How To Keep Your Dog Occupied When You’re Cooking


Dogs are as cute as can be, but when you’re on a mission to pull together a dinner to remember then you might need a bit of alone time so you can get the job done. What if your dog is looking for some attention? Sometimes when you need to focus just happens to coincide precisely with playtime in their minds. If they see you working away, they may just want to join in on the action. Don’t worry, there are some things you can try to keep your dog at bay while you make the magic happen.

Find Their Favorite Chew Toy

A needy dog can often be put to work for hours on end with a simple chew toy. If you haven’t found one that your dog loves then you’re missing out, this is a quick and easy solution that will keep them knawing away while you go off to work in the kitchen. If they seem to snub typical chew toys, try something that you can put some food in. After all, you’re trying to buy some time so you can go to work making a delicious meal, why not put them to work in the same way? A kong filled with frozen peanut butter is a time-honored solution that should help get you thinking.

Let Them Get Exercise With An Electric Dog Fence

If you are fortunate enough to have access to a back yard in your home, why not let them run around without worrying if they’ll escape to the neighbor’s yard? As long as they are set up properly they are quite reliable, so you can let your dog get some fun in the sun while you whip up a piping hot meal for your family. How’s that for a change?

Alternatively, Try A Training Collar

Maybe your dog is whimpering and whining while you’re trying to mince onions, celery, and carrots for a nice mirepoix? Or worse, they’re barking frantically as you’re trying to put the finishing touches on a perfect beef stroganoff? Many people have turned to training collars because they work like magic. You can either get a bark collar if that is your main problem, or a collar with a remote so that you can get them off the couch without having to drop what you’re doing.

Gate Them Off In A Room

Maybe your dog isn’t barking like crazy, and it’s more a matter of them getting tangled up in your feet while you’re running around making sure all of the components of your dishes hit the plate at the exact right moment. You might find that a good, old-fashioned door gate is just what the doctor ordered in this situation. The best thing about this solution is that it’s dead simple and cheap, plus it can be repurposed for all sorts of applications. Kids on the way too? You’ll be glad you have a door gate anyway.

Try Some Music or TV

The fall back is to try what works for so many of us humans – pop on the TV or the stereo and see if you get any engagement from your dog. Lots of dog owners utilize this tactic when they go out for the day to make their dogs feel like they aren’t the only ones at home, and it may just work in this case as well. Try out some different shows and types of music before you throw in the towel, it may just be that you haven’t found your dog’s favorites yet!


Five Tools That You Really Need In Your Kitchen


 There are obviously many items that you need in your kitchen. If you have just moved into your first apartment or home and need a starting point, then here are the top five things you should have in your kitchen to get you started. We’ll ignore the most obvious such as utensils, plates, cups, etc. The items listed here will get you on the right track to preparing delicious meals for yourself as well as guests. 

Cutting Board

Cutting boards are generally made of either a plastic material or wood. Whichever one you choose basically comes down to preference. A good teak wood cutting board is one of the easiest to maintain over other wood boards. It has a pleasant and comfortable cutting surface. The only downfall is that it will require a more proper cleaning then a plastic board. If a plastic cutting board is more your thing, then try going with one that has rubber feet so there is no slipping while cutting food. Also, try and find one that has a juice groove to catch any excess liquids. 

Chef Knife

While most people will just purchase a standard set of knives, it is recommended to have one good and reliable chefs knife. These knives are sturdy, durable, extremely sharp, and can be used as a general utility kitchen knife. They generally have a blade that is 8 inches in length and 1 1/2 inches in width. They are typically made of either stainless steel or carbon steel. Unlike other knives, such as a pairing knife, these knives are designed for various cutting purposes. They can be used for chopping, slicing and mincing vegetables, slicing meat, and other cutting purposes. 

High Powered Blender/Food Processor

A blender-food processor combo is an extremely convenient must in the kitchen these days. With its multi-purpose application, it will cut down on food prep by an amazing amount of time. It can be used as a blender for making milkshakes, smoothies, margaritas, or daiquiris. It can be used to chop nuts and vegetables. It can be used to cream together ingredients for dips, purees, and desserts. They come with a variety of very useful attachments that will make life in the kitchen a whole lot easier. 

Large Saute Pan

A saute pan typically has a wide and flat bottom with tall sides, a long handle, and a lid. There are several different types of saute pans on the market. Once again, the type you choose comes down to preference. Non-stick pans have a coating which layers the bottom and sides of the pan. These are ideal when cooking for there is little to no chance of the food sticking. You should always use the right plastic utensils while cooking with these pans, as well as a soft sponge while cleaning them. The coating can become damaged with too much abuse. Classic saute pans do not have the non-stick coating, but rather an aluminum core or base. Many saute pans are also oven safe so they can be used not only for stove-top cooking but in the oven as well. 

Baking Sheet

Baking sheets come in many different sizes and are pretty basic. There are some that are non-stick for easy removal of those freshly baked cookies. While others are a basic aluminum or aluminum steel, and require some light greasing or lining with parchment paper when baking sticky foods. Some baking sheets are light and affordable, while others are more heavy duty and durable. Another thing to consider is whether to get a cookie sheet or a baking sheet. A baking sheet has rolled edges, while a cookie sheet does not. Since the lack of edges on a typical cookie sheet may limit the type of baking you can do, it is probably wise to start off with a baking sheet.