so that they are opened further. You can also add more charcoal to the outer edges of the hot coals.

When the weather is cold, you will need to use more briquettes to achieve an ideal cooking temperature. Grilling will also take longer. Wind will tend to make the fire hotter and on a humid day, the coals will burn slower.

The thickness and the temperature of the food when it is  placed on the grill will affect it's cooking time.

The colder and thicker the food, the longer it will take to cook.

The closer the cooking grate is to the coals, the quicker the food will cook.

Fires using hardwood will burn hotter than charcoal briquettes.

Using a thermometer is the most reliable way to test when your food is done.

Always follow the recipes instructions for testing to see if it's done.

Moving the food around on the grill will give you the most even cooking results, but don't turn the food to often or use a fork to move the food. Using a fork will release juices that you want in the food. Use a set of tongs or a spatula to move the food.

Enjoy the meal





Sunday, July 4, 2021

Before Firing Up The Grill

 



Here are a few tips on starting your charcoal grill, after all, building your charcoal fire is more than just tearing open the bag, dumping in the charcoal, pouring lighter fluid on it, and throwing on a match. Although that is how many people do it. Then after 15-20 minutes, they shake the grill to settle the coals and go to grilling. Do it this way and you will probably end up with burned burgers or raw chicken, but sometimes you might get lucky and your food will turn out okay. Wouldn't it be better to know that you will get good food every time?

The key to good grilling is to have an even fire. The only time you should have any variation in heat is when you plan for it. If you just dump your coals in randomly you will have hot and cool spots. If you evenly distribute the coals you can minimize any variation and get good, even grilling. This is very important when you are cooking a large amount of food on the grill.

The number of charcoal briquettes you use will depend on the size of your gill, the amount of food you will be cooking, weather conditions, and cooking time.

As a general rule of thumb, plan on using about 25 or 30 briquettes to cook one pound of meat. A standard five-pound bag contains 75 to 90 briquettes. You want to make sure that you have enough briquettes to cover the grills pan in a single layer and extending out about 2" beyond the area of the food on the grill. The first step is to place the briquettes in the grills pan to determine the quantity and then stack them up in a rough pyramid shape to light. Soak the briquettes with approximately 1/2 cup of lighter fluid, and let sit for a few minutes before lighting.

After the coals have begun to burn and ash starts to form, you will need to arrange them with long-handled tongs into a single layer

The experience griller sometimes likes to have a controlled temperature variation,  hot area, and a not-so-hot area. In grilling, this is called a two-level fire. For the charcoal grill you will want to set up half of your fire grate in a single layer of coals and the other half in two or three layers of coals. This will give you the hot and medium areas to do your cooking. This method is also good if you are cooking different types of foods at the same time. 

Of course, if you have a dual burner gas grill just set one burner on high and the other on medium.

Enjoy the cookouts. 


Friday, July 2, 2021

Eight Beginner Tips For Summer Grilling


 

Tip 1: Take time to clean the grill before you begin. It’s important to always begin with a clean grill. A clean grill will give you better tasting food and is less likely to cause your food to stick to the grate.


Tip 2: Using the proper tools is important. A fork should never be used for grilling. A long set of tongs is the best for turning steaks, chicken and other cuts of meat. A long-handled spatula is best for burgers.

 

Tip 3: Applying cooking oil or spray to the grill before it is lit will keep low fat meats and other foods from sticking.

 

Tip 4: Allow for plenty of time. You don't want to rush your grilling or keep your family or guests waiting.

 

Tip 5: Don't leave your grilling unattended for any length of time.  A flare-up can occur at any time and leave you with burnt food if you are not there to attend to it.

 

Tip 6: Flare-ups are caused by grease and heat. Trimming excess fat from the meat and moving the meat to a different area of the grill when turning is the best way to control flare-ups. Do not use a spray bottle of water to control a flare-up.

 

Tip 7: Don't add sugary or oily sauces or marinades to meat on the grill. This will just cause burning.

 

Tip 8: Apply spices or marinades to your food at least one hour before grilling. If using barbecue sauce, you should soak the food overnight. This will assure that the flavor gets into the food.


Tip 9: Bonus Tip For the true beginner: Please don't catch yourself on fire. But seriously even the experienced should always use caution around the fire. Fire is hot, it always has been, it always will be. Stay safe.


Thanks and be sure to bookmark this site. 


 

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Baseball Tickets

Here are a few pointers to finding the best baseball tickets online.

First, go to your favorite baseball team's website. Confirm availability in the tickets section of the team's website. Find a team-sponsored online ticket box office. Some teams offer this service so their season ticket holders can sell tickets to games they cannot attend, which makes it the best place to find a choice seat at a reasonable price. You can also visit an independent online ticket broker like StubHub.com and browse through the wide range of tickets available for purchase. These sites offer tickets that are put up for sale by season ticket holders who cannot attend the game. For great deals and bargains, also visit ticket marketplaces like eBay.

 Make sure though that you know in advance how and when you will get your tickets before sending your money to any of these sites.

It is important, as in the case of any online transaction, to ensure the website where you buy tickets is secure and reputable. Secure websites will have a seal of approval from the Better Business Bureau, Verisign, or other such organizations. You must always ensure before the actual purchase that you have a good seat, by checking a map of the ballpark, a facility available at StubHub.com.

With a ticket broker, there is a wider range of seating options to choose from. However, there are often several additional fees that apply, like facility charges convenience charges, order processing fees and the delivery price. These fees often jack up the overall price per ticket.

The other option, purchasing tickets from an authorized ticket outlet like Ticketmaster or Tickets.com, can involve visiting their centers “no more than one hour in advance of the event on sale time", after which you will be part of a lottery-like random number distribution (RND) procedure. Post-lottery, you can tell the ticket agent what the price range of seats you would like (the day tickets go on sale you may only select tickets by price, you will not have the option to choose any particular seating area), view the seating chart, and then the tickets will be printed and paid for.

Buying tickets from a popular and reputable ticket broker might cost a little extra, but you can pick and choose from great seats that are best suited to your budget.

The Value Of An Idea