New Year, New You

Of the 45% of Americans who make a New Year’s Resolution, only 8% of them will be successful. What is the number one resolution made by Americans?  Weight loss!Food on grill

How do you increase your chances of setting an attainable New Year’s Resolution? Follow these few simple tips to make your resolution successful.

  • Set a goal, but be realistic. It’s brave to be ambitious and hope to shed 50 pounds in the New Year. Put less stress on yourself, try losing a pound a week, setting smaller goals are more measurable and more easily attainable. Set milestones, this way you will be able to keep track of your progress as you achieve your goal.
  • Know that success won’t happen overnight. Committing to a specific goals takes time and effort, but don’t fret. Don’t worry too much if you don’t see immediate results. Keep a chart of your progress and you will be noticing results.
  • Weight loss can be achieved through 75% diet and 25% exercise. Diet is the key factor to ultimate weight loss. Eat Clean, Get LeanCal Flame BBQ Island

Grilling is a great way to maintain a clean and healthy diet without having to compromise on flavor. Cal Flame provides easy-to-use grilling equipment that will make meal prepping easier and quicker. Why should you grill? Well, take a look below:

  • Grilling drips the fat off meats making it healthier to consume.
  • Grilling vegetables and fruits enhance your plate and increase vegetable intake.
  • Trimming excess fat off meats will ensure you get the leanest possible steak. If you put a very lean cut of beef or pork, or skinless chicken, onto the grill, you’re off to a healthy start.
  • Marinate and rub! Don’t compromise on flavor, using marinade or rubbing your steaks down will enhance the flavor of your food without packing on the extra calories.Cal Flame Outdoor Kitchen

Send us pictures of your favorite healthy grilling recipe to Cal Flame’s Twitter or Facebook. You can also post pictures on our Instagram using hashtag #NewYearNewYou

Visit Cal Flame BBQ for more information about our BBQ grills and products the whole family will enjoy.

How to Handle Holiday Stress in the Kitchen

Enjoy the calm before the storm; Christmas is only 2 weeks away! If you plan on having family over for a holiday gathering, know that food preparation will only be a small portion of your stress this season. 13_HolidayStress

Thankfully English professor of the University of Connecticut and a columnist for the Hartford Courant, Gina Barreca, has came up with five essential tips gauranteed to make this upcoming season the most satisfying for everyone on your holiday list.

Whether they’re sitting at your hearthside table, crossing the threshold of your festively decorated doorway or banging their fists on the reinforced glass of your stenciled windowpanes screaming “LET ME IN! I’M YOUR BLOOD RELATIVE!” these tips should help smooth the lumps in everybody’s seasonal sauce.

You might have heard these before, but perhaps you’ve taken them literally and applied them only to food in your kitchen. I think they have applications far beyond granite countertops and stainless-steel sinks, however, and should be invoked as the rules of engagement during all get-togethers, whether formal, casual or savage.13_HolidayStress121312

1. Do prep work in advance: The last thing you want is to wallow in chaos, so if you’re going to take on a large project—such as making tarte à la poire anglais or dealing with your manipulative sister—start sooner rather than later.

Remember: It’s almost as tough to get a convenient appointment with your therapist in December as it is to get a supply of ripe yet unbruised Bartlett pears after Dec. 20.

Remember, too, that prep work means sharpening your tools and getting your chopping block all ready, just like for a beheading. While celery, onions, carrots and guest lists can be cut at the last minute, it’s often best to accomplish these tasks swiftly and in a timely manner in order to minimize the mess. (Trust me: There’s always a mess.)

2. Check expiration dates: Some things get old, worn out and taste funny. Some things turn sour, go bad and become toxic. “Things” in these instances can range from the lightly rusted containers of ginger, cloves and turmeric that haven’t been touched since the Reagan administration all the way to personal relationships that have also remained untouched since the Reagan administration.

If the single reason you haven’t already tossed what you don’t use is because you think one day it might come in handy, try to remember the last time it was an essential ingredient. If it was so long ago that you can no longer recall when it added flavor, texture or something special, let it go and make room for something new.

3. While being conscious of everyone’s needs, remember it’s your kitchen: You’re the one who decides what you’re offering; you can let others decide for themselves what they take.

You can no more force somebody to be happy than you can force him or her to love lima beans; you can no more demand that someone relax than you can demand that they have dessert. And remember that just because somebody isn’t choosing the item doesn’t mean you’re required to remove it from the menu.

4. Accept help, assign tasks and offer gratitude: Learn to say versions of the following three statements: “Oh, yes! It’d be great if you cut those Bartlett pears into extremely thin slices because I had an appointment to see my shrink and didn’t get a chance do it earlier,” “Please, would you carry these 87 virtually antique and no doubt noxious spice tins to the trash for me?” and “Thanks a million for bringing the lima beans! Don’t worry if Uncle Nosebag starts whimpering when he sees them. He’s a little phobic. It doesn’t at all mean they shouldn’t be at the table. Really!”

5. Clean up as you go: Get into the habit of the Three C’s: Clearing, cleansing and containment. It’s easy if you do it a    little at a time. Keep fresh water and clean towels handy. Spills and breakage are part of life, but do try to avoid boiling over, tearing up and destroying, irrevocably and entirely, everything precious and lovely that crosses your path simply because of the tension created when loved ones gather in a small space, whether that small space is a studio apartment or Rhode Island. But hey, if a conflagration happens, it happens. You can always wipe the slate, as well as the counter, clean.holiday-stress-2011

Finally: Make sure all flames are extinguished; in other words, do not to leave unattended what needs attention.

And, please, don’t let this be you:Holiday-stress

Happy Holidays!