#45 How To Rid Your Hands Of Food Smells

Your becoming a little pro in the kitchen.
Watch out Ina Garten because the spaghetti sauce you made was next level.
Just the right amount of everything...oregano, basil, salt, onion.
Oh yeah, let's talk about the onion.
When you work with certain foods like onion, garlic, etc., the food smell has a habit of sticking to your hands long after you've finished cooking.

Not a big deal for your mom because I love you even when you stink.
But maybe one day, if you get the opportunity to cook for someone special, you won't want to smell like a giant onion when they lean in.
Splash a little wine or vinegar on your hands, particularly on your fingers to get rid of the any food smell still lingering.

#44 Go For Your Dreams

"Go for your dreams, forget the drugs, stay in school, get your education and don't let anyone pull you down."

~ Michael Walden

#43 How To Arrange The Perfect Cheese Plate

 I know you are just starting to "find" yourself in the kitchen.

And no one expects you to wake up one day and be the Barefoot Contessa.

But the day will come when you invite your friends over, either at your own place or your parents house and it's nice to have some nibbles out for your company.

No one is knocking the Doritos in a bowl that seems to be your go-to when your peeps come over but if you are old enough to be arranging your own company, it's time to take it up a notch with an easy cheese plate.

Why a cheese plate?

Because everyone loves cheese!

Even those tricky people who tell you that they're "good" or "don't want anything" will start to pick at a cheesy nibble before long.

You can practically whip one up in a flash and if you add some wine, you are ready to entertain your friends at the drop of a hat.

Start with a clean, dry cheese board or tapas tray. You can pick either of these up at any housewares store.

Choose at least 4 cheeses you like to eat and always add at least one new selection to keep things adventurous.

There is no right or wrong way to put together your cheese selections; anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is just being a cheese snob and you don't want those boring fancy-pants types at your party anyways.

Have a variety of strengths, from something mild like Gouda or Emmental to a cheese with a bit of a kick like a Roquefort or Stilton.

Not sure what any of these names mean?

Go into your local cheese shop or deli and ask to sample the cheeses you are interested in or ask the counter person if they have any suggestions.

Choose one cheese (maybe your favorite) to anchor your plate or board and serve a bigger hunk of that one.

Build the rest of your platter around that main cheese.

And don't go overboard at the deli; you don't need as much cheese as you think. Plan for about 3 ounces per cheese per person.

Try mixing it up when it comes to color and texture as well so your cheese plate has visual appeal.

Always serve cheese at room temperature and have an individual cheese knife or spreader for each selection.

Round out all that yummy cheese with an assortment of crackers, crisps and breads.

Add a little bit of fruit like sliced melon, apples or pears and you can never go wrong with a bunch of grapes thrown into the mix.

And don't forget the olives 😃

Bingo, bango, you mastered the cheese plate!

#42 Massage Your Ears When You're Tired

I know you've been hitting the books pretty hard lately.
Schools almost over, it's down to crunch time and you've been spending a few too many nights in front of your computer.
You look tired.
I could tell you to shut it all down and get some sleep but then where would we be come report time?
So instead I will tell you this little trick!
When you feel tired and your eyes look like they could use a pick-me-up, massage your ears.
Using your thumb and your forefinger, start massaging the top of your ear and slowly work your way down to the lobe and then up again on the opposite side towards that funny piece of cartilage that goes in towards your ear (what they call the daith). Start again at the top of the ear and repeat 5 times.

Don't ask me how it works but I promise you it does!

#41 How To Eat An Artichoke

Artichokes are a funny business.
Especially for anyone who isn't into the 'dirty fingers feeling' while they're eating.
How does one peel away the never-ending layers AND try to find nourishment somewhere in this pile of leaves while still looking like an artichoke pro in front of your dinner partner, boss, friend, etc.?
First of all, relax.
When you are worried about what you are doing, it always looks like everyone around you is breezing through every situation even when they're just as unsure as you are.

And I've seen you overcome bigger 'beasts' so we are not going to let a little old artichoke bring you down 😄

Let's dig in shall we?
Artichokes can be served hot or cold but your 'plan of attack' always stays the same.
To eat an artichoke, begin by pulling off outer petals one at a time.
Dip base of petal into sauce or melted butter, then pull through teeth to remove soft, tender portion of petal. Discard the remaining petal, preferably in a neat pile on the plate in front of you or in an empty bowl specifically provided for the petals.
Remove the choke (fuzzy center) at base by using gentle strokes with a fork until you are down to the heart. Discard the fuzzy part, you don't eat that

The base or heart of the artichoke can be eaten and is often the part that most people savour the most.

Cut into bite size pieces and dip into remaining sauce.